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Purchasing Luxury Goods: consumer behaviour of international students in the UK

By SRICHAN SRIVIROJ 2007

A Dissertation presented in part consideration for the degree of MSc in International Business.

Acknowledgement

I would like to express my deepest sense to my supervisor Dr. Nick Ellis for his patience, time, and guidance. I am also in debt for his valuable time in scrutinizing through this study, which could have never been accomplished without his excellence advice.

I would like to thank all the students that took part in collecting valuable data towards this research.

I am thankful to Thada Pongsawang for his recommendations and suggestions in every stage of my work.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to my beloved parents for their support and care, without them I would not have been able to complete my research.

Srichan Sriviroj

MSc International Business

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ABSTRACT
This study attempts to investigate young consumer behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products in three countries including the United Kingdom, Thailand and China. It describes the results from a survey of 144 students at various Universities in the UK. Snowball sampling method was applied to distribute online questionnaire. In this study, the statistical data analyses in a form of SPSS with the help of Microsoft Excel were conducted by applying a method of inferential statistics T-test and F-test. The combinations of qualitative and quantitative were used to aid the explanation of the results. This work mainly focuses on culture, motivation, status and material consumption, generation Y and gender. It indicates that there has been a change in culture suggesting that Eastern consumers purchasing preferences appears to imitate Western style behaviour. In terms of purchasing luxury brand items, UK and Thai consumers seems to have the same motivational factors whereas Chinese respondents show a different perspective. Status and materialistic consumption have been identified to show respondents behaviour and the purpose to why they purchase luxurious products in which UK and Thai respondents do not purchase products to show status or for possessive reasons; however, some Chinese respondents have shown some relation. The focus on generation Y has been applied to this study to show that teens have the same purchasing preferences and that products can be standardized worldwide. Additionally, there seems to be no relation towards gender and consumers behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products.

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CONTENTS __________________________________________________________
Abstract Contents Table Contents CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION......1 1.1 1.2 1.3 Overview. .1 Research Contribution and Objectives..2 Structure of the Research..4

CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW...6 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Introduction6 Gender7 Differentiating Status Consumption and Materialism8 Generation Y..9 Consumer Motives...10 2.5.1 2.5.2 2.6 Interpersonal Effects.12 Personal Effects14

Culture..17 2.6.1 2.6.2 2.6.3 2.6.4 2.6.5 2.6.6 Independent and Interdependent Self Concepts18 Individual and Group Needs.19 The Legitimacy of Group Affiliations..19 Hierarchy..20 The Value of Humility.20 Face..21

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Chapter Summary25

CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY...29 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Introduction.29 Research Method.29 Data Collection32 Sampling.34 Questionnaire Design..36

3.6 3.7

Ethical Awareness..38 Chapter Summary39

CHAPTER 4: RESULTS AND ANALYSIS40 4.1 Quantitative Results..40 4.1.1 4.1.2 Demographic characteristics of respondents40 Consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products.43 4.1.3 4.2 Hypothesis testing........57

Qualitative Results..63

CHAPTER 5: DISSCUSSION..68 5.1 How culture difference between Eastern and Western countries influence consumers into purchasing luxury brand products?.......................................................................................68 5.2 What are the motivational factors that encourage young consumers into purchasing luxury brand products?.......................................71 5.3 Is there other factors that influence young consumer into purchasing luxury brand products?................................................74 CHAPTER 6: Conclusion, Limitations, Future Recommendations, and

Managerial Implications77
6.1 conclusions77 6.2 Limitations.78 6.3 Future Research Recommendation79 6.4 Managerial Implication.79

APPENDIX

Appendix 1: Questionnaire..81

References.83

TABLE CONTENTS
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Table 1: Frequency and percentage of respondents classified by demographic characteristics Table 2: Percentage of respondents classified by gender in each country Table 3: Mean, standard deviation and respondents perspective on Status and

materialistic consumption Table 4: Mean, standard deviation and consumer perspective on Young Consumer Table 5: Mean, standard deviation and the level of respondents perspective on Motivation Table 6: Mean, standard deviation and the level of opinion on Culture Table 7: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences between groups of gender Table 8: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (UK) Table 9: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (China) Table 10: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (Thailand) Table 11: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences among five groups of frequency in purchasing luxury products

Chapter 1: Introduction
1.1 Overview

During the early years, luxury products were considered a privilege to possess. As explained by Nueno and Quelch (1998) the word luxury was applied to products that were rare and scarce which were only presented to minor individuals. However, since time has changed and the luxury goods market has grown considerably, luxury products have been more affordable for middle class consumers. Additionally, the contribution of the Industrial Revolution played a key role in bringing in more wealth, which made luxury products more achievable for all consumers (Hauck & Stanforth, 2007). For example, in the United Kingdom, middle class consumers have increased by 50% towards the purchasing of luxury products (Keane & Mcmillan, 2004). However, it is still unpredictable how middle class consumers determine what luxury products are (Hauck & Stanforth, 2007). Silverstein and Fiske (2001) stated that the increases in luxury purchases are influenced by social and business factors. In regards to the changes of the luxury goods market, the definition of luxury was also redefined. Twitchell (2003, p.43) explains that luxury is things you have that I think you shouldnt have. There are many products that are considered as luxury, which makes the market size undeterminable. The varieties of products include automobiles, food, jewellery, fashion, and accessories. Frank (1999) noted that cars and homes are some of the emerging luxury features that are consumed. Individuals are influenced according to the important events and moments that occur in their lifetime (Meredith and Schewe, 1994; Ryder, 1965). These moments and events may include war, economy, superstars, icons and technology that influences individuals perceptions and values. Additionally, the significant influence that individuals will recall occurs between their adolescent and early adulthood years, that they will never forget for the rest of their lives (Schuman & Scott, 1989). Researchers have discovered that culture has been amongst one of the most popular categories in influencing individuals perceptions (Hauck & Stanforth, 2007). In regards to the research, it is important to include Western and Eastern countries to compare different individuals behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand

products. Thus, the United Kingdom (UK) is included in this study is because it is a part of the Western culture, which contains the highest amount of millionaires (47,000) that purchases luxury goods (The Guardian, 2005). Eastern culture such as China is included since the country has a mass population of 40 million Chinese consumers who purchases luxury brand products (The Guardian, 2005). Additionally, this figure of consumers has been predicted to rise to 160 million between the next five years (Matheson, 2007). Thailand is also apart of this study as it is a part of the Eastern culture. It is one of the developing and Newly Industrializing Countries (NICs), which received considerable changes in culture, lifestyle, and behaviour towards luxury consumption (Timmer, 1998). From the perspective of marketers, in targeting individuals desires is a part of a valuable technique (Noble & Schewe, 2003). Individuals influence from moments and events, should be taken into consideration in developing luxury products. Defining luxury products, in terms of the middle class consumers will gain marketers advantage in product specification. Kemp (1998) explains that identifying products, which are luxurious, would help marketers to indicate the boundary in price setting (Kemp, 1998).

1.2 Research Contribution and Objectives

Findings of overall previous research indicate that most of the studies are based on target groups of American consumers and emerging countries such as China. In response to these studies, the purposes of these investigations are that America has a strong foundation of affluent people. Similarly, consumers in China have become wealthier, accepting Western style culture as a part of a growth in economics (Debnam & Svinos, 2006). Affecting a vast amount of previous research, individuals preferences plays a key role in purchasing luxury goods as well as culture. Individuals preferences may be based on desire and non-desires, which are based on experience in purchasing luxury items from their satisfaction, or non-desire such as bias towards brand products (Anurit et al., 1999). Consumer behaviour towards luxury goods can also be affected by age. Different age groups may view luxury items differently. Mature age groups may view luxury products differently in comparison

with todays teenagers, due to the effect of technology that the previous generation did not have (Hauck & Stanforth, 2007).

In contrast, the differences between previous researches and the research being undertaken is that a small amount of investigations focused on international students as a part of their study. In addition, comparisons between Western and Eastern countries were minor. The focus on the investigation is going to fill the gap by emphasizing the differences between Asian countries and the UK with dissimilar cross-cultural behaviour. This research has limited range of age groups concerning late adolescent between ages 18 to 25, which is known as generation Y. Most previous research ignored motivation factors that affected consumer behaviour in purchasing things that is not necessarily needed in other words, luxury (Twitchell, 2003, p. 43). However, this research will define in depth motivation factors such as fashion, image (face), and media.

The purpose of this study is to uncover consumer behaviour of young respondents who purchase luxury brand products. Additionally, the specific countries that will be focused on are the United Kingdom, China, and Thailand.

This study aim to investigate the following:

How culture differences between Eastern and Western countries influence consumers into purchasing luxury brand products. What are the motivational factors that encourages into purchasing luxury brand products and the comparison between young consumers from Western and Eastern countries. Other factors that influence young consumers into purchasing luxury brand products.

1.3 Structure of the Research

This research will consist of six main chapters that include: introduction, literature review, methodology, results, discussion, and conclusion.

Chapter 1: Introduction. Includes an overview of the overall luxury market, individuals behaviour, and the division of culture. Additionally, a minor contribution towards marketing will be discussed.

Chapter 2: Literature Review. Firstly, will discuss a comparison between status consumption and materialism. Secondly, as the main topic is focusing on students, the Generation Y will be mentioned. Thirdly, consumer motives will be discussed. This part of the research consists of two major parts: interpersonal and personal effects. Finally, culture, which is considered to be one of the most important topics, will be explained.

Chapter 3: Methodology. This section will explore the methodology, which firstly will discuss the research method. The next topic will consist of data collection, which is divided into three topics: primary data, secondary data and statistical data analysis. Next, the sampling topic will be discussed, and lastly, the questionnaire design will be examined. Additionally ethical awareness will be taken into account. Finally, a summary will conclude the overall chapter.

Chapter 4: Results and Analysis. This part of the study will explain the data that has been gained from the questionnaire that has been distributed. The results have been separated into 4 sections; part 1 includes demographic characteristics of respondents, part 2 contains consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products in regards to status and materialistic consumption, young consumer, motivation and culture. Part 3 comprises of testing of the hypothesis, and finally, part 4 qualitative results will discuss the overall results from the three open-end questions that are included in the questionnaire.

Chapter 5: Discussion. This chapter will be divided into three main sections to discuss the findings based on objectives in order to examine whether previous research is consistent with the findings in this study. The first section will explain, How culture difference between Eastern (China and Thai) and Western (UK) countries influence consumers into purchasing luxury brand products? Then, What are the motivational factors that encourage young consumers into purchasing luxury brand products? will be discussed to explain similarity and differences in motives of UK, Thai and Chinese respondents. The last section will explain other factors including status and material consumption, generation Y and gender that also have an impact upon consumer behaviour in three different countries purchasing luxury brand goods.

Chapter 6: Conclusion. This chapter will summarise the overall findings from the discussion chapter along with limitation of this study. Also, various important findings from this study that would be beneficial for further study in this field will be appeared in future recommendation topic. Finally, many strategies that would be useful for marketers to apply in luxury market will be suggested in the managerial implication section.

Chapter 2: Literature Review


2.1 Introduction

The explanation for individuals consumption process is seen to be a complex construct (Allere, 1997 p.61). Holt (1995) simplifies the matter and divided consumption into two different views, economic and symbolic. Firstly, in relation to economics, Holts (1995, p.1) suggests, products provide particular benefits. Secondly, in relation to symbolic he stated that products are conceived as vessels of meaning that signify similarly across all consumers. Further, Alleres (1997, p.53) explains that through the consumption process as resulting in purchasing products depends on three factors: culture, income, and the exposure to information. Culture affects human behaviour in many ways (Craig & Douglas, 2006). However the impact of culture and how to determine culture is difficult to understand because of its bond to all facets of human existence. According to Usunier and Lee (2005) culture has evolved as social, political, economical, and technology has reshaped the cultural landscape. Since there has been a considerable change and increase in technology, expanding networks, and mass communication, it has caused an alteration in cultural boundaries (Hermans and Kempen, 1998), and linkages between cultural individuals. Additionally, as individual members of cultural groupings migrate from one country to another it causes an even more obscure vision of cultural boundaries. This is because when individuals migrate and bond with others they bring their values, behaviour, and interest with them, which are interchanged. It is also considered that a large extent in consumers purchasing is dependent on their income. Dubois & Duquesne (1993) note that income is seen as a factor that constraints individuals in pleasing their consumption needs. Additionally, one of the reasons that many people is constraint to purchase luxury goods are because luxury goods are produced to initially target upper class clienteles. The exposure of information is different in each country. For example, advertising influences behaviour of young consumers to imitate celebrities and role models that have been broadcasted via television.

