Faculty Publications


I’ve wanted a BMW since I was a kid: An exploratory analysis of the aspirational brand.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Michael G. Luckett

Philip J. Trocchia

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2015

Date Available

January 2015




Although aspirational brands are commonly referred to in the business literature, no consistent definition exists for the term. Further, “aspirational brand” is often used interchangeably with the term “luxury brand.” This study aims to conceptually define the term “aspirational brand”and delineate it from the well-established term “luxury brand.” A sample of 452 consumers were asked to provide five examples of luxury and aspitational brands. Responses from Baby Boomers and Millennials, males and females, and high-income and low-income consumers were compared. By asking a diverse group of consumers to provide examples of the two types of brands, we provide quantifiable evidence for the existence of two related but separate concepts. Sixty three percent more brands were named as aspirational than as luxury, lending support to the notion that a consumer’s classification of a brand as aspirational is more a function of internal influences than his or her classification of a brand as luxury. Further, differences were found between Millennials and Baby Boomers, men and women, and upper and lower income participants in terms of which brands they consider to be aspirational.


This is the full-text of an article originally published in the open access journal, Journal of Applied Business Research, 31(1), 331-344.




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