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Japanese consumers' need for uniqueness: Effects on brand perceptions and purchase intention

Dee K. Knight (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)
Eun Young Kim (University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 15 May 2007




This study sets out to examine the causal relationships among consumers' need for uniqueness, brand perceptions, and purchase intention of a US apparel brand among Japanese Generation Y consumers.


A self‐administered questionnaire was used to collect data from 175 students enrolled at two Japanese metropolitan universities. A structural equation model using correlation matrix with maximum likelihood was estimated using LISREL 8.53.


Japanese consumers' need for uniqueness consisted of avoidance of similarity, unpopular choice and creative choice. The consumers' need for uniqueness was negatively related to the perceived quality, whereas the creative choice was positively related to the emotional value in perceptions of the US apparel brand. The perceived quality decreased purchase intention, while the emotional value increased purchase intention.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to students at two Japanese metropolitan universities and to one US apparel brand.

Practical implications

Consumer need for uniqueness may be considered when developing merchandising and marketing strategies for the Generation Y consumer cohort in domestic and international markets. A focus on emotional values can be successful in creating and maintaining a brand relationship with the focal consumer market.


Few, if any, studies exist that investigate Japanese Generation Y consumers' need for uniqueness and its relationship to brand perceptions. This study addresses perception of a foreign brand and purchase intention related to consumers' need for uniqueness.



Knight, D.K. and Young Kim, E. (2007), "Japanese consumers' need for uniqueness: Effects on brand perceptions and purchase intention", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 11 No. 2, pp. 270-280.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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