In this study, the literature review will contain aspects that affect consumers in purchasing luxury items. Firstly, the role of gender will be examined. Secondly, it is important to briefly discuss the differentiation between status consumption and materialism. As for the purpose of the research is on students, generation Y consumers have been focused upon. Next, in the decision making process for consumers, the consideration of consumer motives has been taken into account. Lastly, major attentions have turned towards culture, which affects all consumers in purchasing luxury goods. In association with culture, concentration on Eastern and Western consumers have identified that face is considered as a factor that have different degrees of importance. 2.2 Gender The role of gender towards purchasing luxury brand products is considered important from the prospect that women seem to purchase luxury brand products more often than men, simply because women shop more than men. Woodruffe (1997) explains that the perspective of shopping has changed over the years and has often been described as a leisure activity. Women consider shopping to be important in their life because they are able to have their own personal space, and a sense of self (Falk and Campbell, 1997). One of the main reasons that women shop is because of their desires towards fashion (Phillips, 1997), and to follow fashion trends. Additionally, Fischer and Gainer (1991) express that women like to shop because they are able to gain an identity. As there has been changes taken place in society towards fashion and shopping, Firat (1993) stated that even men believe that consuming products is important to identify individuals. Research by Fischer and Arnold (1990) have discovered that men who are less traditionalist are willing to go Christmas shopping, although women still seems to dominate the role. Studies by Campbell (1997) suggests that men have less desires to shop than women because men view shopping as effeminate.

Although both men and women consider consuming products is the act to identify individuals, consumption can also be divided into two types; status and materialistic consumption.

2.3 Differentiating Status Consumption and Materialism

Materialism is defined by Belk (1985) as having three characteristics (no generosity, envy, and possessiveness). Although Belk (1985) did not mention status directly, he did indicate that the more materialistic consumers are, the more luxury products they would consume. Materialistic individuals consume products for status and non-status propositions.

Richins and Dawson (1992) define materialism in relation to consumer value that consists of achievements that result in happiness through possessions and success. Although status is significant in Richins and Dawsons (1992) research, status does not entirely explain materialism.

Consumers purchasing for status has only desires for products that are in requirements for status purposes. Materialist consumers view possessing products is important to their well-being. Wallendorf and Arnould (1988) explain that possessions bring meaning in materialistic consumers, and the purpose of items can be used in many ways such as entertainment, safety, and shelter. In contrast, status consumers have more emphasis on items that will enhance individuals status levels, in which they would associate themselves to status quality products (Kilsheimer, 1993). To sum, possessions are related to materialistic consumers more adequately than status consumers. Thus, the explanation of status consumption can be through individuals consuming status products whereas materialism expresses that consumers purchase all items whether status or non-status, resulting in a distinctiveness between status consumption and materialism.

The luxury market is vastly increasing, and there have been significant changes towards consumer behaviour (Strauss & Howe, 1999). One of the most concerning portion of the market has been focused on the generation Y since there has been changed in the disposable income towards spending on luxury brands (Tomkins, 1999).

2.4 Generation Y

Horovitz, (2002) describes that generation Y (born between 1977-1994) are individuals that have a free spending spirit and consist of 71 million 8 to 25 year olds. Although there are a mass amount of generation Y consumers, the wealthiest group of people are between the ages of 19 to 25 year olds who are either employed in full time jobs or part time work. Those who are either part time or at full time work are college students (Martin & Turley, 2004). Students often take up part time work to find extra funding for their excessive spending. Usually students who work full time are employed during the university holidays or breaks. On average 80% of students attending college or university are employed (Martin & Turley, 2004). Additionally, these young consumers tend to be familiar with credit cards and technology (Weiss, 2003). This is consistent with a study conducted by Kara et al., (1994) stated that there has been a constant rise of accessibility of credit cards to target young adult market since 1980s. Likewise, retailers have created their own store card offering interest-free period. Moreover, the government in some countries attract indebtedness, such as in the UK, through the availability of student loans. The accessibility of credit card is known as a contributory element in the trading-up and overspending constructs (Bakewell & Mitchell, 2003). However, the mass of influences that affect the generation Y consumers is the media. The media could include a wide range of technology.

Marketers are the major people who contribute to the matter of influencing consumer behaviour through the knowledge of fashion. The reason is that teenagers are concerned about fashion value more than any other age groups (Koester and May, 1985). The media, which includes the internet, mobile phones, and satellite television are some technology that generation Y consumers value (Meredith and Schewe, 2002). The valuation of technology such as television has affected viewers in relation to materialism among adolescents, and the duration of viewing television programmes consists of seven hours a day (Nielsen, 1995). Individuals are affected by television, and the possibility is that the more viewers consume television it is more likely that they will reflect their perceptions in reality as they have seen in television world

(Schrum et al., 1991). Additionally, OGuinn and Shrum (1997); Wells and Anderson (1996) stated that what is televised in association to characters and materials represent the more affluent well-beings. Wysocki (1997) explains that there has been an increase in addiction to technology such as MTV (music television) and internet chat rooms that homogenise individuals preference and attitudes. As there is an increase in homogenisation and technology such as MTV and internet chat rooms is distributed worldwide, it has created great similarity between teens in different nations than older people in the same country (Anderson and Hee, 1998). Such homogenisation has created global teen values, expressing independence, self expression, openness to new ideas, and teen cultural values (Meredith and Schewe, 2002). The concept of global teen values could attract marketers to target the teen industry with luxury and expensive products. For example, commercialising on MTV and shows that would attract consumers to buy luxury products that are associated with celebrities and heroes. The effect would cause standardisation in product consumption hence MTV is televised worldwide and the same message would be put across so that all teens would have the same desire across the world.

In order to understand the generation Y consumers, it is also important to consider factors that motivate these individuals towards the purchasing of luxury goods. Individuals view the word luxury differently depending on their socioeconomic background. In the marketing context, consumers view the meaning of luxury goods through either peoples interaction such as aspired and/or peer reference group, or object property such as product quality and hedonic value. Luxury consumers behaviour has motivated particularly in sociability and self-expression (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999).

2.5 Consumer motives

This section will be significantly based on an investigation conducted by Vigenron and Johnson (1999), which largely aid this study in discovering consumer motives towards purchasing luxury brand products.

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Leibenstein (1950, p.188) classified demand of goods and services consumption in relevant to motivation into two main aspects: functional and nonfunctional. Functional demand is demand for a commodity which is due to the qualities inherent in the commodity itself. On the contrary, demand of goods consumption that comes from other factors, which is not the product quality, is defined non-functional demand. Additionally, Leibenstein (1950) suggests that external effects on values are the most important non-functional demand. This can be further explained by two situations. Firstly, the product has increased or decreased due to the quantity of consumers purchasing the same products, and secondly the product has a higher value.

The outcome from Leibenstein's (1950) study especially stresses the role of interpersonal effects towards luxury brands consumption, and derived three main effects; Veblen, Snob, and Bandwagon. In addition, a study conducted by Vigenron & Johnson (1999) included the conceptualized framework on two main personal effects: Hedonist and Perfectionist. The importance of the role of interpersonal effects, and personal effects will be discussed in more detail below. Self-consciousness concept is used to represent consumers response towards social influence (Brinberg and Plimption, 1986). Vigenron & Johnson (1999, p. 3) describe self-consciousness as the consistent tendency of persons to direct attention inward or outward. This theory can be classified into two types of self-conscious people: publicly selfconscious and privately self-conscious persons. The former is concerned about their appearance to others but the latter is focused on their inner feeling and thought.

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2.5.1 Interpersonal Effects

INTERPESONAL EFFECTS

Perceived Conspicuous Value

Perceived Unique Value

Perceived Social Value

Ostentation

NonConformity

Conformity

VEBLENIAN

SNOB

BANDWAGON

Figure 1: Interpersonal Effects (Vigenron & Johnson (1999, p. 7)

2.5.1.1 The Veblen Effect

The Veblen effect can be explained through conspicuous consumption in which people feel that it is necessary to purchase luxury products because they have a high price tag (Leibenstein, 1950) (see Figure 1). Researchers have expanded on the work of Bourne (1957), which shows significant interest in the influence of peer groups on consumers towards luxury goods (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). They found that there was a positive relation between conspicuous consumption and peer groups. Additionally, Bearden and Etzel (1982) stated that luxury products that were publicly purchased are more conspicuous products in comparison to products that were privately consumed. Conspicuous consumption is use by people to show wealth,

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power and status (Veblen, 1899). Prices of product have a significant aspect in consumers opinion of quality (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Studies by Erickson & Johansson (1995) have shown that price is used to judge quality of luxury products between a range of brands. Usually people would associate high prices with better quality. Additionally, those who do associate high prices with better quality would also suggest that high prices show a considerable amount of prestige (Lichtenstein et al., 1993). Although conspicuous consumption only partially explains perceived values of prestige products, it is also important to consider the privately consumed products; for example, fine wine, which is consumed at home.

2.5.1.2 The Snob Effect

According to Leibenstein (1950), the snob effect is highly complex. The snob effect takes into account personal and emotional desires (personal effects), and the influence of other peoples behaviour (interpersonal effects) towards the purchasing of luxury brand products (see Figure 1). The snob effect can be further explained through two circumstances. Firstly, the launch on new products which creates exclusivity in which the snob would purchase the product immediately because a minor amount of consumers at that particular time would have acquired it. Snob consumers only purchase "limited items that have a high value, whereas those readily available are less desirable. Rare items demand respect and prestige" (Solomon, 1994, p.570). Secondly, due to a decrease of value in product as a result of mass consumers purchasing products, snob consumers would reject that particular item. Products that are viewed as unique, popular, and expensive causes a higher demand for consumers (Verhallen & Robben, 1994), especially snob consumers. Snyder and Fromkin (1977) support the statement by Verhallen and Robben (1994) suggesting that people have the desire to be unique.

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2.5.1.3 The Bandwagon Effect

The Bandwagon effect (see Figure 1) takes place at the lower end brand extension, in which there is a high demand for a particular product that has been purchased by a mass amount of consumers (Leibenstein, 1950). The bandwagon effect represents consumers who purchase luxury products because they wish to fit in with a particular group. For example, people would consume products that are fashionable and stylish to associate themselves to similar people (Berry, 1994). Dubois & Duquesne (1993) explains that the snob and bandwagon effect are not alike. Although the similarity between the bandwagon and the snob effect is that people wish to enhance their self-concepts, the differentiation is that they purchase luxury items for different reasons. Bandwagon consumers purchase items to be fit in with others, whereas snob consumers purchase items to be unique and stand out. Individuals who fit in with groups that purchase luxury brand products and/ or wish to differentiate themselves from people who do not purchase luxury brands are influenced by the bandwagon effect (Vigneron & Johnson,1999). O'Guinn and Shrum (1997) stated that the affluent lifestyle educates consumers via television. Additionally, the education of the affluent lifestyle is applied and imitated in reality by purchasing similar luxury products that is televised (Dittmar, 1994).

2.5.2 Personal effects

Interpersonal effects influence consumers in purchasing luxury goods, through social behaviours. However, consuming luxury products can also be from personal desires and taste.

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PESONAL EFFECTS

Perceived Emotional Value

Perceived Quality Value

SelfActualization

Reassurance

HEDONIST

PERFECTIONIST

Figure 2: Personal Effects (Vigenron & Johnson, 1999, p. 8)

2.5.2.1 The Hedonic Effect

The hedonic effect occurs when consumers purchase luxury products and value the item. People who purchase items for self-fulfillment (e.g. inner direct consumers, Riesman, et al., 1950, or role relaxed consumers, Kahle, 1995), and those who are not affected by interpersonal influences (e.g. conforming to group norms, Bearden, et al., 1989) represent the hedonic effect (see Figure 2).

