Nowadays, counterfeiting is more common to be seen in the complex marketing, and it is an increasing phenomenon all over the world, draws a large quantity of individuals’ attention. However, both men and women live in different regions share the different attitudes towards to the counterfeit goods, as well as the different gender. The article is more focuses on the female in Beijing and London and is aims to figure out how the variety different personalities influence their attitudes to the counterfeit goods through a comprehensive literature review about the background of counterfeit stuff and the basic relationship about the female’s personality and their shopping behaviours, followed by a well-organised research during a long period, which contains several phases in order to achieve the final goal of this meaningful project.
Key word: counterfeit goods; female personality; deceptive consumption; Beijing and London
The counterfeit market is an inconvenient part of the current complex global market, concentrating a lot of attention from different angles including culture, society, economy and politics. There are some articles focused on the why customers are willing to buy the counterfeit goods, and some show their strong position against the counterfeiting. However, there is few article addressing the relationship between female personalities and attitudes of counterfeit goods by comparison between different regions. This proposal aims to research whether the different personality leads the different attitudes to the counterfeit goods in two different places —— Beijing and London. This research proposal consists of two main parts. In the first part, a critical literature review would be provided, as well as the background of counterfeit market would be discussed. After that, the report will come up with a proposal in order to figure out how different personalities influence their values and attitudes to the counterfeit goods in Beijing and London respectively. It would be a complex process with some researches and surveys.
In the latter part, a feasibility analysis would be given to illustrate whether the proposal could be work and how could it should be proceeded. The whole article is to analysis how the different personality of women from two different cities could influence their attitudes to the counterfeit market. According to Juggessur, J. and Cohen, G. (2008), the style people seek plays a vital role in the development of counterfeit brand. The recent growth in demand of legitimate fashion items and the desire for the high-fashion brands provides the conditions essential of counterfeited goods. What’s more, fashion brands have control and dominate meanings to some fashion-enthusiasts customers to some extant. As Perez, M.E., et al (2010) claims that the consumers want to identify themselves with the halo from the corresponding status they would like to have. However, not all those consumers of prestige brands are willing to spend the money on those products.
That is the reason why counterfeit goods have a large market, and have an increasing quantity of consumers. The previous studies have shown that women tend to develop the brand involvements than men (Sherrod, 1989). Moreover, the previous studies have also suggested the relationship between women and fashion is closer than that with men (Thompson and Haykto, 1997). The desire to purchasing the fashion items of women are much more stronger than men, and female are easier to buy the counterfeit goods in seek for their fashion requires. That is why female would be more willing to buy the counterfeit goods to some extent, and it is the original idea of the whole report. It is surely different female has the different attitudes and preferences toward to same items, the counterfeit goods are not out of exception. As Xiao and Nicbolson (2010) suggest deciding that to make a decision what tosale in the market is a complex process that must adapt and change for surviving in a competitive market environment, and one of the steps in the process suggests the evaluation of the different behavioural and cultural selection.
Also, the study shows that different cultural background and growing environment contribute to the different individuals’ personalities. That is why investigate the different personalities of customers plays a meaningful role in the fierce competition marketing. This proposal has already outlined the meaning of counterfeit and the current situation about the counterfeit market, and this proposal is aim to figure out whether and how different personalities influence the different attitudes to counterfeit goods. For example, the person who is out-going and full of passion would be more willing to share their experience of purchasing counterfeit goods. However, the person who is shy and cautious could have less idea to buy a fake stuff, not mention to share with others. That is what the research needs to do through questionnaires and collect some source from journals and articles. How to do a valuable questionnaire is the most difficult part during the whole project.
How to find the suitable volunteers and how to collect the available data are the basic things need to considerate, followed by the efficient analyse of the massive data. To make sure the whole research can be done successfully, the sufficient previous preparation plays a key role for quality of the whole project. During the questionnaire part, suggested to be more cautious and careful when choosing the participant, and need have a critical analyse when facing the massive results. How to pick up the high quality of resource, and how to organise the valuable information to enable the studies become more reliable is not an easy work. It directly influences the final quality of project.
What’s more, the forms and questions should be circumspect designed firstly. The questionnaire should relate to the aim of the study, which is to find out how the different personality of female may influence the attitude of the counterfeit goods are. Besides, the participants’ basic knowledge about counterfeit market and goods is indispensable to the whole study. Only those participants with certain academic level and exactly understand the meaning of the project can contribute the statistic of the project. At the end, a reasonable timetable will be provided.
