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Title: An investigation of determinants of counterfeit purchase consideration
Author: Xuemei Bian [University of Hull] and Luiz Moutinho [University of Glasgow]

Journal of Business Research 62, no. 3: 368-378

Year: 2009


Subject/Type: Counterfeiting
Focus: Brands (non-deceptive counterfeits), Luxury Goods, Watches
Country/Territory: United Kingdom
Objective: To investigate determinants of the likelihood of considering the purchase of non-deceptive counterfeit branded products.
Sample: 321 shoppers in Glasgow
Methodology: Self-administered questionnaire distributed through the "mall intercept" method

Main Findings

The more positively consumers perceive the brand personality and product attributes of counterfeit Rolex and Gucci watches, the more likely they are to consider buying them.

The higher consumers perceive social risk (risk of being socially stigmatised when detected wearing a counterfeit watch) associated with counterfeit Rolex and Gucci watches, the less likely they are to consider buying them.

Additional factors influencing the likelihood of buying counterfeit Rolex or Gucci watches are brand category-specific: while perceived image benefit and financial risk influence the consideration of buying fake Gucci watches (given that Gucci is a fashionable luxury brand, the main consumer concern is whether or not the counterfeit version looks like the originals), satisfactory and functional benefit have more of an effect when it comes to buying fake Rolex watches (given that Rolex is a top-end luxury functional product).

The level of product involvement of the consumer and demographic variables (education, age, gender) were not found to influence the likelihood of buying either fake Rolex or Gucci watches.

The importance of brand personality when it comes to deciding whether to buy counterfeit luxury watches indicates that there is a greater chance that consumers will make a purchase of counterfeits over originals when they perceive the counterfeits as possessing a similar kind of brand personality. Manufacturers of original luxury goods should therefore try to differentiate their brand personality as much as possible from that of the counterfeit versions by emphasising the brand personality difference between the genuine and the counterfeit branded products. Typical users, brand endorsers, company employees and the company CEO are all able to influence consumer-perceived brand personality. Marketers should make clear the idea that the typical counterfeit users, counterfeit company employees and owners do not possess the identified personality traits (of the original brand), or even possess opposite or negative traits.

Original manufacturers should also emphasise the distinctive image benefits of genuine goods, and/or even the negative image benefits of counterfeits. Establishing a genuine, green and environmentally friendly image for the branded product can also be helpful.

[Date Added: Feb 19, 2009 ]