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A matter of love: consumers’ relationships with original brands and their counterfeits

Raquel Castaño (Department of Marketing, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)
Maria Eugenia Perez (Department of Marketing, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, Mexico)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Publication date: 4 November 2014

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore brand personality relationships in the context of original versus counterfeit products. Specifically, it investigates consumers’ perception of both original brands and their counterfeits.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors present four studies conducted with 657 Mexican consumers who own or have owned an original luxury-brand product as well as a counterfeit of the same brand. Data were analyzed through regression analyses, t-tests, correlation coefficients and one-way ANOVA.

Findings

Results show that consumers who voluntarily acquire both original luxury brands and their counterfeits transfer the symbolic personality traits of the original brand to the counterfeit, experience significantly higher coincidence between their personality traits and those of the original brand and also experience a stronger overlap between their overall self-concept and the original brand’s concept than with the counterfeit’s concept, and feel higher levels of love towards the original brands than towards their counterfeits.

Research limitations/implications

This study plays a relevant role in understanding how consumers form relationships with original and counterfeit brand products. Managers of original brands are advised to build their efforts around the idea of consumers’ love for the original brand, emphasizing issues of authenticity and congruence between consumers and their purchase decisions.

Practical implications

Managers of original brands are advised to build their efforts around the idea of consumers’ love for the original brand, emphasizing the trust element of a love relationship in order to encourage consumers to be “faithful” to the original brands.

Originality/value

This study provides insights into the relationships consumers form with brands and their counterfeits. This is novel because, so far, most of the studies on counterfeits have mainly sought to explain why and how consumers choose counterfeits instead of original brands.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would especially like to thank Dr Martin Reimann and the JCM review team, for their advice and constructive feedback on our research.

Citation

Castaño, R. and Eugenia Perez, M. (2014), "A matter of love: consumers’ relationships with original brands and their counterfeits", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 31 No. 6/7, pp. 475-482. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-05-2014-0970

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited