Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

The Overlooked Component in the Consumption of Counterfeit Luxury Brands Studies: Materialism - A Literature Review

Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

The Overlooked Component in the Consumption of Counterfeit Luxury Brands Studies: Materialism - A Literature Review

Article excerpt

ABSTRACT

Trade in counterfeit luxury brands is perceived as a challenging issue to the luxury industry. As such, this paper sought to explore an often overlooked component of consumer behavior in the consumption of counterfeit luxury brands - materialism. An extensive and critical literature review was conducted that included contributions from different streams of management and marketing research. While researchers has noted that materialism plays an essential role in influencing purchase intention of consumer consumption of luxury brands, little is known about its role in consumption of counterfeit luxury brands. Moreover, the concept of materialism can be further dimensionalized to pertain to the motivation of indulging in counterfeit purchases. Through further investigation of the role of materialism in the consumption of counterfeit luxury brands, this paper also opens an agenda of directions that are worthy of research and will have academic, managerial, and social policy significance.

Keywords: Materialism, Counterfeit, Luxury

INTRODUCTION

Practical Background

The marketing practice of branding luxury products can be dated back to the Roman period when Roman winemakers put unique marks on their wine amphorae (Chaudhry and Walsh, 1996). Likewise, the first practice of counterfeiting can also be dated back to the same period when wine merchants from Gaul copied and put those unique marks on cheap local wines and sold them as expensive Roman wine (Phillips, 2005).

Counterfeiting of luxury brands has grown steadily in the past few years, regardless of the combined efforts of individual organizations and law enforcement agencies. Anti-counterfeiting forces have relentlessly pursued legal battles in many countries in their fight against counterfeiting. Despite their efforts, the consumption of counterfeit luxury brands continues to soar, worldwide. For example, in 2007, U.S. Customs seized over $200 million worth of counterfeit luxury brands; this was only the tip of the iceberg (BASCAP Report, 2009). In recent years, the consumption of counterfeit luxury brands continues to expand, worldwide, and is now regarded as a common act of consumption. Without reservation, counterfeiting luxury brands is one of, if not, the most critical issues for the luxury industry because it unlawfully takes advantage of the prestige of luxury brands and harms their tradition, identity, and image.

Objective and Structure

The objective of this paper is to:

. Identify theoretical gaps and opportunities for further research; and

. Draw managerial implications for the fight against the consumption of counterfeit luxury brands.

The remained of this paper is organized as follows: the second chapter provides a clear definition of counterfeiting, counterfeit luxury brands, and materialism. Following, is a comprehensive review of the academic literature regarding materialism, consumption of counterfeit luxury brands, and existing literature on materialism in the counterfeit context.

TERMS AND DEFINITIONS

By definition, counterfeiting is any unauthorized manufacturing of goods whose special characteristics, such as names, content, or signs, are registered to another party and, thus, protected as intellectual rights (Bian and Veloutsou, 2007). Counterfeit luxury brands are also known under several other names such as replicas, imitation, bogus, fakes, copy, and knock-off, and are often considered to be of poor quality (Lai and Zaichkowsky, 1999).

Richins and Dawson (1992) defined materialism as "the importance ascribed to the ownership and acquisition of material goods in achieving major life goals or desired states." As counterfeit luxury brands replicate versions of genuine luxury brands, the demand for such products should also be driven by the same values that consumers expect in a genuine luxury product. Previous studies on luxury brands have also indicated that consumer attitudes toward genuine luxury brands may serve a social adjustment function, a value-expressive function, or both (Shavitt, 1989). …

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