Counterfeits now are widely defined as an imitator of the genuine trademarked brand including packaging and label, which is extremely closely to the genuine one (Cordell et al., 1996; Chow, 2002). As Vagg, J. and Harris, J. (2000) mentioned, the counterfeit is an article extremely close copy the outlook and the whole design that could easily confused with the original manufactory one. There are several literatures researched about the current situation about the counterfeit market and the reason why counterfeit stuff are more popular in recent years while some articles are focus on the individuals’ attitude towards the counterfeit goods. According Vagg, J. and Harris, J. (2000), counterfeit goods contain many diverse categories and come to market in the last 15 years. Moreover, the issue of counterfeiting are more serious now can be identified in almost every field of market from computer software to drugs (OECD, 2007). In Europe, the majority of consumers who purchase counterfeit goods are women, and some of them even known that they were purchasing fake stuff (Atwal, G. et al 2009).
What’s more, they point out the differences between the genuine and the counterfeiting are small, especially the style and material. Even the good fakes are more expensive than the bad one, it still cheaper than the genuine items. The enormous price gap plays a leading role during the buying process (Gentry et al., 2001). Nia, A., and Zaichkowsky, J. L. (2000) suggests that there are two types of counterfeiting purchase: deceptive and non-deceptive. The situation of deceptive counterfeiting is that the consumer does not know the product is counterfeit when they buy it. These are quite common in drug or electricity market (Grossman and Shapiro, 1988). However, the main purchasing behaviour of consumers today is non-deceptive, especially the luxury brand. The consumers know it is a counterfeit one, but it almost as good as the genuine one with a relative low price. The majority of consumers who purchase counterfeit products, especially luxury brands, are desires to own the suggested social status of the brand (Cordell et al., 1996; Chadha, 2007).
The psychological elements occupied a significant part of the motivation of buying the counterfeit items. Especially for women, the psychological factors such as value consciousness, integrity, personal satisfaction and status consumption may influence the personal attitudes towards the counterfeiting goods. What’s more, gender also leads different attitudes of counterfeiting consumption habits. The men may more likely to buy the counterfeit computer games than women, rather than the fashion products. (Vagg and Harris 2000). The fashion items especially the luxury brands have a strong appeal to women. However, different personalities’ women may have different choices towards millions of fashion goods, as well as the counterfeit goods. Some of them purchase the fake Hermes or Chanel handbags are only for their dreams come true (Nia and Zaichkowsky 2000). The price of luxury brands products is too high for common people to afford.
However, the counterfeit product can offer a relative low price but almost as same as the genuine one. People believe that China is one of the main countries to produce lots of counterfeit goods and China represents one of the largest counterfeit producers in the world after the success of “market-orientated” (Anderson, 2004). In Beijing, there are two popular cloth-distributing places called “Silk Street Market” and “Zoo”. There are always full of youngsters due to rapidly updating pace of fashion and reasonable price. The young who wants to follow the quick step of the cat-walk show or the latest fashion show but without sufficient money love these places much. According to Atwal, G. et al (2009), saving money and social recognition are the key drivers of counterfeit consumption. Fashion would not exist anymore if the individual did not imitate each other (Juggessur 2009), and Fashionable clothing acts as a communication tools nowadays to some extent. Different people may have different psychological activities when buying or after purchase the fake stuff due to the different lifestyle and culture background.
According to Atwal, G. et al (2009), some British feeling guilty for their behaviour of buying fake goods, however, owning counterfeit goods are generally acceptable as a common social phenomenon. Meanwhile, the Chinese attitudes to counterfeit goods are more complex and contradictory. The Silk Street Market in Beijing is famous for making copies of famous designer and brand. As Wells and Fox (2009) claim that, brands are almost everything in China. The brand stands for status and looks stylish among the population, and studies have shown that the priority in choosing a brand is the status it stands for, in another word, the vanity. To talk about why Chinese interested in the fake stuff, the low price is the most crucial thing they care about (Wells and Fox, 2009). Atwal, G. et al (2009) also suggest counterfeiting as an increasingly socially acceptable part of fashion, and individuals are willing to share the positive experiences of purchasing some good counterfeits with close friends and families.
However, studies had shown that most British would feel guilty or awkward when their friends know they were wearing a fake cloth. It is due to the different personality of the customers, especially the main consumption group——women. The diversity personalities are significant in affecting the ability of decision-making by consumers (Miniard and Cohen, 1983). In some cases, the higher price makes consumers have a superior feeling as one of the few who can afford the product (Garfein, 1989). More specifically, the individuals, especially woman are always seeking for a unique treatment as a superiority, and this remarkable superiority can bring happiness to them. That is why the high-class haute are such popular nowadays with such a high price. The counterfeit market catch up the key point of women’s psychological, and therefore a variety of counterfeit goods are available according to the different personalities of women consumers.
