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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference

Impact of Cultural Constraints on Gender Effects: Luxury Brand Recall in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

Published: May 27, 2020


raphaelle pandraud, ESCP EUROPE; Gilles Laurent, ESSEC Business School; Jean-Louis Chandon, Inseec


Luxury; gender; Gulf Countries


In Saudi Arabia and in the United Arab Emirates, traditional and collectivist cultures, women face strong social constraints, which may limit their access to luxury brands. We analyze their spontaneous recall of luxury brands, using as benchmarks women in Western countries in which luxury is long established and not subject to such constraints. Spontaneous recall is an important first step in brand consideration. Focusing on designer-fashion brands and car brands, we confirm an overall deficit in luxury brand awareness among women in these two Gulf countries, compared to Western countries. Importantly, we reveal three additional differences. In both countries, women do worse than men for car brands, but they do better for designer-fashion brands. Compared to the UAE, recall is worse in Saudi Arabia, where social constraints are stronger. In both countries, expatriates (people from another nationality) recall more brands than nationals, being closer to what Western women recall.