Dichter (1960) explains that motivation of noncognitive and unconscious is able to persuade consumer preference of products. Products that are consumed are known to have an emotional value that is added to their character (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). When consumers purchase luxury products they expect that the item will offer benefits such as exclusiveness. Dubois & Laurent, (1994) stated that if products create an emotional value for consumers, it represents that the product is beneficial and holds an important characteristic. Additionally, Dubois & Laurent, (1994, p.275) noted that a large amount of consumers purchasing luxury products are

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associated to the hedonic motive in which one buys luxury goods primary for ones pleasure and refutes the snobbish argument. Sensory, pleasure, excitement, and aesthetic beauty are some of the examples of emotional value that causes consumers to purchase luxury products (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Additionally, an example of emotional value is applied by BMW. The Slogan Sheer Driving Pleasure is described as the feeling of all of their luxury automobiles.

2.5.2.2 The Perfectionist Effect

Quelch (1987, p.39) expressed that Excellent quality is a sine qua non, and it is important that the premium marketer maintains and develops leadership in quality.

The perfectionist effect exists when consumers purchase luxury items and expects superior products and performance as well as quality (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). People who represent the perfectionist effect are those who are associated to personal values and judge a product according to their value of a luxury band product (see Figure 2). An example of the perfectionist effect is when consumers are purchasing a luxury automobile they expect it to contain comfort and speed. Additionally, when consumers are purchasing a luxury watch they expect it to be accurate.

According to Garfein (1989) and Roux (1995), luxury and premium brands are expected to show quality and even greater quality respectively. Also Groth and McDaniel, (1993, p.10) stated that high prices may even make certain products or service more desirable, because people view products with high prices with great quality (Rao & Monroe, 1989). Additionally, consumers may assess the level of how luxury a product is by its quality (Vigneron and Johnson, 1999).

In summary, these five effects can explain how individuals can be motivated into purchasing luxury products. However, when this strategy is applied worldwide it

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is also worth to consider cultural differences among the dividend between Western and Eastern societies.

2.6 Culture

When purchasing luxury items consumers are affected by a many factors. One of the main influences for consumers is tradition and cultural background. Many researches have traditionally used Hofstedes (1980, 1997) definition on culture. Hofstede has defined culture as the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one group of category of people from another (Hofstede, 1997, p.5). Consumers may be affected by culture, but Hofstede has identified that there is a difference between the East and the West. Additionally, Hofstede (1991) and Triandis (1998) has characterised culture as individualist (e.g America, the United Kingdom and most of Western Europe), or collectivist (e.g China, Thailand, and most of Asia).

However, arguments have occurred in suggesting that Hofstedes (1991) theory on culture in terms of collectivist and individualist cultures is too simplistic. Triandis (1989, 1994) argued that it would be more accurate to divide culture into global characterisation as individuals having independent and interdependent selfconcepts. These characteristics would be used in forms of situations in suggesting either independent or interdependent self-concepts would control individuals thoughts.

Relating culture to consuming brand named luxury goods, five aspects of tradition can be used despite of modernisation in terms of separating cultural differences (Wong & Ahuvia, 1988). The five aspects include: (1) interdependent self-concepts; (2) the balance between individual and group needs; (3) hierarchy;(4) the legitimacy of group affiliations; and (5) value of humility. However, these five traditional aspects affect Western and Eastern with different levels of significance towards cultural consumption.

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2.6.1 Independent and Interdependent Self Concepts

Markus & Kitayama (1991) explains that in differentiating cultures it can be determined by individuals concepts, and the relation between self and others. Research has also suggested that culture can be separated into either independent selfconcepts (including emotions, desires, personal values, memories, etc) or interdependent self-concepts (which are decisions influenced by social roles and the presentation of self to others) (Lebra, 1992; Markus & Kitayama, 1991). Independent self-concepts are more related to countries in the west (America, the United Kingdom, and Europe), which is more considerable of inner self (taste, preferences, abilities, personal values, and etc) whereas interdependent relates to countries in the east (Asia; China, Thailand, and Japan) in which decisions are based on others. For example, Sun (1991) expresses that in Eastern countries such as Thailand, which is an example of a collectivist culture, an individual may not view himself as one complete person. A person may view himself as a brother, a father, a son, and a husband but in a rare case consider himself as being an entity (Chu, 1985). The statement of Chu (1985) relates to the term we identity in which a person pays more attention on social group esteem (Hofstede 1991; Triandis 1998). In collectivist cultures, people are in concern of social self, group rights, and take into consideration of others as well as self.

The difference between independent and interdependent can also be determined by individuals knowledge and response of themselves. For example, independent people would describe themselves as intelligent, outgoing, and creative. In contrast, an interdependent person may associate themselves to family, friends, society or perhaps national background. Finally, the determination between interdependent and independent can be distinguished through the integration of selfconcepts. The sense of self is included in both Asian and Western cultures (Wong & Ahuvia, 1998); however, in Asia the bond between self is more powerful. This is believed to because Asians express self as part of the centre of relationships (McCort & Malhotra, 1993). For example, in Western cultures English people will view themselves relating to social class on judgement of their income, whereas in

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Eastern cultures Asians will view themselves partially according to their success, but also to consider others such as relatives, friends, and family (Hsu, 1981, p.159).

2.6.2 Individual and Group Needs

This section is closely related to independent and interdependent as they can also be related to individual and groups, respectively (Triandis, 1990; Yamaguchi, 1994). In Western cultures, strength is expressed through resistance of others opinion and not being pressured by social influence to be controlled. Westerners believe in their own personal taste and values (Kashima et al., 1995). This statement demonstrates the freedom of individuals in Western cultures living the life that they consider as their own by showing their own expressions irrelative of others. The explanation of the Western culture is viewed as groups must meet the demands of individuals. For example in marriage, if the requirements does not meet the individual needs, then they may decide to make an attempt to change or leave that relationship.

In contrast, Asians view acceptance and influence to social groups in a more positive perspective (Yang, 1963). Asians are widely proud to be accepted into groups because according to interdependent concepts being a group member is what individuals desire so the bond between the group is inseparable. During conflict between views individuals in normal circumstances would express their desires and concerns according to the group to establish a social relation that does not cause interruptions between members. In the same circumstances, individuals may express their desires accordingly to their personal thoughts; however, interdependent cultures value freedom at a cost of the benefit to the group. It is considered that an individual should perform their duties before declaring their rights (Lau & Kuan, 1988).

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2.6.3 The Legitimacy of Group Affiliations

The combination of individuals and groups occurs at the interdependent selfconcept approach. The behaviour of interdependent cultures in some situations tends to accept individuals identification based on their groups; for example, nationality or family. Group identifications are popular amongst collectivist countries. China is also a part of a collectivist culture that consists of a massive teen population. There are approximately 200 million persons between the ages of 10 to 19 (Carson, 2002). A survey conducted by Cheng (1993, p.47) has found that from 360 families, students spend 66 percent of their parents income. Students in collectivist cultures must dress accordingly to fashion trends with the latest styles. This makes all groups of teens purchasing fashion trends have similar identifications through consuming similar products. Differentiating from interdependent groups, people from independent cultures likes to distinguish themselves from groups creating a more unique identification. Independent cultures believe that group identifications should be separated individually (although the fact is that group identifications are more popular).

2.6.4 Hierarchy

There is an agreement amongst many authors that there is a strong social hierarchy that influence collectivist cultures (Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Triandis, McCusker, & Hui, 1990). Bond (1991) explains that in Confucianism, there are five cardinal relations that represent cultural values. These values are the signs of respect for authority, which additionally people comply with political dictates. On the contrary, Western culture tends to be more critical of their social hierarchy, which causes suspicion and illegitimate, particularly when there is no relation to individual success.

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2.6.5 The Value of Humility

According to Douglas & Isherwood (1996), in collectivist societies people try to avoid envy by being humble and modest. By being humble and modest gives freedom for individuals to consume more products, if it is considered appropriate amongst group members (Yang, 1963). Max Weber (1963) explains that humility plays a major role in Confucian tradition, which was too conservative to let development of modern capitalism occur. Southeast Asia has changed to a modern capitalist world and the concern of humility has been replaced with the urge for achievement associated to wealth (Tu, 1992). The statement made by Tu (1992) has been proven by consumers who are seen as the driving force behind Asian consumption towards luxury goods. For example, Chinese young urban consumers obsessed with the idea of wanting to make others say Wow! whose is named as the One-Cut-Above-the-Rest Mentality (Ariga et al., 1997, pp. 24). Likewise, the effect of change has occurred in Japan. Japanese young consumers who purchase luxury brands are described by Tomotsu Sengoku, a Japanese sociologist, with the statement with teens like these, Japan is finished (Trendy Japanese girls, 1997, p. A5). This statement indicates that the traditional value of humility cannot resist the pressure from modern consumerist (Wong & Ahuvia, 1998).

In addition to the five traditional aspects, face is also considered a part of culture, which is able to elaborate on consumer behaviour towards luxury products. Individuals are described by face, whether they like to maintain their face, hide their face, or differentiate their face from others. Everyone experiences face emotions in every culture. However, the reaction towards face in Eastern and Western culture is different.

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2.6.6 Face

Goffman, (1967 p. 5) stated that face is the positive social value a person effectively claims for himself by the line others assume he has taken during a particular contact. Face; however, is not specified to a particular culture but can be experienced by any individual. People may have face related issues e.g. feeling embarrassed, awkward, shameful or proud in which case they may blush. There are other face related issues such as enhancing ones face or maintaining ones face. There is a verge of when ones face is attacked or threatened by others, then people try and save or defend their face. Additionally, losing, saving, and enhancing ones face, are only some essentials related to face (Ting-Toomey & Kurogi 1998; Chan et al, 2003). Investigations into face differs from Eastern to Western consumers towards luxury goods; for example, Chinese consumers take into account face differently in comparison to American consumers (Ho, 1976; Ting-Toomey & Kurogi 1998). Each individual can experience face but how people view face differs from culture to culture. Collectivist cultures deal with face everyday, which includes greetings, shopping, invitations, and etc. Individualist cultures on rare occasions relate face to their social self worth, so in terms of concepts they may not pay much interest. In collectivist cultures such as China due to such a tight bond of social relational groups, a person is very cautious in approaching people, whether he/she is considered above, below or equal to someone else (Gao, 1998). This statement suggested by Gao (1998) may emphasis that collectivist people are very concerned with face and their position in society. This may count for individual circumstances as well as whole families. Li and Su (2007, p. 240) express that in collectivist cultures parents will reiterate to children dont make our family lose face. Additionally, in a family structure, the term little emperor is expressed as one child is valued to have six pockets (e.g two parents and four grandparents) (Wysocki, 1997). Differentiating from older generations these little emperors has grown from tradition and is more in concern with symbolism, brands, success and self-satisfaction (Salzman, 1999). In collectivist cultures that are more in concerned with face, consumption is regarded more as an instrument to bond with social needs rather than an activity (Tse, 1996). Since there is

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mass influence on face in collectivist countries, there are three characteristics that can be used to classify face consumption (Li & Su, 2007):

1. Obligation As briefly indicated earlier in collectivist countries people must try and maintain or save their face e.g. Li and Su (2007, p. 240) express dont make our family lose face. As a result, when an individual is accepted into a social group, a person may have no other option of purchasing luxury items in order to follow others that purchase these items because he/she does not wish to lose their face or to make that group lose face consequently (Sun, 1991). Trying to purchase items that are in similarity or equal to others involves lots of time, takes up money, and due to large amounts of complaints from Eastern country consumers, a waste of energy. However, it has to be done to comply with others and to be appropriate in consuming products similar to other group members. This may include neighbours, friends, and relatives. An individual may feel pressured into purchasing items in similar simply because they have one. This may include televisions, cars, and electrical appliances. According to a survey conducted by Tse (1996), 81.6% of students in Hong Kong agreed that social groups influenced them into purchasing items, and 43.5% of them said that they want to act differently to stand out from others. The difference between obligation and legitimacy of group affiliations as already mentioned in the culture section is that individuals who have been accepted into a group purchase items to maintain, save, or enhance their face, whereas others purchase items to gain identification and try to fit in with the groups, respectively.

