Society, Psychology and the Propensity of Consumers to Purchase Famous Brands Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 21 April 2017

Society, Psychology and the Propensity of Consumers to Purchase Famous Brands

I. Introduction

            The dynamics of the market is undoubtedly a mixture of mass consumerism and product brand differentiation. Of the two, the latter can be considered as the outcome or the effect of the other; so much so that it has become the catalyst of making mass consumerism the defining characteristic of the capitalist system. Mass consumerism is a phenomenon borne out of the desire of economic firms to gratify the wants of an eccentric public. The only plausible option for the firms is to produce what the public desires to consume; to make its mechanics an arm of demand, and the market as a whole.

Thus, the firms, especially the manufacturing sector, not only want to sell its products on a temporary basis, but also consider making its products “stick to the minds” of the consuming public. With this purpose, every firm has in mind of making their brands popular to the public; a source of appreciation and criticism, a point of reference for other firms. Products brands therefore are both the catalyst and driving force of mass consumerism, the vintage point of all economic activities.

            While macroscopically the introduction of successful brands in the market has fostered somewhat permanent growth in the manufacturing sector, it has also some significant impacts in the day-to-day activities of the consuming public. Product brands less of their utility, and more of their expensiveness induces many members of the upper social stratum to make it as their status symbol; the symbol of their wealth and prestige of belonging to that group. For the middleclass men, it serves as the grounding point of their rise in the social ladder; buying low brand products combined with their rising income can become the stimulus to the acquisition of more expensive, high quality products; those which are considered successful brands.

For those belonging in the lower class, utility is more of a factor in purchasing a brand; a consideration that makes a brand, although inexpensive, profitable to the firm that produces it.

With such scene, it has become the practice of the government to legislate laws that will protect the standing of a specific category of commodities owing to its significance to the public; the state promotes protectionism because of the influence of a popular brand on a group of people. It had become part of the political process; an event that further the life span of the brand. Product brands therefore are not only appreciated by just a specific segment of the society but all, although the degree of appreciation may range from apathetic consumer behavior to one of favorable law and policy-making of the state.

            The success of famous brands in the market is a necessary element of the capitalist system; for without it capitalism is at its end. For one thing, capitalism promotes competition unhindered by government intervention; an environment where everybody can compete freely for “profit.” It is the nature of the capitalist system to be self-creating; as more and more quality products produced, the more competition occurs, and the more quality products produced. In this scenario, only few of the several products in the market will continue to be appreciated by the consumers. These product brands will enjoy a temporary period of mass accumulation of profit due to its apparent advantage with other brands.

In due time, new brands will appear to direct assault to the old, popular brand. When the new brand superimposed its dominance over the other brands, it will also enjoy a short period of relative prosperity; a prelude to its demise to a new, more quality brand. This cycle of brand introduction in the market fosters internal creativity; a self-perpetuating mechanism that ensures that products brands produced in the market is of quality, premium, and considerable utility to the consumers. Popular brands thus are not only standards of perfection and beauty but also a manifestation of the self-perpetuating nature of capitalism.

            Because popular brands has continue to manifest its effects both to the market and the individual consumer, there is a need to examine its dynamics, lest to analyze its very nature. Doing so would not only enlighten the consumers of the functions of buying popular brands (to the whole society) but also would foster an ever increasing renunciation of brands which claimed to be of superior quality but in reality of weak stature. A systematic study of popular brand is not only necessary but also urgent. The advertisement of product brands in the television has blurred the analytical capacity of the consuming public from delineating good from “bad” products so much so that it makes proper analysis difficult.

  1. Statement of the Problem/Hypothesis

            There are structural and psychological factors that influence people’s intense behavior in purchasing famous brands. The structural influences here would include the culture of a given society (what culture prefers as good), the political orientation of the government (whether the state is adhering to democratic liberalism or not), the relative standing of the brand in the market, and other institutional factors. Consumer preferences, opinion of the reference or queue group, and religion falls within the realm of psychological factors. In this general hypothesis, there is a need to limit the number of structural and psychological (and social-psychological) factors so as not to make the whole objective of the study focused and elaborative (specific indices will be given in the methods part of the study).

