Sample Marketing Essay Paper on Values Underlying the Consumption of Luxury Product (Perfume)

Perfume is a luxury product to many people and its consumption is dependent on
satisfaction of basic commodities. Interviews were conducted on the consumers of the perfume
in order to build a social-semiotic relationship. The market of luxury products have evolved
(Meyers, 2004) and its limits are inaccurate thus cannot be measured (Roux 2007). Luxury
products have symbolism behind their purchase and use (Falque, 2005). According to Roux
(2002, a luxury product is used for communicating an emotion by its meaning.
A social-semiotic approach can be used to determine the values underlying the purchase
and the use of perfumes. An empirical study is undertaken using an explanatory and a qualitative
methodology. Data analysis was then conducted using the tools developed by the Paris school of
structural semiotics. Interviews were conducted on the consumers of the perfume and the
analysis of the data done.
The analysis showed difference with the two kinds of diverging consumers’ discourse.
Firstly are the consumers who refer to the values associated with the product as a valuation factor
and would be glad to identify with that product. Secondly are the consumers who will refer to the
diffusion level or status as it is guaranteed by the products. Analyzing the two, a structural
correspondence between the expectation and the system underlying them is established.
According to Floch (2001), the consumers’ discourse identifies itself as “utilitarian values
versus existence values”. Thus the consumption of perfume is an entry into the brand’s universe,
subscribing to the values it conveys (Kneebone, 2002). Consumers will buy and consume the
products which sustain their evaluation, expectations and choices. The consumers of perfume
will evaluate the brand which meets their values and expectations and then make a choice to buy

Running head: Values underlying the consumption of luxury product (perfume) 3
The projections of values referred to as the semiotic square (Floch, 2001) gives four
valuations namely:

 Practical valorization: associated with values of use thus opposing existing ones. Also
known as utilitarian values. A product will be appreciated for being functional, practical
and adequate to its use.
 Utopian valorization: corresponds to the basic values as opposed to the practical ones.
They are also designated as existential values. A product is self-fulfilling and thus its use
accomplishes something.
 Ludic valorization: centers to the aesthetic or pleasure value (value of gratuitousness) and
correspond to the denial of practical valorization.
 Critical valorization: correspond to the denial of utopian valorization, thus withdrawal of
existential values though logic calculation and interest.

Interviews results showed consumers interest in perfume consumption and the reasons for
choosing a particular brand. Differentiating the discourse of the consumers showed a common
theme entailing the importance of a band, experimental criteria, recognition of a band and the
values associated to a band. The above led to grouping of consumers with similarities thus
enabling us to know the values underlying their consumption.
Further analysis showed that perfumes for a practical consumer is used to confer status
without taking consideration of the band and smell. These further distinguishes the consumers
into those who constantly change their brands and those that stick to a single band. The utopian
consumer looks for status, well-being and an identity with the brand. A critical consumer of the
perfume will buy one that is cheap and smells good.

Running head: Values underlying the consumption of luxury product (perfume) 4
In conclusion most consumers will identify with the perfume they deem suit their interest and
values. Most customers will purchase and wear perfume in order to show their status and
standard. Others use perfume to smell good and thus make them self-fulfilled and confident.
Perfumes thus are used as refinements and their consumers are ludic thus gives the product value
depending on their intent and use.

Running head: Values underlying the consumption of luxury product (perfume) 5


FALQUE, É. (2005), "Le marketing relationnel dans le secteur du luxe"
www.lesechos.f r/formations/marketing/articles.
Floch, J. M. (2001), Semiotics, marketing and communication: Beneath the signs, the
Strategies. Hampshire, Palgrave.
Kneebone, J. (2002), "Design et marketing, un mariage de raison?” Revue Française du
Marketing, 187, February, p. 93.
Meyers, T. (2004), "Marketers learn luxury isn't simply for the very wealthy", Advertising
Age, 75 (37), September, p. 2.
Roux, E. (2002), "Le luxe: Au-delà des chiffres, quelles logiques d'analyse?" Revue
Française du Marketing, 187, p. 45.
Roux, E. (2007), Marketing des Marques de luxe, Paris, Pearson Éducation