2. Distinctiveness Another important factor in purchasing products is that they must be brand names or expensive than other products than normal Eastern country consumers would be able to afford; otherwise, the purchased products would not be able to maintain or save ones face. When purchasing a product it must be distinctive whether through brand or high price. In relation to face, Ting-Toomey (1988)

suggests that an individuals face stands for group face, and group interests are more important than individuals interest. In addition, research from China suggests that people are willing to pay more for products that would maintain ones face than they would usually do when consuming normal products (Li and Su, 2007). People in

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collectivist cultures consume products to show that they are different and to show their face. This can been seen as to people like to purchase products that differentiate themselves from different groups or social class. As a symbol to differentiate themselves they like to purchase items that are luxury, high in price and brand names. In associating themselves with these luxury items, they are able to distinguish themselves from different groups and social classes. Examples of items that may distinguish from others include jewellery, luxury automobiles, mobile phones, and etc. This type of consumption may appear disturbing to others. As an example, Ram (1994) discovered that Chinese consumers might show priority in luxury items before they have fundamental living conditions such as food, homes, and clothing.

It is worth noting that in order to maintain, save, or enhance face, people not only conform to their social group member by always purchasing similar luxury items, but some distinguish themselves from other groups by purchasing different luxury products to show uniqueness and separation from different social classes.

3. Other orientation As face is considered important in collectivist countries, people are considerate to others and pay more attention to others face. This is regarded as highly important when consuming products for other people. This may be in social groups or for others that may be higher, lower or equal to ones position. Careful judgement of value and use of products must be taken into account to make others feel full of face. To make a person feel full of face, items must make them feel that they are accepted into ones social group, and can be made distinctive to others. Purchasing of items may not be necessary as for maintaining ones face or enhancing another persons face can be paying for someone at dinner parties or paying for other people in different circumstances. In addition, for making one feel full of face is also a sign of respect as well as maintain ones face. Reiterating the importance of face consumption it is regard as highly important to consider the purchasing of something because it relates to others (Joy, 2001). The consumption for someones face may be a start of a relationship or strengthening a bond between one another. The consumption of gifts to people show match the income of those who are presenting the gifts; however, in usual circumstances they should also be more expensive than usual

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products consumed. In this way, the person will receive face. In returning the favour, the person who receives the gifts must purchase items that are in similar price or at a higher value. In this process, the person will also receive face but also maintain their face, and addition the person who receives the gifts will feel full of face in receiving a returned item (Chan et al. 2003). Presenting gifts at a dinner party, which often occurs in collectivist cultures is an appropriate time because it can be witnessed by many important guests, friends, and relatives. At this appropriate time, an individual will be able to enhance face through presences of important people. Additionally, the amount of people who attend would also signify the importance of the occasion, and would also increase the creditability of the presenters face (Chen, 1990).

The concept of face consumption is similar to the work of Veblen (1934) related to conspicuous consumption. Conspicuous consumption means expenses that use solely for honorific purposes to raise ego, not for expenditures that made for comfort or utilization (Veblen, 1934) and is concerned primarily with the ostentatious display of wealth (Mason, 1981, pp. 7). Consuming luxury items for gaining face could achieve respect from many social groups. However, there is a limit in purchasing items for enhancing an individuals face. An individual may over consume in purchasing luxury items to make them seem obnoxious. Others from peer groups may feel that a person may be acting to show off and make them feel disturbed and hateful. This may be an over contribution to ones group because to fit in with a group a person has to consume according to that group, not to distinguish from the group. Acting in this manner may affect an individuals family, showing signs that parents have educated an individual inappropriately which could bring shame to ones family. Care must be taken when purchasing items because once a person acts and purchase items obnoxiously then it may cause a negative affect when trying to fit in again to other groups, because of previous history that has been rumoured of an individuals behave in the past. There it may make it difficult for an individual to fit in. Consumers must be aware of the purchasing of the amount of items, and the items that have been purchased to avoid being below group expectations, or over consuming.

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2.7 Chapter Summary

To summarize, primarily, there has been a change towards the view of shopping, where men and women takes part in the leisure activity, in consuming products to identify themselves. Secondly, as consumers purchase luxury products, individuals have different purposes, status consumers only associate themselves to products that have status qualities (e.g. increase a persons level of status) and materialism affiliate themselves will all products (status and non status) and the importance a consumer attaches to worldly possessions (Belk, 1985, pp. 265). Thirdly, the overall important factors that affect consumers in purchasing luxury goods are the generation Y in which the purpose of the research is conducted towards. The reason that this paper is conducted towards generation Y because there has been a great change in consumer behaviour patterns compared to previous generations, which have more spending power from the distribution of disposable income (Tomkins, 1999). Fourthly, attentions have focused on the motives that influence consumers in purchasing luxury products. Five individual luxury consumers that are affected by five different values and self-consciousness represent the structure of the concepts. The decision making process which includes self-consciousness, fluctuates dependent on individuals influence by interpersonal relationships. However, the importance of the conceptual framework is included in the personal effects e.g. perfectionist and hedonist motives, which are two addition constructs added to Leibensteins (1950) traditional three characteristically structure (snob, veblenian and bandwagon motives). Researchers have found that the model from Leibenstein (1950) suggesting a stability of interpersonal and personal motives has influenced previous findings on luxury consumption. Finally, culture is one of the main topics that affect consumers in the decision making process. Hofstede has been heavily related to culture suggesting that culture can be divided into two individualist and collectivist cultures. However, there have been arguments from researchers that this particular statement is too simplistic in examining consumer behaviour. Behaviour needs is dependent on cultural basis. As

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Eastern culture is based on interpersonal self concepts which largely depends on others public, outer self, group decisions, norms, family relatives, friends, and etc, (Abe et al., 1996; Markus & Kitayama, 1991; Miller, 1984) the West has a foundation of personal self concepts relating to inner self, and independent decisions. The Eastern culture heavily focuses on the public and visible possessions. The reason for visible possessions is dependent on economical status, which is often used as a main social concern in newly industrializing or industrialized societies as a communication factor for achievement. This results in Asians focusing more on visible possessions such as designer labels, expensive cars, jewellery, and etc. However, in demonstrating materialism by purchasing these luxury goods does not expose individuals personal taste, or goals. Alternatively, it represents interdependent value of social conformity in a possessional, family and relative oriented, and hierarchical culture. (Wong & Ahuvia, 1998). Additionally, face is also an important topic that is discussed in relation to culture individuals are affected in both individualist and collectivist cultures. Face explains that the west is less concerned about face because individuals relate to inner feelings in comparison to the east, which is highly considerate of face, and takes into account others rather than self (Li & Su, 2007).

Evidently, there has been an increase in the luxury goods market, where not only consumers are upper class individuals but moving towards the middle class status (Janiauskas & Tervydyte, 2006; Hauck & Stanforth, 2007; BCG Corporation, 1994). Majority of researched that has been undertaken examined either in developed or developing country such as America and China, respectively.

Most researches studied American young consumers because it is one of major economic growth country that has a strong foundation of affluent people. However, a limited number of studies did focus on young behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products. For example, a study conducted by Bakewell & Mitchell (2003) examined how American female young consumers make their decisions towards shopping. Similarly, Martin & Turley (2004) focused on American young consumer attitude and their motivation towards a mall. Whilst, Hauck & Stanforth, (2007) based

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their study on luxury goods and services but pay particular attention in examining the differences of attitudes between cohort groups.

Similarly, Chinese consumers have been mostly investigated because of significance in their economic changes due to open country rendering people become wealthier. In addition, the focal towards luxury brands in Eastern countries is because; Asia has the largest target market, even exceeding sales of Western countries such as America and Europe (Debnam & Svinos, 2006). For instance, Piron (2006) investigated changes of culture of Chinese consumers in rural compared with urban owing to understand contemporary Chinese culture.

Contrary to previous research, this study that is being undertaken will make a comparison between young consumers from Western and Eastern countries purchasing luxury brands products. Therefore, students of China, Thai and UK will be explored in order to justify two main aspects of this study; firstly, identifying whether culture differences affects young consumers behaviour towards products considered as luxurious. Secondly, what motives that encourage the young consumers in purchasing luxury brands goods in those three countries. These two main issues will be used as major goal in conducting survey, which will be discussed further in the methodology chapter.

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Chapter 3: Methodology

3.1 Introduction

The methodology section cannot be overlooked, as it is considered important to apply a suitable method to achieve the research objective. Additionally, the significance of using the correct method also generates a more accurate result (Silverman, 1993). Therefore, this investigation has been taken towards selecting an appropriate approach in regards of the research question. In this chapter, the structure of the methodology will consist of the following: firstly, the research method will be discussed followed by an explanation to which method would be appropriate to use in this study. Secondly, data that will be collected from both primary and secondary sources is going to be explained. Thirdly, sampling between three countries: UK, Thailand, and China will be discussed. Fourthly, the questionnaire design, which is considered a key role in gathering data for results, will be approached. Next, ethical values will be taken into account. Finally, a short summary will be noted at the end of the chapter.

3.2 Research Method

3.2.1 Method Selection

Howard (1985) explains that in applying a particular method towards research does not tests how useful its techniques are, but just relates the strengths and limitations that have been used. There are two options in regards to research method. These methods are quantitative and qualitative, which will be defined below

3.2.2 Comparing Quantitative and Qualitative Methods

The quantitative approach uses numerical values in explaining research and problem solving. The importance of quantitative research will be focusing on the collection of numerical, statistical analysis, and the results of the data (Curwin &

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Slater, 2002). However, there has been criticism towards quantitative methods. Qualitative researchers explain that the use of quantitative data alone may ignore the social and cultural variables of the information acquired (Silverman, 2000). For example, Kirk and Miller (1986) stated that attitude cannot be simply explained using researches of series of numerical analytical assumptions.

Qualitative can generally be defined as a multimethod, which includes naturalistic and interpretive approaches to research (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998). This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to makes sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of meanings people bring to them (Denzin & Lincoln, 1998, p.3). The materials that are used for qualitative methods include: personal experiences, life story, interviews, observation, interaction, and visual texts. The data for qualitative methods are usually descriptive moments, meanings, and complications from individuals experiences.

This study aims to explore consumer behaviour, which focuses on motivation as well as culture towards purchasing luxury brand products. Since there have been a large number of young consumers purchasing luxury brand products, the method of quantitative research is; therefore, more suitable to help collecting data from large sample sizes. However, study based culture requires peoples opinion and views, in which numerical data alone is not able to show a complete understanding (Silverman, 2000), whereas using the qualitative method is able to explain peoples expressions in descriptive text format (Denzin & Lincoln (1998, p.3). As a result, this study has chosen the mix method strategy to conduct research questions, which will be justified below.

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3.2.3 Method Applied to Research

Qualitative Method

Research Question

Evaluation & Assessment

Result

Quantitative Method

Figure 3: Mixed method interpretation process (adapted from Walters, 1994)

The approach to the research question has been applied with the mix method strategy, which is a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data (see figure 3). Using this method for research heads the data towards a direction of analysis, and resolving a problem. Although these data have been collected in single studies, they will be combined in the mix method process. Quantitative data consists of closed end information that includes numerical figures. The study has collected quantitative data by applying closed-end questions towards a questionnaire. Analysis of the information that is collected could be used for research questions or to test hypothesis. Qualitative data includes open-ended information. Gathering qualitative data is also applied in the questionnaire. The reason that qualitative questions are included in this part is because respondents are able to give in depth answer of their personal views, and own opinion of their thoughts and behaviour towards luxury brand products. The use of the mix method approach that uses both qualitative and quantitative data is because once these two types of data is combined it provides a better understanding of the data rather than if they are explained individually. Additionally, the combination of these two data are able to bring balance for the weakness of individual method that

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is applied (qualitative or quantitative) alone. The purpose of using both types of data collection is because; for example, quantitative (numerical figures) could be expanded on and explained further by qualitative (words) resulting in a more in depth explanation of the analyzed gathering of information and vice versa. Additionally, by mixing both qualitative and quantitative data would also be able to answer questions that words or numbers are not able to explain alone. The benefit of using the mix method approach is because it is able to address complex questions, and by gathering both forms of data enables all audiences to understand the information. Mix method is also a neutral approach to research so that if audiences prefers one type of data to another, they are able to relate to the result in one form or another.

3.3 Data Collection

There are many forms of data collection mail, internet, data base, questionnaires, interviews, and etc, which are all related to research. However, there are conditions to which specific data collection method should be approached (Fowler, 2002). Dependent on the way the data will be used, will affect how the data will be collected (Waters, 1994). In this section, data collection is divided into two parts: primary and secondary data collection.

