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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2017

Areti T. Vogel and Kittichai Watchravesringkan

This paper aims to uncover consumer evaluations of high-priced traditional retail luxury brands and more affordable neo-mass luxury retail brands when they imitate the…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to uncover consumer evaluations of high-priced traditional retail luxury brands and more affordable neo-mass luxury retail brands when they imitate the innovative designs of one another.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a scenario inspired by a lawsuit involving admitted copying practices, this study used a one-way (time of product introduction: the traditional luxury brand launches the product design before the neo-mass luxury brand vs the neo-mass luxury brand launches the product design before the traditional luxury brand) between-subjects experimental design to examine the effect of time of product introduction (such that consumers are aware of imitation practices) on brand attitude, brand equity (measured via the dimensions of brand associations, brand image, brand credibility and brand leadership) and brand preference.

Findings

Results reveal that consumer awareness of imitation practices is important in determining changes in brand equity, brand attitude and brand preference, regardless of luxury brand type. The research also indicates that consumers evaluate traditional luxury brands that engage in imitation practices more negatively than neo-mass luxury brands that do so.

Research limitations/implications

This research provides a deeper understanding of consumer response to imitation practices, along with managerial insight for luxury brands operating in that sphere. Limitations and future research directions are also offered.

Originality/value

This study appears to be one of the first to investigate imitation practices by using stimuli inspired by a copycat case, and one of few that assesses consumer evaluations of imitation by existing brands.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Jin Su, Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan, Jianheng Zhou and Maria Gil

The purpose of this paper is to understand US and Chinese young Millennials’ perceptions of and consumption behaviour towards sustainable apparel products.

5100

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand US and Chinese young Millennials’ perceptions of and consumption behaviour towards sustainable apparel products.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative research was conducted, and empirical data were collected from 590 US college students and 379 Chinese college students.

Findings

For both US and Chinese young Millennials, this study provides consistent empirical results of the positive and significant effects of young Millennials’ apparel sustainability knowledge and personal values on consumer attitude towards sustainable clothing, which in turn positively and strongly impacts purchase intention. In addition, a cross-cultural comparative analysis reveals similarities and differences regarding apparel sustainability knowledge and values between young Millennial consumers in the US and China.

Originality/value

The scale of environmental and social impacts from global apparel production and consumption makes sustainability increasingly important in the contemporary business environment. Young Millennials in the US and China represent large and influential consumer segments for sustainable consumption. This study contributes to the literature by surveying young Millennials in the US (developed market) and China (emerging market) in a cross-cultural context. The study offers insights into the global apparel industry in developing strategies for expanding sustainable apparel markets in the US and China.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 47 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 August 2019

Lina M. Ceballos, Nancy Nelson Hodges and Kittichai Watchravesringkan

There are numerous design principles that can guide strategic decisions and determine good product design. One principle that has received considerable attention in the…

Abstract

Purpose

There are numerous design principles that can guide strategic decisions and determine good product design. One principle that has received considerable attention in the literature is the MAYA principle, which suggests that consumers seek a balance of typicality and novelty in products. The purpose of this paper is to test the MAYA principle specific to various categories of apparel. By drawing from the MAYA principle as a two-factor theory, the effects of specific aesthetic properties (i.e. typicality and novelty) of apparel products on consumer response were examined.

Design/methodology/approach

An experimental design in three phases was implemented.

Findings

Results revealed that typicality is the primary predictor of aesthetic preference relative to pants and jackets, while both typicality and novelty are significant predictors of aesthetic preference relative to shirts, suggesting that the MAYA principle better explains aesthetic preference relative to shirts.

Research limitations/implications

Understanding consumers’ reactions to product design provides potential value for academics as well as practitioners.

Practical implications

Consideration of both aesthetic properties is needed when implementing the MAYA principle in apparel design.

