Consumer evaluations of trend imitation: brand equity, consumer attitudes and preference

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Kittichai "Tu" Watchravesringkan, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: Purpose This paper aims to uncover consumer evaluations of high-priced traditional retail luxury brands and more affordable neo-mass luxury retail brands when they imitate the innovative designs of one another.Design/methodology/approach Using a scenario inspired by a lawsuit involving admitted copying practices, this study used a one-way (time of product introduction: the traditional luxury brand launches the product design before the neo-mass luxury brand vs the neo-mass luxury brand launches the product design before the traditional luxury brand) between-subjects experimental design to examine the effect of time of product introduction (such that consumers are aware of imitation practices) on brand attitude, brand equity (measured via the dimensions of brand associations, brand image, brand credibility and brand leadership) and brand preference.Findings Results reveal that consumer awareness of imitation practices is important in determining changes in brand equity, brand attitude and brand preference, regardless of luxury brand type. The research also indicates that consumers evaluate traditional luxury brands that engage in imitation practices more negatively than neo-mass luxury brands that do so.Research limitations/implications This research provides a deeper understanding of consumer response to imitation practices, along with managerial insight for luxury brands operating in that sphere. Limitations and future research directions are also offered.Originality/value This study appears to be one of the first to investigate imitation practices by using stimuli inspired by a copycat case, and one of few that assesses consumer evaluations of imitation by existing brands.

Additional Information

Journal of Product and Brand Management, 26(5)
Language: English
Date: 2017
retailing, brand image, attitude, consumer brand equity, luxury branding, democratization, brand preference, copycats, dilution, trend imitation

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