3.3.1 Primary Data

Gathering information from consumers of luxury brand products through face-to-face questionnaires, and the usage of the internet via e-mails (electronic survey) was used in collecting primary data. The advantage of data collection from consumers by using face-to-face questionnaire is that it is possible to correct any misunderstanding of the questions that is being asked, and any missing information that has not been filled in. The disadvantage is that face-to-face data collection is not able to provide a large amount of samples.

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As there are limitations in face-to-face data collection with large amount of sampling, the use of electronic surveys is also applied. Although electronic surveys may be supplied to large amounts of people, it does not necessarily mean that people will answer the questionnaire. The method of snow ball sampling will be conducted in distributing the questionnaires, which will be explained further in the sampling section. Questionnaires will be distributed online for convenience to reach those students who have returned to their home countries from the UK. Using online questionnaires can also be posted to those people who are interested in completing one, and it is more likely that personnels will respond to the questionnaires because they would be able to focus on the questions and take more time to fill it out rather than asking random people who are passing by to complete a questionnaire. In collecting data, questionnaires are an inexpensive method, especially when there are large amounts of people concerned (Churchill, 1999). In addition, Dillman (2000, p.352) explains that electronic survey methodologies help to reduce the time required for survey implementation. 3.3.2 Secondary Data

Secondary data is collected from mainly journals, articles, and books. Previous researches from various authors were found from databases that include, Emerald, Proquest, EDGAR, and etc. These sources of data provided useful background information on the luxury goods market, as well as indicating investigations that had already been taken place. Additionally, previous research identified areas of studies that have not been explored before. News and magazines such as BBC news, China Daily, and Bangkok Post provided regular up to date information on changes towards young consumers behaviour and the development in the luxury market. Secondary data provided relevant information that is used in designing the survey questions and identifying the problems that has occurred rendering significant outcome.

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3.3.3 Statistical Data Analysis

Once all primary data is gathered from the online questionnaire, they will then be analyzed by using a statistical method. Thomas et al. (1997) explain that the raw data, which is analyzed in the correct method, would produce useful information, which will aid the decision-making process or gain competitive advantage in organization. In this study, the statistical data analysis in a form of SPSS with the help of Microsoft Excel will be conducted by applying a method of inferential statistics T-test for two groups of independent and F-test for more than two groups of independent variable. As a result, the data that has been analyzed will be presented in the form of cross tables and figures. The previous research that has been gathered from the secondary data will be compared with the statistical analysis in order to find out, if the study has gained any relevance, or if there has been any changes in the field of luxury products that has occurred.

3.4 Sampling

The sampling method represents a larger group of population. In usual, situations questionnaires will use samples rather than populations because it is impractical to obtain data from an entire population (Waters, 1994). A reliable sample is a copy of the larger population, but in smaller size (Fink, 2003). In other words, data are collected from a representative sample of items or people, and these are used to infer characteristics about all items or people (Waters, 1994, p. 79).

3.4.1 Snowball Sampling

Snowball sampling is one type of non-probability sampling, which is used as a method in distributing questionnaires in this study (Fink, 2003). Snow ball sampling is interpreted as when a personnel is asked to fill in the questionnaire, they are also recommended to distribute to others that are in similar age groups that meets

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the criteria (Hauck & Stanforth, 2007). The method of snowball sampling is more convenient to apply in circumstances when participants are difficult to obtain (Fink, 1995). A link of questionnaires attached to email will be sent to students in different institutions with a request to forward the same email to a few of their friends. The participants email addresses are randomly chosen from wide contacts lists of International Office in Nottingham University. Although the snowball sampling method may be informal, there is a certain degree of judgement included (Curwin & Slater, 2002). Problems that could also occur with distribution of questionnaires are that personnels may not answer the questionnaire accordingly. This is because some may not take interest due to links from the online questionnaires may have problems opening. Additionally, some respondents may not be interested in the questions that is being asked, or may not wish to fill one out. It is important to consider the personnels that will be completing the questionnaires to be people who are interested that will give appropriate information to obtain maximum results.

The participants who are completing the questionnaire are all students that are ages range from 18 to 25 years old. This research will be conducted across country, which will be focusing on Western (the United Kingdom), and Eastern (China and Thailand) countries. There will be 150 people who will be completing the questionnaire. Each of which will be divided evenly between three countries UK (50), China (50), and Thailand (50). All participants completing the questionnaire will both consist of an equal proportion of male and female, who are currently studying in the United Kingdom.

Realistically, there are more nationalities of students that are studying in the United Kingdom; however, only three of these countries will be focused in the research. The reason that these countries have been targeted is because there are large amounts of these students studying in the United Kingdom, which makes distributing the questionnaire more easily.

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3.5 Questionnaire Design

Curwin and Slater (2002) explain that it is irrelevant how well investigations have gathered data or how methods have been applied. If the questions that are used in the survey are bias, the results in the questionnaire will lose significant value.

Within the questionnaire, the majority of the data that will be gathered are quantitative in a form of closed questions with support of data that are qualitative consisting of open questions. The reason why a few qualitative questions are attached is the qualitative questions involve more attention and thinking for participants. Additionally, interpretation of results from numerous qualitative data is more complex and consumes more time than quantitative data. Since there is limited number of time in conducting this research, lots of the qualitative data might not be valuable.

The questionnaire design is composed of three parts (as shown in appendix 1). Part one consisting of quantitative questions contains personal details of respondents including: age, gender, and ethnic origin. Additionally, the question of how often do respondents purchase luxury items indicates the personal frequency of purchasing luxury items. Personal details are required for general background of respondents who purchase luxury brand products.

Part two also consists of quantitative questions that are comprised of questions, which requires rating from 1 to 5 (1= strongly agree, 2=agree, 3= neutral, 4= disagree, and 5= strongly disagree) on their answers. These types of questions are also related to ordinal data; for example, questions are categorised and ranked on scales, whereby respondents are required to rate their decisions (Waters, 1994). In this part requires responses from individuals in what influences them into purchasing luxury brand products. The flow of the questionnaire moves from topic to topic that involves questions that are directed towards culture, motivation, and status or materialistic consumption in order to avoid any radical jumps between topics that will disorientate respondents (Cuwin & Slater, 2002, pp.58).

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Qualitative questions are included in part three. These open questions require answers where respondents are allowed to elaborate using words and expressions of how they feel (Fink, 2003).

3.5.1 Pilot Study

Before the distribution of the final questionnaires, pilot testing questionnaires were conducted in order to observe an understanding of respondents towards statements included in the questionnaire. Pilot testing questionnaires were done with fifteen Nottingham University students including Thai, Chinese and British students in the same proportion so as to collecting their opinions regarding the applicability of answering the questions. A basis on selection of the respondents is simply concern students who being consumed luxury brands product. It is also important for the respondents to be similar to those who will answer the questionnaire once it has finally been structured (Fink, 2003). Each respondent was allowed a limited time of ten minute in answering questionnaire. There are two reason of time pressuring. Firstly, to check whether the statements in the questionnaires contain any unambiguity or whether it is too complex to understanding. Secondly, is to figure out if the questionnaire was completed with ease. Additionally, respondents will be asked whether they understand the directions of completing the questionnaire, and if it is clear to follow (Fink, 2003). Later, a discussion between researcher and respondent will carry on along with taking notes for further development of questionnaire. The overall result indicated that the questionnaire was valid, reliability, and took appropriate time to complete. However, some respondents found it difficult to understand meaning of the term of luxury brands product in the questionnaire. Therefore, a definition as well as some examples was comprised to eliminate this difficulty. After all students have completed the pilot testing, suggestions will be revised and then applied to improve final questionnaire, which will then be distributed among samples.

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3.6 Ethical Awareness

This study focuses on human subjects; therefore, attention on ethical values must be provided. Additionally, as a result from the questionnaire to where data is gathered respondents should not be at risks (Fowler, 2002).

As obliged by the Belmont Report, conducted by the National Commission (1979) for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioural Research, this study has taken precautions over ethical principles.

Firstly, the respect for individuals has been taken into account. In regards to the questionnaire part one, details of individuals names have not been recorded, therefore respondents remaining anonymous.

Secondly, the protection of comments from the questionnaires, and individuals well being have been catered for. During the statistical data analysis, all information that has been gathered will be combined so respondents comments will remain confidential. In this study, data will not be altered, or specifically selected for the result to look better because it is considered unethical and bias due to using data to the advantage of the study.

Finally, data that has been acquired should be analysed based on the original design. Data that researcher think they are interesting can only be suggested as a useful information for further research but not for researchers own study (Jones, 2000). Additionally, care is taken during the analysis stage, in the presentation of data, over minor details, to avoid respondents being identifiable (Fowler, 2002).

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3.7 Chapter Summary

In this study, a selection of mixed methods, which is a combination of quantitative and qualitative research, was conducted to examine, firstly, how cultural differentiates between Western and Eastern young consumers in purchasing luxury brands products. Secondly, how motivation of these young consumer differ in comparison between developed and developing country. The survey in the form of online questionnaire composed of nineteen close questions and three open question with a help of sampling method was use to collect raw data. The raw data were obtained from students who age between 18 to 25 years old among these countries: Thai, Chinese and the UK. Then, the use of SPSS along with Microsoft Excel analysed all data that met the sampling criteria. Analysis obtained from conducting regression analysis and F-test will be presented in a form of cross tables and various figures which will be further discussed in the next chapter in more detail.

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Chapter 4: Research Results and Analysis


This chapter presents the data analysis based on the 144 questionnaires distributed in order to answer the research questions. According to the objectives of the study and the questionnaire designed, the results of data will be analyzed in two main sections; Quantitative Results and Qualitative Results as follow:

4.1 Quantitative Results This section will be divided into three parts. The first two parts, which are section 4.1.1 and 4.1.2, will present results from demographic data and rating questionnaire, respectively. The last parts which is Hypothesis Testing results will be showed in section 4.1.3

Section 4.1.1: Demographic characteristics of respondents

Based on part 1 of the questionnaire, the personal information of the sampling group, is represented as demographic characteristics shown in table 1. This table shows the frequency and percentage of the demographic characteristics.

Table 1: Frequency and percentage of respondents classified by demographic characteristics. n = 144 Demographic characteristics 1) Gender Male Female Total 2) Ethnic Origin UK China Thailand Total 48 46 50 144 33.3 31.9 34.7 100.0 64 80 144 44.4 55.6 100.0 Frequency Percentage

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Table 1 (Continued) n = 144 Demographic characteristics 3) Frequency in purchasing luxury Frequency Percentage

products Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year Other Total 7 47 48 33 9 144 4.9 32.6 33.3 22.9 6.3 100.0

Table 1 shows that most of the respondents are female (55.6%), which there is an 11.2% difference in comparison to the male respondents (44.4%). The amount of respondents who answered the questionnaire was not equally balanced in terms of ethnic origin. The largest percentage of ethnic origin is Thailand (34.7%). However, the difference between the countries is less than 3%, therefore biasness plays a minor role in the distribution of respondents. Additionally, the distribution of gender between UK, China, and Thailand is disproportionate as shown in Table 2. The difference in gender for China has the highest percentage of 11.1% in comparison to UK and Thailand, which are both 2.8%. The majority of respondents purchasing luxury brand products are monthly and every 6 months. Although, the frequency in purchasing luxury products is higher in every 6 months, there is only a 0.7% difference in comparison to respondents who purchase monthly.

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Table 2: Percentage of respondents classified by gender in each country.

Gender UK Male 22 (15.3%) Female 26 (18.1%) Total 48 (33.3%)

Ethnic Origin China 15 (10.4%) 31 (21.5%) 46 (31.9%) Thailand 27 (18.8%) 23 (16.0%) 50 (34.7%)

Total 64 (44.4%) 80 (55.6%) 144 (100.0%)

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Section 4.1.2: Consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products

This part will present respondents perspective on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products in regards to status and materialistic consumption, young consumer, motivation and culture is summarised in the following table 3 - 6

Table 3: Mean, standard deviation and respondents perspective on Status and materialistic consumption n = 144 Status and materialistic consumption 1. I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as an upper class status. 2. I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have. Total 2.30 0.998 Disagree 2.83 1.016 Neutral 2.35 1.031 Disagree 2.58 1.182 Disagree 2.71 1.128 Neutral 2.26 1.208 Disagree Mean 2.02 UK SD 1.157 Interpret Disagree Mean 2.95 China SD 1.031 Interpret Neutral Mean 2.44 Thailand SD 1.180 Interpret Disagree

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Below shows respondents opinion level from UK, China, and Thailand on status and materialistic consumption.