Originality/value

Although studies have examined the MAYA principle relative to consumer products, few have examined how the principle operates relative to apparel products. The definition of a design principle, such as the MAYA principle, assumes that the logic proposed should apply to all types of products. Yet, this empirical study reveals that this is not the case when applied across different apparel categories.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 18 April 2016

Phillip Frank and Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan

With the expansion of globalization, the increased competitive environment has led to the diffusion of brands across borders and cultures. Furthermore, young consumers…

2677

Abstract

Purpose

With the expansion of globalization, the increased competitive environment has led to the diffusion of brands across borders and cultures. Furthermore, young consumers represent an optimal segment for the proliferation of global consumer culture (GCC). This paper aims to examine the relationship between acculturation to global consumer culture (AGCC), perceived brand equity, attitudes toward the brand and brand resonance in the global sportswear brands context among young consumers in the USA.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 394 undergraduate student participants ranging in age from 18 years to 24 years completed a multisectional structured survey. Model construct validity was tested using a confirmatory factor analysis. A structure equation model was used to test hypotheses and relationships.

Findings

Results showed that while cosmopolitan and self-identification with GCC dimensions of ACGG had a positive association with perceived brand equity, exposure to marketing activities of MNCs and global mass media exposure dimensions of AGCC had a negative association with perceived brand equity. Perceived brand equity also revealed a positive association with attitudes toward the brand, which in turn, affected brand resonance.

Research limitations/implications

The research used a sample of 18-24-year-old youth consumers. Future research could be extended to include younger (15-17-year old) sample to provide a broader sample of the youth market. In addition, future replication of findings should seek through cross-cultural investigation of multiple youth segments.

Practical implications

Findings suggest support multiple dimensions of the AGCC scale as holding significant influence on young consumers’ brand equity consisting of brand image and brand awareness. Managerially, the findings provide support on the youth consumer’s affinity toward self-identification with a GCC and cosmopolitan openness to foreign cultures as being positively related to the adoptions and retention of apparel brands.

Social implications

Theoretically, the results provide empirical evidence for the debate on the interrelationship between brand equity and attitudes toward brands. The theoretical model guiding the current study reflects the notion of an emerging acculturation process among a segment of the world’s population to a set of global consumer preferences and ideals that are increasingly being embodied in global brands.

Originality/value

This is among one of the first studies attempting to explore the applicability of Cleveland and Laroche’s (2007) AGCC concepts in predicting young consumers’ attitudes and behavioral responses toward global brands.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 January 2018

Hyo Jung Chang and Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan

Consumers’ environmental behaviours are not only the result of their positive attitudes towards environments, but also different reasons and motivations exist. Thus, the…

4763

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers’ environmental behaviours are not only the result of their positive attitudes towards environments, but also different reasons and motivations exist. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to find out important factors affecting sustainable apparel buying behaviour. Applying the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), this study further examines how knowledge about sustainable apparel, perceived money availability, and perceived accessibility to the store influence sustainable apparel consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a purposive college student sample, 235 usable responses were collected to answer the questions. An exploratory factor analysis with principal component analysis was first performed followed by confirmatory factor analysis, and a structural equation modelling analysis.

Findings

Results revealed that the TPB was successfully applied in the context of sustainable apparel buying behaviour. Furthermore, it was found that consumers’ perceived money availability and perceived store accessibility are important factors that affect control beliefs and sustainable consumption.

Research limitations/implications

This study found the needs of educating college students for contexts of environmental apparel and textiles issues.

Originality/value

Even though previous literature often found the gap between the behavioural intentions and the actual behaviour, this study found the respondents of this study walk their talk. This study successfully applied the TPB to explain consumers’ sustainable apparel buying behaviour.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 46 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 April 2011

Ruoh‐Nan Yan, Jennifer Yurchisin and Kittichai Watchravesringkan

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this study aims to understand whether and how sales employee clothing style would influence consumers' perceptions of store…

4045

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold. First, this study aims to understand whether and how sales employee clothing style would influence consumers' perceptions of store image through their expectations of service quality. Second, this study hopes to uncover how fashion orientation would influence the aforementioned relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

A 3 (formality of employee clothing: formal vs moderate vs casual) × 2 (level of fashion orientation: low vs high) between‐subject experiment design was conducted. Data were collected from 105 university students in a laboratory setting.

Findings

Results indicated that formality of employee clothing (i.e. formal business, moderate, or casual attire) served as a cue in the retail environment for consumers to make inferences about the service quality expected to be provided by the sales employee. Furthermore, formality of employee clothing both directly and indirectly influenced consumers' perceptions of store image.

