Status consumption and uniqueness : effects on brand judgement and purchase intention
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The purpose of this study is to assess Australian Generation Y consumers’ purchase intentions towards luxury apparel brands in an effort to determine the effect brand perceptions (brand judgement and emotional value) have on status and non-status consumers.Students at a large Western Australian university completed a self-administered questionnaire. The questionnaire was divided into two sections: the first assessed the respondents’ need for uniqueness and status predispositions. The second used a visual stimulus to assess how brand perceptions affect purchase intention. A fictitious and an established brand were used to determine whether the familiarity of a brand influences brand perceptions and purchase intention. Further, the two brands were also independently examined.The findings indicate that brand familiarity plays a key role in determining the purchase intention of status and non-status consumers. Under the fictitious condition, status consumers were not found to have significant relationships with any of the variables except brand understanding, which relates to how the respondent feels the brand considers their feelings. In comparison, under the established condition, status consumers have significant relationships with both brand perceptions (brand judgement and emotional value) and purchase intention. The three dimensions of consumers’ need for uniqueness, namely creative choice counter-conformity, unpopular choice counter-conformity and avoidance of similarity, all had differing relationships with purchase intention under both conditions. Emotional value, however, was found to have the strongest and the most significant effect on purchase intentions under both the fictitious and the established conditions.This study is based on a student sample and thus it may not be representative of the entire Australian Generation Y population. Future studies should look to include a more generalisable sample. It also alluded to high prices in terms of purchase intention but did not look at specific prices relative to purchase intention; future studies should look at the impact price has on the purchase intention of luxury apparel.This study has achieved much significance. It measures and compares a fictitious and an established luxury apparel brand using a stimulus rather than a single image to engage the respondent. The comparison of fictitious and established luxury apparel brands is also a new concept for this category. This study looks at practical ways marketers can influence product acquisition behaviour in light of their need for uniqueness and status consumption behaviour. It has implications for advertising, product development and promotion campaigns and initiatives.
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