- UK The respondents perspective on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on status and materialistic consumption are in the disagree level with the mean of 2.30. Consideration for each element, there are two factors in the disagree level. Firstly with the mean of 2.58 is I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have, and secondly is I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as an upper class status with the mean of 2.02.

- China The respondents perspective on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on status and materialistic consumption are in the neutral level with the mean of 2.83. In addition to the neutral level, there are two factors I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as an upper class status is the first ranking of this factor with the mean of 2.95 and I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have is ranked in second with the mean of 2.71.

- Thailand The respondents perspective on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on status and materialistic consumption are in the disagree level with the mean of 2.35. I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as an upper class status and I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have are two factors that is included in the disagree level with mean of 2.44 and 2.26, respectively.

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In sum, Table 3 shows that students from both UK and Thailand disagree with purchasing products to make others view them as upper class, and envying others with luxury brand products, whereas, students from China, has a neutral opinion.

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Table 4: Mean, standard deviation and consumer perspective on Young Consumer n = 144 UK Young Consumer Mean 1. I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products. 2. I use credit card to purchase luxury goods. 3. I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products. 4. Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them. Total 2.41 0.673 Disagree 2.79 0.663 Neutral 2.47 1.215 Disagree 2.14 1.129 Disagree 2.97 1.105 Neutral 2.46 1.215 2.35 1.604 Disagree 1.97 1.286 Disagree 1.32 0.913 Strongly Disagree Disagree 1.87 1.378 Disagree 3.10 1.286 Neutral 2.94 1.517 Neutral 3.27 SD 1.483 Interpret Neutral Mean 3.10 SD 1.369 Interpret Neutral Mean 3.18 SD 1.380 Interpret Neutral China Thailand

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Below shows the level of opinion from consumer perspectives towards young consumers in each country.

UK

The question asked in regards to young consumers is ,firstly, I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products, which has a mean of 3.27. Secondly I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products, which has a mean of 2.35. Thirdly Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing, which has a mean of 2.14. Finally, I use credit card to purchase luxury goods, which has the lowest mean of 1.87. As a result, the overall respondents perspective towards consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on young consumers are in the disagree level with the mean of 2.41.

- China The respondents opinion on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on young consumer is in the neutral level with the mean of 2.79. Consideration for each element, there are three factors in the neutral level, and one factor in the disagree level. I use credit card to purchase luxury goods and I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products are the first ranking of these factors with the mean of 3.10, which is in the neutral level. Next is Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing with the mean of 2.97, which is also in the neutral level. While I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products. is in the disagree level with the lowest mean of 1.97.

- Thailand The respondents opinion on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on young consumer are in the disagree level with the mean of 2.47. I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products and I use credit card to purchase luxury goods are in the neutral level with the mean of 3.18 and 2.94 respectively. Next, Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them is in the disagree level

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with the mean of 2.46, and finally, I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products is in the strongly disagree level with the lowest mean of 1.32.

Summarizing Table 4 is similar to Table 3, which shows that students in the UK and Thailand disagree with using money from part time jobs, using credit cards, using student loans, and the representations of celebrities in regards to purchasing luxury brand products, whereas respondents from China is on the neutral level.

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Table 5: Mean, standard deviation and the level of respondents perspective on Motivation

n = 144 UK Motivation 1. I buy luxury brand products because they offer better quality. 2. I still purchase luxury brand products even if the prices increase. 3. I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products. 4. I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price. 5. Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them. 2.14 1.129 Disagree 2.97 1.085 Neutral 2.46 1.215 Disagree 2.56 1.128 Disagree 2.82 1.252 Neutral 2.50 1.182 Disagree 3.97 0.933 Agree 3.71 1.067 Agree 3.80 0.968 Agree 3.04 0.770 Neutral 3.28 1.025 Neutral 2.94 1.057 Neutral Mean 3.75 SD 0.978 Interpret Agree Mean 3.60 China SD 0.906 Interpret Agree Mean 3.88 Thailand SD 0.824 Interpret Agree

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Table 5 (Continued) n = 144 UK Motivation 6. I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me. 7. I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them. 8. I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others. 9. I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status. Total 3.03 0.559 Neutral 3.26 0.482 Neutral 3.13 0.577 Neutral 2.02 1.157 Disagree 2.95 1.031 Neutral 2.44 1.180 Disagree 2.79 1.254 Neutral 2.76 0.992 Neutral 2.78 1.389 Neutral 3.50 1.254 Agree 3.89 0.948 Agree 3.96 0.968 Agree Mean 3.50 SD 1.254 Interpret Agree Mean 3.39 China SD 1.043 Interpret Neutral Mean 3.48 Thailand SD 1.054 Interpret Agree

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Below shows the level of opinion from respondents on motivation in each country.

- UK The respondents perspective on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on motivation are in the neutral level with the mean of 3.03. Consideration for each element, there are four factors in the agree level. I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products is the first rank of this factor with the mean of 3.97. I buy luxury brand products because they offer better quality is ranked second with the mean of 3.75. Next is with I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me and I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them with the mean of 3.50. In addition, there are only two factors in the neutral level which are I still purchase luxury brands products even if the prices increase with the mean of 3.04, and I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself with others with the mean of 2.79. Finally, there are three factors in the disagree level which are I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price. with the mean of 2.56, Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them with the mean of 2.14, and I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status with the lowest mean of 2.02.

- China Respondents from China have shown that their opinion towards motivation is in the neutral level with the mean of 3.26. However, there are three questions that most Chinese respondents have agreed to. These are, I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them, with a mean of 3.89, I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products, with a mean of 3.71, and I buy luxury products because they offer better quality, with a mean of 3.60. The questions that overall was answered in the neutral level include, I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me, with the mean of 3.39, I still purchase luxury brand products even if the prices increase, with the mean of 3.28, Representation of celebrities

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associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them, with the mean of 2.97, I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status, with the mean of 2.95, I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price, with the mean of 2.82. Finally the last overall question that was answered neutral is I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others, with the lowest mean of 2.76.

- Thailand Thai respondents overall views towards consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on motivation are in the neutral level with the mean of 3.13. Consideration for each element, there are four factors in the agree level. I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them. is the first factor with the mean of 3.96. I buy luxury brand products because they offer better quality. is the second factor with mean of 3.88. The third factor is I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products with the mean of 3.80. Finally the last factor is I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me with the mean of 3.48. Results show that there are only two factors in the neutral level, which are, I still purchase luxury brands products even if the prices increase with the mean of 2.94, and I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself with others with the mean of 2.78. Lastly, there are three factors in the disagree level. Firstly, is I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price with the mean of 2.50. Secondly, is Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them with the mean of 2.46. Finally, is I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status with the lowest mean of 2.44.

Respondents from UK, China, and Thailand consider motivation towards consumer behaviour on purchasing luxury brand products at a neutral perspective. However there are variations on different countries perspectives in regards to the factors. For example, all three countries agree that respondents consider quality and style as a priority when purchasing luxury products. UK and Thailand disagree with

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the statement I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status, and representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them.

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Table 6: Mean, standard deviation and the level of opinion on Culture

UK Culture 1. My parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products. 2. I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them. 3. I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with my friends. 4. I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others. 5. I purchase luxury brand products for others. 6. I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what other people think. Total 2.45 0.482 Disagree 2.84 3.66 1.078 Agree 3.30 2.75 1.312 Neutral 3.08 2.79 1.254 Neutral 2.76 1.81 0.914 1.37 0.866 Strongly Disagree Disagree 2.84 2.13 Mean 2.31 SD 1.240 Interpret Disagree Mean 2.93

China SD 1.340 Interpret Neutral Mean 2.60

Thailand SD 1.399 Interpret Disagree

1.240

Disagree

1.38

0.923

Strongly Disagree

1.349

Neutral

2.00

1.178

Disagree

0.992

Neutral

2.78

1.389

Neutral

0.984

Neutral

2.74

1.046

Neutral

1.092

Neutral

3.36

1.173

Neutral

0.558

Neutral

2.47

0.553

Disagree

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Below shows the level of opinion from respondents on culture in each country.

- UK Respondents opinion on culture does not have an impact on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products. Table 6 shows that UK respondents overall opinion is in the disagree level with the mean of 2.45. However, there is one factor in the agree level, and two factors that respondents opinion are in the neutral level. The agree level is I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what other people think, with the mean of 3.66. The two factors in the neutral level are I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others, and I purchase luxury brand products for others, with the mean of 2.79 and 2.75 respectively. The factors included in the disagree level are My parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products, with the mean of 2.31, and I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with my friends, with the mean of 1.81. Finally, there is one factor in the strongly disagree level that is I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them, with the lowest mean of 1.37.

- China Chinese respondents have shown their opinion towards culture on consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products, and according to Table 6, resulted in a neutral level of agreement with a total mean of 2.84. Taking into account the neutral level of agreement include; firstly, I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what people think, with the mean of 3.30. Secondly, I purchase luxury brand products for others, with the mean of 3.08. Thirdly, My parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products, with the mean of 2.93. Next, is I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with friends, with the mean of 2.84. Finally, is I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others, with the mean of 2.76. However, there is one factor that respondents have overall disagreed to which is I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them, with the lowest mean of 2.13.

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- Thailand

The respondents perspective towards consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products on culture are in the disagree level with the mean of 2.47. Consideration for each element, there are three factors in the neutral level. I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what other people think is the first factor with the mean of 3.36. I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others is the second with the mean of 2.78. Next is I purchase luxury brand products for others with the mean of 2.74. Moreover, there are two factors in the disagree level. My parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products with the mean of 2.60. Next is I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with my friends with the mean of 2.00, and I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them. are in the strongly disagree level with the lowest mean of 1.38.

In sum, both UK and Thailand disagree that culture influences consumer behaviour into purchasing luxury brand products, whereas China respondents are on a neutral level. The relation from Table 6 shows that both UK and Thai respondents strongly disagree with the statement I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them.

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Section 4.1.3: Testing of the Hypothesis

This section will test whether there are differences in consumer behaviour factors of students purchasing luxury brand products between different student characteristics. The student characteristics, which are classified by gender, ethnic origin and frequency in purchasing luxury brand products, will be analyzed in the following hypothesis 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, and 1.4. Firstly, hypothesis 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 will test each ethnic origin: UK, China and, Thailand, respectively. Secondly, frequency in purchasing luxury brand products will be tested in hypothesis 1.4. The results of hypothesis 1.1 to 1.3 testing are analyzed by inferential statistics T-test for two groups of independent, while F-test for more than two groups of independent variable will be used for hypothesis 1.4 testing. The confidence level at 95% is selected as a criterion for this research, which means that 0.05 probability level will be used as the cut-off level of significance.

Hypothesis 1.1

H0 = There are no differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within the UK. H1 = There are differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within the UK.

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Table 8: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (UK) n = 48 Consumer behaviour factors Status and Materialistic Consumption Young Consumer 2.26 0.63 2.53 0.69 -1.437 0.158 Gender (UK) Male Mean 2.13 S.D. 1.03 Female Mean 2.44 S.D. 0.96 -1.059 0.295 T Sig. (2-tailed)

Motivation

2.88

0.56

3.15

0.53

-1.665

0.103

Culture

2.43

0.43

2.46

0.52

-.157

0.876

From Table 8, there are no differences in consumer behaviour factors of students purchasing luxury brand products within the UK since all significant value is greater than 0.05. This means that in regards to consumer behaviour both male and female students of ethnic origin groups (UK) have no significant differences in Status and Materialistic Consumption, Young Consumer, Motivation and Culture towards purchasing luxury brand products. Although, students in the UK have the same opinion, there are major and minor similarities that can be shown in the mean to which factor, male and female have the most common relationship. For example, Culture, has the least difference in mean, which indicates that this factor has the most similarity in opinion. Motivation on the other hand, has the highest difference in mean resulting in the least similarity in opinion.

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Hypothesis 1.2

H0 = There are no differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within China. H1 = There are differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within China.