Research limitations/implications

This study adds to existing literature by uncovering the moderating role of fashion orientation in consumers' service quality expectations and confirms the function of service quality as an antecedent to store image.

Practical implications

Retailers should pay attention to the design of their salespeople's clothing because different clothing styles draw forth different evaluations from customers about the service quality provided in retail stores.

Originality/value

This study investigates the role of clothing formality in influencing consumers' service quality expectations.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 September 2010

Kittichai (Tu) Watchravesringkan, Elena Karpova, Nancy Nelson Hodges and Raedene Copeland

Recent liberalization of the world's textile and apparel trade policies and the consequent changes in trade patterns posited threats to smaller textile‐ and…

6572

Abstract

Purpose

Recent liberalization of the world's textile and apparel trade policies and the consequent changes in trade patterns posited threats to smaller textile‐ and apparel‐exporting nations, including Thailand. Thus it is important to understand how the new trade environment affects the competitiveness of Thailand's apparel industry. This study seeks to provide insights into how Thailand's apparel industry has responded to increasingly fierce global competition by drawing on Porter's theory of The Competitive Advantage of Nations.

Design/methodology/approach

To assess the competitiveness of the Thai industry, the study triangulated data from various sources, including secondary statistics, media reports, and relevant industry publications. In‐depth, semi‐structured interviews were also conducted, and participants included key executives from Thailand's apparel industry, government officials, and academics. The interviews were conducted at various locations in three Thai provinces: Bangkok, Nonthaburi, and Samutsakorn, over a two‐week period.

Findings

Findings revealed the existence of four determinants supporting the Thai apparel industry: basic v. specialized factors; sophisticated and demanding consumer market; the presence of interdependent economic agents; and strategies and structure of Thai companies and domestic rivals. These four determinants are identical to the “diamonds” outlined in Porter's theory of The Competitive Advantage of Nations and a new source of competitiveness. Furthermore, the Thai government was found to play an important role, by providing support to enhance the global competitiveness of Thai companies.

Originality/value

The study is among the first to attempt to provide insights into the competitive national advantage of the Thai apparel industry. Based on the findings, the outlook is positive for the continued success of Thailand's apparel industry in the global arena.

Details

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1361-2026

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Chawanuan Kananukul, Sojin Jung and Kittichai Watchravesringkan

This study aims to propose and empirically test a cognitive-behavioral model of the perceived benefits of social networking sites (SNSs), trust in SNSs, brand trust, brand…

2981

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to propose and empirically test a cognitive-behavioral model of the perceived benefits of social networking sites (SNSs), trust in SNSs, brand trust, brand loyalty and customer equity in the context of fast fashion brand communities in Thailand. Using a structural equation modeling (SEM) technique, a proposed model was successfully established. Importantly, this research delineates the mediating role of the relationship between the perceived benefits of SNSs and brand trust, as well as emphasizes the importance of trust in generating customer equity. In addition to its theoretical contribution, this study also provides practical implications for brand managers to develop customer equity through their brand pages on SNSs. Limitations and directions for future research are discussed.

Design/methodology/approach

The online surveys were administered to Thai consumers. An email invitation with an embedded link was sent by the researchers asking receivers to participate or forward the survey to others who were interested in participating in the study. As the purpose of this study is to investigate interrelationships among SNSs benefit, trust and customer equity in fast fashion retail domains, only responses from those who were current SNS users and had visited fast fashion SNS brand communities in the past three months were considered for analysis. A total of 227 participants completed the survey; however, eight of those responses were incomplete. Thus, 207 usable responses were analyzed by using SEM.

Findings

Thai SNS users who believe they receive practical and social benefits from engaging in SNSs were likely to trust the sites instead of directly forming trust toward the brand. However, perceived entertainment benefits did not influence trust in SNS. This study found that brand trustworthiness is not directly predicted by practical benefit from SNSs. Instead, brand trustworthiness is formed through consumers’ trust toward SNSs. Brand trust induces a high degree of brand loyalty for fast fashion brands, and those individuals with higher brand loyalty were likely to purchase the brand’s products more frequently as well as in a higher volume.

