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Signaling norm salience through perceived peer counterfeit consumption

Sameeullah Khan (School of Business, Woxsen University, Hyderabad, India)
Asif Iqbal Fazili (Department of Management Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, India)
Irfan Bashir (Department of Management Studies, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Awantipora, India)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 5 January 2023




This paper aims to theorize that millennials' counterfeit buying behavior is partly driven by perceived peer counterfeit consumption – the perception that counterfeit luxury consumption is a norm within members of their own generation.


The research is based on two survey-based studies: Study 1 investigates the phenomenon on young millennials (n = 438) and Gen X (n = 374) using moderation analyses in PROCESS Macro; and Study 2 is based on young millennials (n = 643) and runs a partial least squares structural equation modeling model.


The findings reveal that perceived counterfeit consumption within own (vs other) generation leads to greater counterfeit purchase intention and this effect is stronger for young millennials (vs Gen X). Counterfeiting values (materialism, counterconformity and morality) strengthen the impact of perceived peer counterfeit consumption on the counterfeit purchase intention of young millennials, thereby establishing counterfeit luxury consumption as a salient norm.

Practical implications

To modify perceptions about peer counterfeiting norms, normative messages must communicate counterfeit avoidance among millennials through social media influencers. Luxury brand managers must focus on the experiential value of luxury and pursue unconventional luxury inspired by a sense of rebelliousness and independence.


This work demonstrates that millennials engage in counterfeit luxury consumption when they perceive it as a salient consumption norm among members of their own generation. It adds a novel construct of perceived counterfeit consumption and demonstrates the role of generation as a normative referent. The article provides a values-based motivational account of conformity to peer counterfeiting norms.



The authors are thankful to the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their insightful and valuable comments.


Khan, S., Fazili, A.I. and Bashir, I. (2023), "Signaling norm salience through perceived peer counterfeit consumption", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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