Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 15 June 2010



Tiu Wright, L. (2010), "Editorial", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 13 No. 3. https://doi.org/10.1108/qmr.2010.21613caa.001



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Editorial From: Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, Volume 13, Issue 3

This issue with its international contributions from Finland, Mexico, New Zealand, the UK, and the USA contains rich insights into consumption, ethics in shopping behavior, consumer decision choice modeling, gender perspective with regard to small businesses, perceptions concerning people’s responses to colour and finally brand image associations. All the papers have in common strong conceptual and methodological underpinnings.

The first paper from Mexico by María Eugenia Perez, Raquel Castaño, and Claudia María Quintanilla explores the relationship between the consumption of counterfeit luxury goods and identity construction in the minds of consumers. What is it that makes people want to buy counterfeit goods irrespective of where they stand in terms of incomes or perceived social class status when they knowingly make decisions to seek out or to buy such pirated options? Price is not the only consideration as the authors delve into how the consumption of counterfeit luxury goods could allow consumers to gain real and symbolic benefits to aid the creation of their desired social images. The authors’ study took in 37 in-depth interviews with women who owned both originals and counterfeits of luxury fashion products. Their study explores how such consumers justify these purchases and develop for themselves what they think are positive self-images from their unethical or questionable behavior. The outlook is not encouraging for brand manufacturers whose products are being copied when there is projected growth in markets world wide for counterfeit goods.

Researching consumer ethics in their shopping is the subject of the second paper from the UK by Alex J. Hiller. The author considers the role of ethics in the clothing choices of consumers and the issues concerning social desirability bias. The paper provides a discussion of the methodological issues and the challenges involved in conducting the study and explaining the conversion of consumers’ beliefs or intentions into action. The result is an immersion into an interactive and ethnographic approach in data collection with consumers. The qualitative research in data collection and analysis includes the grounded theory approach. This paper is thought provoking in the way in which it utilizes various qualitative approaches to researching ethics with consumers.

From consumers to retailers, third paper by Nancy J. Miller, Terry L. Besser, and Sandra Sattler Weber is an examination of the retail sector with female-run small clothing apparel businesses in the USA. The study is conducted in Midwest US communities into the theoretical development of frameworks for networking and marketing strategies. The study is about small businesses, identifying their internal critical transformation phases and their external effects on retail member firms. Data are collected from several sources in a period of five years to show the evolution of relationships among retailers. This work makes a useful contribution in that it draws upon the literature about network studies, advances a case study approach and has empirical research collected over a number of years to substantiate its case.

The fourth paper carries on the theme of identifying consumer decision-making strategies while using both qualitative and quantitative methods in a complementary way. Alternative methods are proposed and carried out by Eva Zellman, William Kaye-Blake, and Walt Abell from New Zealand. The research investigated consumer decision-making strategies. Two decision theories: neoclassical theory and bounded rationality theory are discussed. The paper provides a discussion of how these theories could be used to explain consumers’ decision-making strategies in replying to surveys. The methodology employed was a computer-based choice survey given to university students and staff. Their task was to select a preferred potato from sets of potatoes with different attributes and to get their respondents to reveal their attributes. The survey was successful in data collection and analysis. This paper contributes in showing how quantitative work can work hand in hand with qualitative research and contribute to qualitative decisions.

The fifth paper delves into consumers’ product-specific colour meanings. This paper by Hannele Kauppinen-Räisänen and Harri T. Luomala from Finland illustrates the importance of colour to people in their consumption experiences. Their paper makes a valid contribution in advancing knowledge of consumers’ product experiences with regard to the role that colours play, as found on product packaging. Through qualitative research the data collection and analysis include the means-end and coding methods, respectively. Two decision theories are contrasted: neoclassical theory with its compensatory and optimising strategies and bounded rationality theory with its simplified and non-compensatory strategies. The research explains the use of such theories and assesses consumers’ decision-making strategies when completing a survey. It, therefore, makes a good contribution to the literature about the perceptions and meanings of colours when consumers are buying goods and their decision-making strategies.

Brand image associations for large virtual groups form the subject of the final paper by Jeffrey E. Danes, Jeffrey S. Hess, John W. Story, and Jonathan L. York from the USA. Research is with two specific groups contrasting two familiar fast food brands. There is an innovative use of projective-type, free-elicitation measurements of brand image to the virtual setting. The findings are not surprising in that the more favored brand received considerably more favorable free associations than did the less favored brand, but they do present a clear and detailed picture of how the individual members of the two groups were feeling. The methodology is the strong point of this paper. It is robust and sets a good example of a comparative study with consumers in virtual groups in the projective-type research that can be systematically analysed.

Finally, my thanks go to all the reviewers and authors as well as the Emerald staff who have contributed to making this issue a success.Len Tiu Wright

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