Research limitations/implications

Although the research included general fashion SNSs brand communities users, the samples are not fully representative. Particularly, the majority of respondents of this study could be college students; as such, this may have influenced the results. Thus, to enhance generalizability of the findings, the model should be examined using non-student samples. In addition, a greater number of samples will better reflect the actual demographic profile of SNS users. Second, although the study results generally support the proposed model, the results are necessarily limited to the study’s context, which is Thailand. Likewise, the study needs to be replicated with consumers in other countries, particularly in countries with the fastest increase of SNS users such as India, Indonesia, Mexico, China and Brazil.

Practical implications

The results provide practical implications to apparel brands for establishing customer equity through their brand pages on SNSs. As discussed, consumer trust toward the SNSs is favorably strengthened by SNSs benefits (i.e., practical and social). Consumer trust in SNSs can impact how they perceive the brands and their purchase behaviors. This study encourages companies to strengthen consumers’ trust in SNSs by enhancing perceived practical and social benefits. In addition, companies need to closely monitor information/conversations about the product/brand being presented on their SNS brand community because the quality of information and conversation available in the SNS can affect consumer trust in that SNS.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the existing literature in the area of social media, trust, brand loyalty and customer equity in the context of the apparel industry. Importantly, this study uncovered the mediating role of trust in SNSs in a practical benefit-brand trust relationship, indicating that brand trustworthiness is not directly predicted by practical benefit from SNSs, but is formed through consumers’ trust toward SNSs. Brand trust induces a high degree of brand loyalty for fast fashion brands, which in turn, led to customer equity relative to number of purchases and purchase volume.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 June 2015

Nancy Hodges, Kittichai Watchravesringkan, Jennifer Yurchisin, Elena Karpova, Sara Marcketti, Jane Hegland, Ruoh-Nan Yan and Michelle Childs

– The purpose of this study was to explore strategies used by successful female entrepreneurs to manage the challenges of running a small apparel business.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore strategies used by successful female entrepreneurs to manage the challenges of running a small apparel business.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research design was used. Primary and secondary data were collected on small business in three countries: Russia, South Africa and Thailand. In-depth interviews were conducted with a total of 11 female small apparel business owners. Businesses ranged from tailoring and custom clothing shops, to small-scale design and production, as well as small apparel retail stores.

Findings

Three emergent themes highlight the similarities and differences that surfaced across the participants’ narratives. Key issues within the thematic areas point to the need for these women to be creative in finding resources to start and grow their small apparel businesses, and to manage the competition that they face within this industry.

Research limitations/implications

It is difficult to generalize the findings of this study beyond the sample. Implications of the findings for understanding the needs of female apparel entrepreneurs and small business owners are considered.

Originality/value

Despite the significance of women to the apparel industry as well as small business ownership, thus far, the role of women as apparel entrepreneurs and small business owners has been under-examined in the literature. This study offers insight into what it is like for women seeking to succeed as apparel entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Details

International Journal of Gender and Entrepreneurship, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-6266

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2016

Bonnie Canziani, Kittichai Watchravesringkan and Jennifer Yurchisin

This paper aims to explore a theoretical relationship among perceptions of consumer social class, the perceived legitimacy of customer requests for service and the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore a theoretical relationship among perceptions of consumer social class, the perceived legitimacy of customer requests for service and the delivery of intangible services. It focuses the discussion on service firm encounters with non-traditional consumers seeking to purchase from luxury brands.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews the literature for current trends in strategies of luxury brands and characteristics of evolving global and Asian consumer markets for luxury and neo-luxury goods and draws a theoretic model with propositions.

Findings

Evidence suggests that service providers can improve efforts to expand services to the newly rich and trading-up neo-luxury consumer markets by focusing on the intangible elements of the service delivery system. Particular emphasis is placed on enhancing employee treatment of neo-luxury customers during service encounters by understanding the influence of employee perceptions of consumer social class and evaluations of the perceived legitimacy of customer requests for service.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the theoretical discussion in luxury brand management by suggesting that employees are influenced by impressions of customer worth and other attributes when determining responses to customers during service encounters. Implications for practitioners and future research directions for academics based on the framework are presented.

Details

Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-4217

Keywords

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