Table 9: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (China) n = 46 Consumer behaviour factors Status and Materialistic Consumption Young Consumer 2.70 0.56 2.83 0.71 -0.661 0.512 Gender (China) Male Mean 2.30 S.D. 0.94 Female Mean 3.09 S.D. 0.96 -2.653 0.011* T Sig. (2-tailed)

Motivation

3.11

0.46

3.34

0.47

-1.559

0.126

Culture

2.75

0.59

2.88

0.54

-0.746

0.460

* Significant at the 0.05 level (2-tailed).

According to Table 9, all significant values are greater than 0.05 in all factors except Status and Materialistic Consumption. This means that Chinese students have significant differences between male and female behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products on Status and Materialistic Consumption. In other words, Chinese male have different opinion towards Status and Materialistic Consumption when purchasing luxury products from female. On the contrary, there

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are no differences in Chinese male and female students opinion towards Young Consumer, Motivation and Culture. From the factor Young Consumers, the mean of male and female respondents has the least different value; therefore, their opinions have the most similarity. The Motivation factor, on the other hand, has the largest difference in mean; therefore, has the least similarity in opinion.

Hypothesis 1.3 H0 = There are no differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within Thailand. H1 = There are differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products within Thailand.

Table 10: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences in gender among groups of ethnic origin (Thailand) n = 50 Consumer behaviour factors Status and Materialistic Consumption Young Consumer 2.44 0.60 2.51 0.78 -.337 0.738 Gender (Thailand) Male Mean 2.51 S.D. 1.06 Female Mean 2.15 S.D. 0.98 1.259 0.214 t Sig. (2-tailed)

Motivation

3.22

0.60

3.03

0.53

1.180

0.244

Culture

2.61

0.48

2.31

0.60

1.911

0.062

From Table 10, there are differences in consumer behaviour factors when considering students gender purchasing luxury brand products factors within

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Thailand (Sig. > 0.05). This means that both male and female students from Thailand have no significant difference in Status and Materialistic Consumption, Young Consumer, Motivation and Culture towards consumer behaviour on luxury brand products. In other words, regardless of gender, all Thai students have the same opinions towards purchasing luxury brand products. As shown in the table above, the mean can be used to indicate whether there are major or minor similarities between male and female respondents. The Young Consumers factor has the lowest mean difference; therefore, has the most similarity between male and female respondents. Culture, on the other hand, has the highest mean difference, resulting in the least similarity in respondents opinion.

To conclude this section, respondents from Thailand and the UK have no differences towards consumer behaviour factors; Status and Materialistic

Consumption, Young Consumer, Motivation and Culture when comparing male and female students. On the contrary, Chinese students have only one difference, which is Status and Materialism Consumption factor when gender is taken into account but all other factors show the same result as in Thailand and the UK.

The following section will explain how the variation of respondents frequency in purchasing luxury products affect consumer behaviour factors.

Hypothesis 1.4 H0 = There are no differences in students opinion when considering consumer behaviour factors and frequency in purchasing luxury products. H1 = There are differences in students opinion when considering consumer behaviour factors and frequency in purchasing luxury products.

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Table 11: Summary of hypothesis testing on mean differences among five groups of frequency in purchasing luxury products

n = 144 Consumer behaviour factors Status and Materialistic Consumption Frequency in purchasing luxury products Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year Other Young Consumer Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year Other Motivation Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year Other Culture Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year Other 7 47 48 33 9 7 47 48 33 9 7 47 48 33 9 7 47 48 33 9 2.57 2.43 2.45 2.42 3.11 2.50 2.68 2.51 2.50 2.30 3.15 3.15 3.24 3.05 2.90 2.47 2.62 2.60 2.55 2.50 1.05 1.06 1.02 0.96 1.21 0.57 0.61 0.78 0.65 0.77 0.55 0.56 0.53 0.57 0.35 0.44 0.52 0.56 0.63 0.47 .224 0.925 1.101 0.358 0.801 0.527 0.892 N Mean S.D. F Sig. (2-tailed) 0.471

From Table 11, There are no significant differences in students opinion when considering consumer behaviour factors and frequency in purchasing luxury products since the significant value is higher than 0.05. The more greater the significant value of one consumer behaviour factor the more chance that the mean of frequency in

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purchasing luxury brand products are simultaneously the same across that particular factor. For example, Culture factor has a significant value of 0.925;therefore, the mean value of each frequency in purchasing luxury products are very similar to each other compared to other consumer behaviour factors. Alternatively, this means that there is similarity between each pair of frequency in purchasing luxury products when considering the Culture factor.

4.2 Qualitative Results

This section will summarise the overall results from the three open-end questions, which will be discussed below.

Question 6 Why do you think teenagers are purchasing luxury goods?

Overall findings in regards to Thai respondents have mostly suggested that young consumer purchase luxury brand products to fit in with their friends; for example, young consumers want to fit in with their friends and make an impression. Additionally, respondents have also expressed that consumers purchase luxury products to follow fashion, which is largely influenced by the media. Thai respondents have also stated other reasons, such as luxury brands possessing better quality; for example, I usually purchase luxury brands because they possess better quality. There are other explanations, which have been suggested by Thai respondents, but have only been expressed by a minority of individuals. These include purchasing luxury products to differ from others, to be popular, to show that they have high income, to be similar to celebrities, and to possess products that others dont have.

UK respondents have also stated that mostly consumers purchase luxury products to fit in with friends. Large amounts of respondents explained that showing off and differentiating themselves from others are also the main reasons why consumers purchase luxury products. The influence of celebrities and showing status are amongst some of the respondents opinion in consuming luxury brand products; for example due to increasing exposure of luxury products is down to the focus on celebrities in the press is why teenagers purchase luxury products. However, minor

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respondents have expressed that the quality, appearance, and fashion of products are why luxury products are consumed.

Overall, there were a minority of Chinese respondents who contributed to the qualitative findings, but the majority has explained that to fit in with friends are the main reasons to why consumers purchase luxury brand products. Fashion, following celebrities, media influence, and showing status are other factors that has been stated for luxury products consumption; for example, a comment from a respondent stats teens purchase luxury products to be trendy, fashionable, and associated with their desired image. Few of the individuals have also confirmed that they purchase luxury brand products to differentiate themselves from others.

Question 7 Do you think that Western Culture influences your behaviour into purchasing luxury brand products? And why?

The majority of Thai respondents have explained that Western Culture influences their behaviour into purchasing luxury products; for example, a Thai respondent stated that, I think that the Western Culture has influenced me to buy luxury brand products as they appear to be better quality than Thai products, and have longer endurance. The explanation why Western culture have influences them is because of the media, which contains a large amount of Western culture shown worldwide. Celebrities from Western culture are also another main reason that causes the influences of Thai consumers into purchasing luxury goods. Respondents explain that celebrities are mostly on television, which causes others to follow their style; for example, one of the Thai respondents state that, Western movies can act as one of the many change agents that could influence my values. Other explanation includes the quality of Western products, and Western products are more advanced in technology influences them into purchasing luxury products. A small amount of Thai respondents have stated that Western culture does not influence them, and that they are loyal to their traditional cultures and products. Thai celebrities that represent Thailand and friends are some of the reasons to why Western culture does not influence them.

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Mostly, all respondents from the UK have agreed that Western culture influences their behaviour into purchasing luxury goods. The main reason is the media, and celebrities in Western countries persuade them into consuming luxury products; for example, a UK respondent expresses that, advertisements make you more likely to want to buy them because they present image we all want to have. Some respondents have explained that they purchase luxury products to fit into Western culture, and that quality is usual the benefit of luxurious items. Very few respondents have disagreed to the influence of Western Culture influences, and have explained that only the media, quality, and individuals preference of products are the main reasons why consumers purchase luxury goods.

In this section, the majority of Chinese respondents have failed to supply their opinion towards the influences of Western culture towards purchasing luxury goods. However, those few that have responded, commented that Western culture does have an influence, and the main reason were the media and celebrities of Western countries had in impact on their behavioural change into purchase luxury products. Additionally, the power of Western culture and the famous designers lured them into luxury product consumption. An interesting opinion has confirmed that the environment of Western culture influences Eastern consumers into purchase luxury products, and that after a period of time spent in Western countries has changed their behaviour and opinions in luxury products. A small group of individuals have expressed that Western culture does not influence them, and they simply purchase luxury products because they like them.

Question 8 What do you perceive as luxury brand products? And why?

Most of the Thai respondents explained that they perceive high quality to be associated to luxury brand products. Additionally, luxury products must also be charged at premium price, and designed by quality materials; for example, a Thai respondent explains that, luxury brand product is something that is very high in quality, image and usually price. Moreover, luxury brands, which are internationally recognized, have high positioning in market. Some examples of famous brand names including Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Versace, Chanel and etc. Respondents also expressed that luxury products must also be a better designed than standard products,

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and emphasized that they must be unique and exclusive. A minority of respondents stated that luxury products are things that are not necessary, or too expensive. Products that are rare, scarce, fashionable, and can be used for a long period of time are also some of the comments that minor groups of Thais perceived as luxury goods.

The majority of UK respondents perceive luxury products as expensive. Luxurious products must also be high in quality and must be well known designer brands; for example, a UK respondent stated, luxury products I perceive as more expensive than the average product and often better in quality. In addition, to famous designer brands products, electronic appliances (iPOD, Sony, Apple) and automobiles are applied with high technology (Aston martin, Rolls Royce) as well as expensive timepieces, jewellery and cosmetics are classified as luxury products. Luxury products are also those that offer exclusiveness and uniqueness; therefore, not many people can afford it or buy it on a regular basis; for example, an individual expressed that, I perceive luxury brand product as something that I wouldnt buy on a regular basis. Sometimes consumers have the urge to purchase them on occasions to treat themselves. Possessing luxury products make them standout, and are classified as high social class status.

The majority of Chinese respondents perceived that luxury products are those that are expensive, and contain better quality. Respondents also mentioned that luxury brand products are things that is unnecessary because there is other alternative products that provide the same functionality but less expensive. Similar to UK and Thailand, Most Chinese respondents also view well-known brands such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and etc. as luxury products. Additionally, those famous brands must be unique, exclusive and rare. Luxury products must also be fashionable, and unaffordable to some consumers; for example, a Chinese individual state that, luxury product is something expensive, and something not everybody is able to afford. Products must also be exclusive, high in quality, fulfill a desire, and has the characteristics of trend, and fashion. Minor group of respondents have also explained that luxurious products must be well designed and use a better material than standard products.

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It is interesting to note that in this chapter the results obtained from both quantitative and qualitative data have only been described simplistically. In the following chapter, a more in depth discussion will be applied for further analysis.

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Chapter 5: Discussion
This chapter is going to discuss the aims that have been presented in three main sections. Results obtained from data analysis are used to explain these objectives in order to examine whether previous research is consistent with the findings in this study.

5.1 How culture difference between Eastern and Western countries influence consumers into purchasing luxury brand products?

The first purpose of this research was to investigate how culture differences between Eastern and Western countries influence consumers into purchasing luxury brand products. Culture has many aspects that can be divided between Eastern and Western characteristics.

5.1.1 Face

Face is one of the characteristics that is included in culture. Ho, 1976; TingToomey & Kurogi 1998; Chan et al, 2003 indicate that Eastern and Western consumers considers face differently. According to Table 6, my parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products is used to identify respondents opinion in regards to face. Respondents from the United Kingdom disagree with the statement relating to face and the idea of parents giving money to purchase luxury brand products. This finding resemble that research by Wysocki (1997), which explains that only in Eastern culture that parents and grandparents would give their children and grandchildren money to purchase luxury brand products. However, respondents opinion from China and Thailand resulted in a neutral agreement and disagreement, respectively. The results diverges from the explanation by Wysocki (1997) that Eastern culture uses money from parents. One of the causes for this divergent can be explained by Jaw et al.(2007), that the exposure and experience of Western culture over a long period of time changes the behaviour of Eastern respondents. Ju (1993) further explains that there has been a change in behaviour of respondents from China, which shows that they have become more

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aggressive and ambitious under Western cultural influences. The change in behaviour may affect consumers opinion in using parents money, because respondents may have become more ambitious in trying to purchase luxury brand products themselves. I purchase luxury brand products for others, has been included to identify the difference between Western and Eastern culture that affects consumer behaviour. Respondents from the UK, China, and Thailand have all shown a neutral opinion. Therefore, it could be explained that purchasing luxury brand products for others could be a matter of individuals preference, occasion, purpose or whom the item is for. Bloch and Richins (1983) explains that consumers perception vary in regards to the importance of products. Consumers may class different products as important, whereas others may view them as unimportant. Arunthanes et al. (1994) stated that purchasing gift for others must be beneficial. The benefit that an individual may gain is how the person that is receiving the gift views him/her. Giving gifts to others also increases the communication between one another. Additionally, purchasing gifts for others also depends on the type of relationship that person is trying to gain from the person that is receiving the gift. Interestingly, relationships are considered important to Chinese respondents because Chinese people consider family are at the core of their relationships (Qian et al., 2007). Additionally, he also stated that brand are also considered important when purchasing gifts. The neutral opinion shown by Chinese respondents can be revealed that some Chinese students consider purchasing products for family may come first before friends and other relations. Brands are also considered important; therefore, the closer the family relation the more luxurious the gift may be. Thailand is similar to China because they are both from Eastern culture; therefore, Thai consumer behaviour towards gift giving opinion may be similar. Eastern cultural gift giving classifies family as a priority, which shows that they are more respectful towards people who have higher status than them. The respect shown towards family is explained by Markus & Kitayama (1991) that collectivist Cultures have a strong social hierarchy, in comparison to individualist. To understand British consumers in terms of purchasing luxury products as a gift for others, Qian et al. (2007) help explaining Western behaviour towards gift giving that they only purchase on special occasions. For example, Christmas, Valentines Day, and Easter are some of the important occasions that Westerners celebrates.

