Young Consumers: The influence of public self-consciousness and materialism on young consumers

This article is about studies conducted by Dr. Yingjiao Xu on the importance of public image and materialism as they influence the purchases of young people worldwide.

Most of Xu’s observations seem like common sense, but she goes further and backs them up with data that she’s collected through case studies. An interesting discovery she reveals is that those with high compulsive buying habits place a much higher emphasis on psychological reward when shopping as opposed to those who place more value in the practicality of the items they purchase.

Dr. Xu concludes by stating that those individuals who have a high level of public self-consciousness are more inclined to buy things compulsively when they feel stressed or that others are judging them. This article only cements the fact that young people today are more dependent than ever on material goods rather than values.

Citation: Yingjiao Xu, (2008),"The influence of public self-consciousness and materialism on young consumers'

compulsive buying", Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for Responsible Marketers, Vol. 9 Iss: 1 pp. 37 – 48

Young Consumers: The young luxury consumers in China:

            In this article, Joann Ngai and Erin Cho talk about the four groups of young luxury consumers in China. After interviewing 28 people they categorized them into four groups: The overseas pack, the self-established cool, the luxury followers, and the spirituals.

The overseas pack: This group of people (6/28) see themselves as world fashion experts. They are always on top of what is “hip and in” and have the money to buy what they want when they want it. They feel that buying foreign products makes them seem more worldly in the eyes of the general public. This goes for everything from clothes to cars to computers. If there is a new brand or version of something, they’ve got it.

The self-established cool: This group consisted of 7/28 interviewees. This category of luxury buyers feels differently about following trends. Rather than try and keep up with the newest, flashiest things they try to use only some of the new products to give themselves a unique identity. Rather than buying things just to have them they buy them to help individualize themselves while still trying to attract attention.

The luxury followers: These 10/28 interviewees are the people who follow blindly along with the trends and only after something has been accepted as “trendy” by the general public. Ngai and Cho state that these are the majority of consumers in China

The spirituals: This collection of people (5/28) are the buyers that only get things that have a “deeper meaning.” They buy items that mean something personal to them rather than just being the flashiest new toy. This is the most practical demographic that Cho and Ngai find.

Citation: Joann Ngai, Erin Cho, (2012),"The young luxury consumers in China", Young Consumers: Insight and Ideas for

Responsible Marketers, Vol. 13 Iss: 3 pp. 255 – 266