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Luxury brands have the capacity to provide novel and meaningful emotional experiences which enrich consumers’ sense of self. This process is known as self-expansion, a strong motivational factor for developing and nurturing a relationship. As such, luxury consumption offers more than conspicuous or hedonic value; it contributes to an extended sense of self. Such benefit appears particularly attractive for millennials, who are at a stage in their lives when they seek out experiences and search for novelty combined with depth of perspective as well as doable challenges. This study, based on 229 millennials ages 25–39 years old, demonstrates how meaningful experiences strengthen the relationship with luxury brands through self-expansion and highlights the role of brand identification and the moderating effect of self-esteem. The findings shed a new light on the motivations behind luxury purchases, beyond projecting a social image. Luxury brands can also help millennials develop new perspectives, elevate one’s sense of self, enrich their self-concepts, and as such enhance strong customer-brand connection. This view becomes particularly relevant as a counterargument to some criticism to luxury consumption as linked purely to materialistic motivations.
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