III. Objectives of the Study

Although the study has the general objective of determining the structural and psychological factors that influence people’s intense behavior in purchasing popular or famous brands, there is a need to spell out the specifics of that objective. Here are the specific objectives of the studies:

  • to determine whether one structural/psychological influence is associated with another structural/psychological factor in making the purchasing propensity of the product significant to the individual consumer;
  • to examine whether the quality of the famous brand is highly correlated with the perception of individual consumer;
  • to analyze whether the existence of a large number of competing firms affect the standing of the famous brand in the eyes of the consuming public;
  • to point out whether there is correlation between the length of time the famous brand dominated the market and it goal of creating the needs of the public;
  • to examine whether state policies do contribute to the demise of a famous brand in terms of its contributions to public welfare;
  • to determine whether the goals of the firms producing famous brands are translated into a generalized system of mass consumerism (which encourages people to continue to buy the product).
  1. Significance of the Study

            The study when finished can provide the public and the academe a detailed description, together with statistical measures, of the interaction between famous brands and the human behavior which is the determinant of its purchasing propensity. The implication: famous product brands should not be seen only as a phenomenon exclusive to the world of fashion nor to the economic realm, rather it should be seen as a factor that give social life a distinctive meaning.

Understanding what induces people to purchase famous brands may give us a clear picture why certain institutions of the society are viewing it as part of social development (like the government) or a phenomenon of materialism (like religion). Nevertheless, by writing a study about the purchasing attitude of the people of popular brands will not only give us a full description of the economy but also to be able for the significant institutions of the society to respond to more drastic changes, i.e. when new brands are introduced: an inducement for adaptive measures. Lastly, this study can become a reference point of future studies so long as it is related to the topic of this study.

V. Review of Related Literature

Light (1987) in his study concluded that structural or rather social variables of purchasing propensity of consumers of famous brands is highly associated with psychological variables. For one thing, structural variables condition the psychological orientation of a consumer; making him or her less attracted to unpopular brands and creating affinity to popular ones. Nevertheless, structural factors contribute a lot to the overall view of the consumers as regards to the quality, utility, and relative convenience of a brand.

Himes (1965) pointed out that a product brand’s quality is highly correlated with the perception of individual consumers with a specific value of 0.78. With such strength of correlation, it is noteworthy that a brand’s quality, its perceived notion of convenience and overall satisfaction contribue much to the general perception of individual consumers, translated of course into wide public acceptance of the product. Brands are chosen day by day based on their touching significance with the public and its responsibility to excellence (Morris, 2006)

The existence of rival firms, or more accurately the number of competing firms, has an impact on consumer choice behavior. In economic terms, it is probable that because there is a large number of firms, few firms can have a leeway advantage over the others (the assumption of a perfectly competitive market. The implication of such would be, the less likely for a specific brand to singlely control the market.

Because of this situation, firms try to outmode each other by producing brands that are of quality, commensurate of public opinion and the like. It seeks to create a value with a perceived attachment to consumers. Therefore to create value in the long term, the correct approach is to evaluate a brand’s strength and weakness, quantify the existing and future brand value within a market context and ask which and what value the brand can add to the company (Marazza, 2003). In this way, the firm can advance its product in the market and can monopolize consumer choice.

State policies can lead to the demise of a brand in terms of its popularity in an indirect ay through the concept of patenting.

It is possible for a newly established firm to command the choice of consumers. By way of advertising, it can make its product appear more reachable to the public; a stance that may give the firm the onset of success, toppling other frms that have been in the industry for a decade or two. “Branding alone may make a product successful” (Paparella, 2006). However, such instance cannot be measured as effective unless advertising is utilized. It needs to create an affective bond with the consumer through a kind of show; a show in the communication system. Thus, appreciating the connective effect of feelings is the secret at the back of distinguished branding and flourishing advertising, promotion and selling. By generating optimistic emotions, brand loyalty is generated (Schwertly, 2006).

Frances Brassignton and Stephen Petit (2003) mentioned that a brand signals to the consumer the source of the product and protects both the customer and producer from competitors who would attempt to provide products that appear to be identical. A brand can be patented by applying for intellectual property rights from the government. Once approved, the government will release a certification that the patent for that specific brand belongs to the inventor of that brand. The competitors, who may have once dominated the market, may lose its credibility among the consuming public, lest of the legal charges filed either by the government or the rival manufacturing firm.