However, there are little articles researched the relationship between personalities and attitudes, especially towards the female in Beijing and London. It is surely that Beijing and London have the different culture background, and female in these two cities has experienced different during the development of the forms of purchasing behaviour. In this project, some reasonable arguments suppose to be found, and it may be helpful to the further research about the female shopping psychological as well as the development of counterfeit market.
Methodology and feasibility
The investigation is an in-depth analysis of the relationship between the women’s different personalities and the corresponding attitudes toward to counterfeit goods in Beijing and London. To select an appropriate research methodology is a key point of the whole investigation. The supposed data of this research will gather from multiple sources, the interview would be proposed. Secondarily data is also collected through the reports or information from social network or journals about the counterfeit markets and manufactories in Beijing and London.
Data collected from multiple sources can enhance the completeness of the qualitative data. Because the subject in the project is the woman from two different cities in different countries, there is a large quantity of sources need to be collected, especially those via the secondary source. The sources are not only contain the key word of the title, such as the female’s attitude to counterfeit market, and the personality contributes different purchasing behaviours, but also may need to contain the psychological acknowledge and the different cultural influences.
The primary method of data collection is planned to include the semi-structured interviews with questionnaire. There could be50 female participants between the ages of 25 to 40 years recruited from London and Beijing. Each of the two cities are needed to have 25 participants. The majority of participants should be well-educated, And they are required to have the certain capable of purchasing the high fashion items. Because the proposal is based on the non-deceptive consumption, all the participants need to have a general knowledge to avoid the deceptive consumption, that is why they are well-educated. Besides, the reason to choose 25 to 40 years female is they are the main group of women who have the capable to buy both genuine and counterfeit goods and focus the fashion items as well. Moreover, the participant will be choose as the stratified sampling from the department stores or on the high street. It will only takes them about five minutes to understand the research aim and instruction, and then fulfilled the whole questionnaire.
2.2 Question design
About the questionnaires, it may consist of two main topics. One of them is the personality analyse. In this part, several self-assessment questions will be asked to figure out some part of the complex personality of the interviewees. The other part is the survey the interviewees’ attitudes towards to the counterfeit goods and marketing. There could be about fifteen questions and some of them may refer to consumers’ personal experience. To combine the answers from the questionnaires, a relationship between the personality and attitude could be hit, at least would have some useful information what is especially beneficial to the whole research. The suitable question plays a significant role in the questionnaire. It is the core of whether the questionnaire can be a valued one. There are 15 days to examine other’s work and successful samples, and then come up a cautious questionnaire to the subject. The question sheet is considered to contain the personality analyse and the attitude discussion.
3. Feasibility Study.
The predict amount of participant are 50 person, which means that the predicted available valued questionnaire is 50 pieces. However, it cannot be sure that everyone who did the questionnaire is reliable and can be trusted. In case of the unexpected thing occurs during the research, backup plan needs to be prepared – extra participants and questionnaire need to prepared.
In order to let the international participate understand the aim and meaning of the research, the questionnaire will be translate to the local languages which is English and Chinese. What’s more, choosing the suitable participants play a vital role in the whole survey so that the participants should be picked restrictly followed by the instruction requirement. Meanwhile, the questionnaire would try to be designed to be the question more attractive and more straightforward fro understanding and also we need to ensure the feedback become more directly and useful successfully.
Only when the interviewee understand what be asked and the propase of the questionnaire, can they offer the most valuable data and let the project continue successfully. The secondary data should be collect seriously. There are variety resource can be find through the Internet and in the library. How to select the suitable source is somewhat problematic, however, after massive reading and critical thinking, the available source can be selected soon. Do more prepare stuff is a strong ensuring to the latter work. Only to make sure each part of the project could complete prosperous in the right way, the whole project can be done as well as it supposed to be.
To finish the whole project, the process can be divided into nine steps. There is a timetable to help arrange the time more reasonable and let the plan more streakiness, ensuring the project being a success and meaningful research. The project has begun from the December 2012. 1. Prepare the proposal by 10 December 2012
2. Complete literature review by 20 December 2012
3. Design the suitable question in the questionnaire by 5 January 2013
4. Proof reading the questionnaire by 10 January 2013
5. Find the target interviewees by 20 January 2013
6. Complete the questionnaire and secondary source by 15 February 2013
7. Collect and analyse the feedback by 25 February 2013
8. Integrate the data by 15 March 2013
9. Complete final report 30 March 2013
The whole report is estimated to be finished before the end of March.
TOTAL: FOUR MONTHES
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