Prestige expenditure is a concept from anthropology that refers to the way in which individuals and groups use material possessions, such as clothing, jewelry, and other luxury goods, to signal their social status and wealth. Prestige expenditure is often used as a means of competition and signaling within a group, as individuals and groups seek to outdo one another in terms of their material possessions and displays of wealth.
Prestige expenditure can take many forms, ranging from the ownership of high-end cars and designer clothing to the hosting of lavish parties and the acquisition of fine art and other luxury goods. These material possessions serve as symbols of social status and wealth, and are often used to signal an individual’s or group’s place in the social hierarchy.
In many societies, prestige expenditure is an important aspect of social interactions and relationships, and plays a significant role in shaping social norms and expectations. By understanding the concept of prestige expenditure, anthropologists and other social scientists can gain insights into the ways in which material possessions are used to signal social status and wealth, and the role that these possessions play in shaping social relationships and interactions.
Luxury branding: A marketing professional might use the concept of prestige expenditure to position a product or service as a luxury item that signals social status and wealth. By associating the product or service with exclusivity, prestige, and wealth, the marketing professional can create a sense of desire and appeal that may drive sales.
Targeting high-income consumers: A marketing professional might use the concept of prestige expenditure to target high-income consumers, who are more likely to be interested in material possessions that signal their social status and wealth. By focusing marketing efforts on this demographic, the marketing professional can increase the chances of making sales to these consumers.
Creating limited edition products: A marketing professional might use the concept of prestige expenditure to create limited edition products that are seen as rare and exclusive. These products may be more desirable to consumers who are interested in using material possessions to signal their social status and wealth, and may be more likely to be purchased as a result.
Using prestige pricing: A marketing professional might use the concept of prestige expenditure to set premium prices for products or services, with the idea that the higher price will signal exclusivity and prestige to consumers. By using prestige pricing, the marketing professional may be able to increase sales to consumers who are willing to pay a premium for a product or service that signals their social status and wealth.
- Consumption and Its Consequences by Daniel Miller
- Consuming Culture: Why You Eat What You Eat by Jeremy MacClancy
- The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective by Arjun Appadurai