Brands are able to capture the mindset of the consumers when it successfully translate its goals into a generalized system of mass consumerism; in short, when it enables to establish a system of continuous purchasing of the brand to the consumers. This is illustrated in a model made by Hahn (2005). Here the firm would want its brand to appear as though it delivers the potential benefits, values, and emotional satisfaction to the individual buyers, by of course highlighting the key attributes of the product.

According to Badillo and Gregg (2003), one of the key components of a brand is core values which is the foundation of the company, product or service and the pillars of every message being delivered. Another component is the brand message which is the overall key message that is being communicated such that all other messages should support and add credibility to the message.

This message can be considered to be the message of encouraging the individual consumer to purchase the brand that a specific company is producing. Nevertheless, brands produce messages that provides certain “promises” to the indidual. Magaret Campbell (2002), specifically concluded that for a brand to be regarded as a promise to customers, the owners of the brand should endeavour to live up to expectation by ensuring that high quality goods are associated with the brand.

  1. Conceptual Framework

Figure 2. Generalized Model of Consumer Behavior in Purchasing Famous Brands

Comparative Advantage of the Brand to other brands
Appeal to the Public
Product Quality
Cultural Preference (what does a specific culture prefers, i.e. Islamic culture prefers brands that meets the requirements of Muslim adherents
Political Orientation of the Government (Communist or Liberal Democratic)
Protectionist Policies of the State (patenting) and Inhibiting Tendencies (i.e. curbing monopolies)
Religion of the Consumer

Generalized Relationships

Process

Green: Social-psychological Factors

Blue: Structural Factors

VII. Methodology

 

            The triangulation method will be the method to be utilized in the study. It is composed of three general methods; survey, secondary data analysis, and in-depth interviews. Surveys will be conducted to test statistical measures; included of which are correlation analysis between two variables, multivariate analysis, and the use of Gamma (how much of the variance in the relationship is explained by a specific variable. The number of samples can be computed as follows:

N

                                             n = ————-

                                                       1 + Ne2

                               where N is the population size, 1 is the standing reference number

                        e as the coefficient of significance, and n as the sample size

The index that will be used to construct the questionnaire can be divided as follows (these are only examples):

  • Religion of Consumer
    • Superstitious beliefs on the product
    • Advice of religious leaders (on purchasing the famous brand)
  • Successful Transmission of Message/High Status of the brand in the market
    • Advertising Efficiency
    • Maintenance of the Brand’s Worth Value to Public Emotion

And other indices enumerated in the conceptual framework (there is a need to construct the indices found in the conceptual framework so as to substantiate the whole phenomenon of consumer purchase of famous brands). This is a prelude in constructing the study design (choice-point variables, variable deconstruction, etc.)

            The secondary data analysis and the in-depth interview of selected consumers can should in any way support the conceptual model illustrated above.

VIII. References

Badillo, Ann and Gregg, Amy. Health Logic Branding Roadmap. 2003. The Badillo

Practice and A1 Design Corporation.

Brassignton, F., & Pettit, s., 2003. Principles of Marketing. 3rd ed. England: Pearson

            education.

Campbell, M., 2002. Building Brand Equity. International Journal of Medical Marketing.

            Vol.2, Iss. 3; p. 208, 11 pp.

Hahn, Dennis. 2005. Identity-Driven Branding.

Himes, Joseph. Sociological Analysis of Product Purchase. NY: Macmillan Publisher’s,

            1965.

Light, Donald. Market Sociology. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1987.

Marazza, Antonio. 2006. The Very Tangible Value of the Brand. Landor Associates. Landor Knowledge, February 19, 2003.

Morris, Robert. 2006. Emotional Branding. Marc Gobe Allworth Press.

Paparella, Joseph A. 2006. Patenting, Branding, and Marketing. Patent & Trademark Attorney & Lawyers for Application and Infringement Services.

Schwertly, Scott B. 2006. Loyalty – Emotional Branding at its Finest.

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  • Date: 21 April 2017

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