Part I: Luxonomy
The task of distinguishing between luxury and non-luxury and of categorizing luxury into different types is reminiscent of the job of taxonomists, who try to order organisms into groups based on their similarities and differences (Stace 1991, p. 5). "Taxonomy" is more generally used today for classifications of any types of objects of investigation, including, for instance, shopper motivations (Westbrook and Black 1985), vehicles (Pirotte and Massart 2004, p. 2) and luxury consumers (Han et al. 2010, p. 16). This part of the paper presents a taxonomy of luxury particularly for use within the field of luxury brand management. Starting from a basic definition of luxury, it distinguishes between the major understandings of luxury put forth by different areas of research, defines luxury products and brands and gives an overview of the major types of luxury products and brands and also of similar concepts. The definitions of "luxury products" and "luxury brands" should allow one to decide as best as possible, for any products and brands, if they are part of what is meant by these terms.
The Taxonomy of Luxury