Consumer Neuroscience in the Luxury Market

“If in the decision-making the emotional sphere has more influence than the rational one, in the case of the consumer of luxury we can assure it more firmly.”

The luxury market responds to a more experiential, emotional and social sphere. They are brands that captivate us with unique lifestyles, accessible only to a few where nothing has to do with the logic of “happiness” from the point of view of real need. This perception of “luxury” is also determined by the brain process that interprets sensory information through knowledge of the external world and the mental visualization of the event.

“Perception is a guided hallucination from the outside”.

By Roger N. Shepard.

The products of the luxury market do not respond to the real and objective needs of the human being, but they do respond to the most primal instincts of the current consumer, instincts that have always been implicit in the human being but now more than ever arise as a necessity. Social. Differentiation, belonging, exclusivity, superiority, notoriety, integration, etc … aspects related to the social spectrum and social integration, which generate an illusion of integration and superiority within the group, a personal status positioning hyperstimulated with the technological tools of today.

The concept of exclusivity is not new and has always been granted a high social value, giving rise to certain products, experiences or companies having a greater perception of value. This perception of prestige, status, distinction and exclusivity when obtained results in a punctual increase of dopamine in the brain causing an activation of the pleasure center accompanied by a cascade of hormones, this process has a positive feedback of satisfaction and pleasure that taken to extremes can be the preambles of an addiction.

The senses of Luxury

Absolutely all the senses play a unique role in the perception of value and in attracting the attention of all the typology of potential consumers. When the focus is towards a more elitist type of consumer, it seems that the sensitivity in general increases, a unique touch, an intense aroma, a balanced environment, seem more than bound for this perception of exquisiteness and high level. Neuroscience continues to delve into these processes and how perception changes depending on certain stimuli. Brain studies continue to show that our brain reacts more to those products that we believe are valuable.

Related to the luxury sector, in 2014, the marketing department of the Copenhagen Business School conducted a study showing subjects luxury brands such as Gucci and comparing them with others such as H & M, before they were shown the garment.

“Even when we show people these marks for 50 milliseconds, there is an emotional response, such as dilation of the pupil or changes in brain response”.

By Dr. Thomas Zo√ęga Ramsoy.


Everything related to luxury has to be destined only some chosen and even among these all will not have the same purchasing power. This concept goes further because this type of products should not be exposed or advertised too much as it will cause a loss of value. We are facing a buyer who stealthily flee from mass advertising and any concept that comes close to Mass Media. Delving into the mind of the consumer of luxury is a challenge from the scientific point of view, since even the subjects that are target are not easy to locate or analyze. In this way the luxury market is an exciting field to understand the functioning of the mind of the consumer with the greatest purchasing power.