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Marketing Luxury Goods Online


Philipp Nikolaus Kluge

The marketing of luxury goods faces a fundamental challenge: balancing sales growth against exclusiveness. In today’s digital world, this trade-off has become even more challenging. A luxury brand’s fragile concept of exclusiveness is seemingly incompatible with the ubiquitous availability provided by the mass medium Internet. The author addresses this trade-off both conceptually and empirically. First, the author conceptually examines the specific marketing-mix for luxury goods in terms of product, price, communications, and distribution management. Second, this marketing-mix is applied to the online environment. Third, the author empirically tests the effects of the online accessibility of luxury goods on consumer perceptions of scarcity and desirability.

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The following dissertation was submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree doctor rerum politicarum to the WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. I would like to express my appreciation and gratitude to all the persons who supported me in completing this dissertation.

Firstly, I would like thank my supervisor, Professor Martin Fassnacht, for the continuous guidance and encouragement I received throughout the years as research assistant and doctoral student at his chair. He is genuinely committed to the research, teaching, and business projects on marketing luxury goods. I also wish to thank my second supervisor, Professor Walter Herzog, for providing valuable feedback and helping me broaden the perspectives on my research project.

I would like to express my appreciation to the Stipendienstiftung Rheinland-Pfalz and my home institution WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management for funding parts of my research project with a research scholarship.

Special thanks go to my friend and colleague Dr. Jerome Alexander Königsfeld. Throughout the years we shared an office at WHU, Jerome’s sense of humour and intellect was my daily dose of motivation. More than a companion on the road to completing this doctoral dissertation, Jerome has become a true friend.

Throughout my time as doctoral student, I am immensely grateful for having met and intellectually exchanged with my doctoral peers and friends Alexander Stich, Dr. Julia Gäckler, Dr. Kristina Schmidt, Markus Szajna, and Dr. Toni Schmidt. I also would like...

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