Little is presently known about customers’ expectations and the unspoken relevant factors which lead them to prefer or not sustainable luxury products. This study aimed to deepen the understanding of luxury consumers’ implicit intentions towards sustainability by using, for the first time, a neuroscientific approach applied to the luxury fashion domain. A greater cortical activity related to cognitive and emotional aspects was hypothesized for luxury sustainability-oriented consumers than for non-sustainability-oriented subjects when presented with sustainability-related cues. Sixteen luxury consumers were divided into two groups according to their sensitivity towards sustainability issues. They were asked to observe a set of 10 stimuli depicting sustainability issues and then to interact with a salesperson while their cortical activity was recorded by an electroencephalogram (EEG). Frequency band analysis revealed higher levels of beta, delta, and theta band EEG activity in temporoparietal than frontocentral areas when observing pictures related to sustainability and a specific right temporoparietal theta band activation for the Nonsustainable Group. An increased level of knowledge of sustainability themes was confirmed by the correct detection of stimuli valence and a significant presence of delta power when the salesperson explained the brand’s sustainable policy. The specific brain responses related to sensitivity towards sustainability and the different effect of knowledge on sustainability topics based on group differences are discussed here in light of emotional behavior.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited