To investigate the influence of the factors discussed above on consumer attitude towards purchasing counterfeit products, this study surveyed a cross section of individuals in the city regarding their perceptions of counterfeit products. The research instrument adopted was questionnaire. The questionnaires, consisting of a hundred direct questions in Likert scale style, varying from 1 (completely disagree) to 7 (completely agree), were distributed to students on campus at several shopping centers.
Because the questionnaires, in most cases, were self administered, respondents were encouraged to answer all the questions provided. Due to this, a total of 95 valid and usable questionnaires were collected at the end of the survey. Of the 95, 30 were below 20years old, 45 between 21 and 25 years old, with the rest above 26years old. With respect to education, more than half of the respondent had at least high school certificate, and interestingly, almost all of them (about 80%) had purchased counterfeit product in the past. Results
Table I below presents the total number of questionnaires collated and the mean of responses for each of the variables under investigation. As presented in the table, the mean of respondents who rated superior quality, inexpensive trials and novelty as important factors for considering counterfeit products were 4. 4674, 4. 2211 and 4. 0053 respectively; while the respective standard deviation were 1. 16843, 1. 35759, 1. 17881 Table I To further measure the influence of these variables on consumer attitude towards counterfeit products, correlation coefficient was calculated for the variables.
The result indicated that all three variables significantly influenced consumer attitudes, with superior quality presenting the most significant influence. For superior quality, r = . 668, r = . 395 for counterfeit products as tryouts, r = . 653 for novelty (correlation is significant at the 0. 01 level for all variables . ) ? As obvious from the three scatter diagrams above, this study found a significant correlation between the superior quality of counterfeit products and consumers’ favorable attitude towards purchasing such goods.
Also, the study showed that consumers see cheap counterfeit goods as an opportunity to tryout products before purchasing them or in other cases, as a better opportunity to own products they, otherwise, will not be able to purchase. Discussion and Recommendations Counterfeiting is a growing global menace resulting in the loss of several billions of dollars annually. In finding the right tool to fight this menace, researchers and policy makers have focused on either the supply side or demand side of the problem, although, there seem to be more attention on the supply side.
This paper argued that demand is a major driver of supply and that by understanding the reasons and factors that encourage demand for counterfeits, the fight against counterfeiters will take a different and better dimension. In truth to this assertion, several authors have investigated the personal and social factors that influence demand for counterfeit products. In contribution, this study investigated the influence of three variables: superior quality of counterfeit products, using counterfeit goods as inexpensive trials before purchasing genuine ones, and novelty seeking impulses.
The result of this study established the hypotheses proposed earlier that these variables significantly influence demand for counterfeit products. It is an established fact that price and quality are two major determinants of consumer purchase behavior. However, by presenting consumers with superior quality products at lower prices, the tendency to purchase these counterfeits products will be considerably higher than the genuine product, because in doing so; the individuals will be receiving higher value for lesser money than if they have purchased the original.
It, thus, becomes easier for consumers to rationalize their actions. The case is also similar for the two other variables, counterfeit products offer consumers the chance of buying products they, ordinarily, will not be able to afford, or the opportunity to try the product before purchasing the original. In both cases, consumers are saving money and achieving their objectives. Recommendations It is apparent that, among other things, price and quality significantly drive demand for counterfeit products.
Manufacturers of genuine should strive to provide consumers with products of similar or even quality, compared to fakes, at reasonable prices. Manufacturers should also stress the fact that by purchasing fakes, consumers are increasing the cost of genuine products and destroying the jobs of several others. For as Xuemei and Veloutsou (2005) pointed out, consumers are also influenced by the desire to be accepted by significant others, by emphasizing the moral aspect of purchasing fakes, manufacturers can significantly discourage consumers from purchasing counterfeit products.
Conclusion Although, counterfeiting is a serious global problem, very little is known about why consumers choose to patronize such fake products. This study has shown that the superior quality of some fake products, their lower price, which enable consumers to try them out before buying genuine ones or to own products they would not have been able to afford, greatly improve consumer attitudes towards counterfeit products. It is recommended that manufacturers should strive to meet the quality and price of counterfeits to reduce the demand for fake products.
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