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EMAC 2021 Annual Conference

A Semiotic Analysis of Luxury Brand and Sustainability: An Impossible Love?

Published: May 25, 2021


Virginie THEVENIN, IPAG; Virginie de Barnier, IAE Aix-Marseille Université Graduate School of Management


The objective of this exploratory research is to better understand the value system associated with sustainable and luxury brands in order to identify common and complementary values. A qualitative analysis using semiotics based on two series of semi-directive individual interviews is conducted with consumers and luxury consumers. Results show that value theory is an interesting theoretical framework to better understand the consumer perception of sustainable luxury brands. Four profiles of consumers of sustainable luxury brands are highlighted: the selfish, the pragmatic, the altruistic and the insecure. Congruence between luxury and sustainability is rooted into pleasure, generativity, guilt, and durability.