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Obligation is a characteristic that is included in face consumption. I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them has been used to identify respondents opinion towards obligation. Sun (1991) explains that once Eastern consumers are accepted into a social group they are expected to purchase luxury items because he/she does not wish to lose face. Respondents from the UK strongly disagree with this statement, which is expected as Western consumers known as individualists are, more concerned with inner self, taste and preference (Lebra, 1992; Markus & Cross, 1990; Markus & Kitayama, 1991). However, respondents from China and Thailand also disagree with the statement, which is inconsistent to the research by Sun (1991) as mentioned earlier. Further research has evidently shown that findings from respondents opinion are accurate. Parker et al. (2004) stated that there has been a change in Asian teen values caused by Western influence. In addition, a study conducted by Parmar (2002) in 11 Asian markets, have shown that values, which include individualism, ambition, and freedom, are more important to Asian teenagers than adults (age 40-65). This change, which is also supported by Tu (1992) who explains that the change to a modern capitalist world in Southeast Asia regards achievement and wealth to be more important than humility.

5.1.2 Independent and Group Needs

Individual and Group Needs is one of the topics that is included in the five aspects of tradition of culture. I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with friends, has been included in the questionnaire to identify respondents opinion to differentiated Western and Eastern group needs. According to Yang (1963), Asians view influenced by social groups is considered in a positive aspect; therefore, an individuals desire is to be accepted into a group and bond with members. On the contrary, Chinese and Thai respondents have shown a neutral and a disagree opinion towards purchasing products to fit in with friends, respectively. As mentioned earlier, the research from Parker et al (2004), which explain that there has been change in Asian teen values which have been Westernised, may have been a reason for the neutral and disagreement between the two Eastern countries. UK respondents disagree with this statement, which is expected because according to Kashima et al., (1995) Westerners believe in their own personal taste and preference. In other words, other peoples opinions are irrelevant.

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Markus and Kitayama (1991) explain that independent self-concepts depend entirely on individuals emotions, desires, and personal values. Drawing from the questionnaire I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what people think is used to identify whether respondents consumer behaviour is reliant on independent self-concepts. According to the findings, (shown in table 6) the agreement of UK respondents is expected; as Western culture (UK) is more considerable of inner self (taste, preference, personal values); however, it is unexpected that respondents from Eastern culture (China, and Thailand) have a neutral opinion. Qualitative findings explained that respondents have accepted that Western Culture has influences them in regards to purchasing luxury brand products. This also explains that consumers have possibly adopted the Western behaviour, which may have shown a mixture of opinion between self and other people thoughts.

5.2 What are the Motivational factors that encourage Young Consumers into purchasing luxury brand products?

5.2.1 The Perfectionist Effect

In this research, Motivation has been applied in order to explore consumers behaviour towards luxury brand products. I purchase luxury brand products because they offer better quality and I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products are used to identify whether respondents are motivated by quality of luxury products. Table 5 shows that respondents from UK, China, and Thailand all agree with these statements, indicating that all respondents are related to the Perfectionist effect which is equivalent to the research of Vigneron and Johnson (1999) who explained that perfectionist consumers that purchase luxury goods expect quality as well as performance. Also, qualitative findings have supported the agreement, which states that the majority of the respondents consider luxury products must be high in quality.

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5.2.2 The Veblen Effect

The factor that is used to identify respondents motives towards purchasing products with high prices is I still purchase luxury brand products even if the price increase. Students from the UK, China, and Thailand have all show an opinion of a neutral agreement. The reason why some of participants from these three countries still purchase luxury brand products even though the price increase is that these students are associated to Veblen effect meaning that these consumers are motivated by high price that they consider as high quality (Erickson & Johansson, 1995) In relation to the Veblen effect I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price and I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status has also been used as factors to identify consumers motivational behaviour towards purchasing luxury products. Students from the UK and Thailand disagree with these statements, whereas Chinese respondents have a neutral agreement. These findings have indicated respondents from the UK and Thailand are not related to the Veblen effect in the aspect because they are not motivated in products that are high in price or to show status. The neutral response from Chinese students can be supported by qualitative findings. These findings show that some teenagers purchase luxury products to show their status and financial background.

5.2.3 The Bandwagon Effect

The Bandwagon effect is also related to Motivation, and the factor Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them is used to discover respondents perspective on the use of celebrities and luxury products. Chinese respondents have shown a neutral agreement, whereas UK and Thai respondents disagree with the statement. Dittmar (1994) explains that consumers purchase luxury brands to imitate those from television. However, there is contradiction because according to qualitative research have shown that some proportions of respondents have agreed that celebrities influence them into purchasing products that are similar to which the media such as advertisement has had a large impact. The neutral opinion shown by Chinese respondents could be caused by

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the Bandwagon effect, which suggests that consumers purchase luxury products because the mass amount of people purchases them (Leibenstein, 1950). 5.2.4 The Snob Effect

I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me, has been used to identify respondents opinion towards the snob effect. UK and Thai respondents have agreed to this statement, whereas Chinese respondents have a neutral agreement. Supporting the opinion from UK and Thai consumers have been confirmed in the qualitative findings, which shows that the majority of Thai and UK consumers are attracted to luxury products that are exclusive and unique. The neutral agreement that have been shown by Chinese respondents may have been caused by the small amounts that has contributed to the qualitative findings, where very few have expressed their opinions towards luxury products. I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others, has also been used to identify Snob consumers. Table 5 has shown that UK, China, and Thailand all share the same opinion, which is a neutral agreement. The Snob effect can be explained as consumers who are attracted to products that are rare and exclusive. Additionally, Snob consumers also have less desire of luxury products that are consumed by mass amount of people. Qualitative findings have indicated that only some of UK, China and Thai respondents explained that they perceive luxury products to be unique and exclusive, whereas some have also commented they purchase to differentiate themselves. The mixture of both comments may have shown a balance between respondents comments resulting in a neutral agreement to the Snob effect.

5.2.5 The Hedonic Effect

Hedonic is also a part of Motivation, and can be interpreted as consumers purchasing luxury products for self-fulfilment, and is not affected by interpersonal influences. The factor I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them. According to Table 5, shows that respondents from the UK, China, and Thailand all agree with the statement. Although, all respondents agree to purchase luxury products because of their personal taste; however, what they think to towards others have been explained in the qualitative findings. Respondents suggested that the

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majority of teenagers purchase luxury brands to fit in with friends, and is often persuaded by friends into purchase luxury items. In addition, only several respondents stated that teenagers purchase luxury products because of their individual preferences.

5.3 Is there other factors that influence Young Consumer into purchasing luxury brand products?

5.3.1 Status and Materialistic Consumption

Finally, the last proposal explains that there are other factors that influence young consumers into purchasing luxury brand products. Status and Materialistic Consumption is used in this research to identify consumers behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products. Table 3 shows that I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as having upper class status and I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have, are used to identify these factors. Respondents from the UK and Thailand disagree with both of these statements, whereas respondents from China have a neutral agreement. In regards to respondents opinion, it clearly shows that consumers from the UK and Thailand do not purchase luxury products because they require them to show status, or because possessions bring them happiness, meaning, and success. The neutral perspective from Chinese respondents can be explained by Cheng (1993) to which some Chinese teens are considered as little emperors and is comforted by six pocket (parents and grandparents money); therefore, they are more concerned with symbolism and success. These concerns also imply materialistic consumption, where teens value financial success as a priority in life (Schaefer et al., 2004). However, there were only few who have contributed to the qualitative research; therefore, it is difficult to acknowledge the majority of the respondents opinion.

5.3.2 Generation Y

(Generation Y) it is important to understand their behaviour and their opinion towards purchasing luxury brand products. According to Weiss (2003), young consumers are familiar with technology and credit cards. One of the factors (as shown

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in table 4) shows that I use credit card to purchase luxury goods is used to identify respondents opinion towards the payment of items. Respondents from the UK disagree with this statement, whereas respondents from China and Thailand have a neutral agreement. The reason for respondents disagreement is supported by Fan and Burton (2002) who explain that while students are at University they double the amount of debt, and own three times the amount of credit cards, than they usually do. However, the term six pockets may have supported Chinese respondents who have a neutral view towards credit cards. As mentioned earlier, students who have six pockets are supported financially by parents and grandparents (Wysocki, 1997). Another factor that is used to identify Young Consumers behaviour is I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products. On average 80% of students that are at college or university are employed (Martin & Turley, 2004). However, respondents from the UK, China, and Thailand all have a neutral agreement to the statement. Although 80% of students are employed, it does not necessarily mean that they would use that money to purchase luxury brand products. Students may have other uses for the money; for example, social reasons, using the money to pay off a loan, or using the money for savings. As the government in the UK has offered many students loans may have encourage them to use this opportunity to purchase luxury brand products. I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products have been used to discover respondents opinions. Respondents from the UK and China disagree with the statement, whereas Thailand strongly disagrees. Respondents who disagree with using loans may have learnt that by being in dept, is a difficult situation, and has encouraged others to avoid it. According to research from Watson (2003), he explains that materialistic consumers have a more positive behaviour towards borrowing money to purchase luxury brand products. However, respondents from the research (according to Table 3) are not materialistic consumers (UK and Thailand), and a proportion of respondents also have a mix opinion towards materialistic consumption (China). Media is considered to have a mass influence on young consumers. According to Nielsen (1995), adolescences consume up to seven hours of television a day. Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them, is used as a factor to identify young consumers opinion towards the association of celebrities with luxury brand products. Table 4 shows the

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findings of respondents from UK and Thailand disagree with the statement, whereas respondents from China have a neutral opinion. However, there is a contradiction according to qualitative findings in this research. Respondents have stated in qualitative findings that the media and advertisement influences teenagers into purchasing luxury products. Also, the use of celebrities on advertisement encourages them into purchase luxury brand products. Mandel et al (2006) expressed that magazines offer consumers to imitate celebrities in the sense of style and fashion. In addition, images of successful celebrities changes the views of these consumers to believe that all celebrities have a sense of style and fashion; therefore, following their lead. On the other hand, consumers may also have a negative effect in viewing celebrities associated to luxury brand products. As explained by Mandel et al. (2006), comparing ones success with some more successful will decrease their expectations and desires towards luxury products.

5.3.3 Gender

Gender has also been an important factor that has been included to identify consumer behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products. According to Hypothesis Testing in section 3, the overall findings indicate that regardless of the difference between genders in UK, China, and Thailand, shows that between genders in each of the countries, respondents opinions are similar. Research by Tully (1994) has also indicated that teens across the world have similar attitudes, actions, and purchase similar products, which can be identified as a unique entity. This clearly shows that regardless of gender, teens consumer behaviour has similar opinion towards products.

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Chapter 6: Conclusion, Limitations, Future Recommendations, and Managerial Implications.


6.1 Conclusion

In conclusion, this research aims to investigate consumer behaviour of young consumers towards purchase luxury brand products. The findings seem to reveal that there has been a dynamic change in Eastern teens behaviour. There seems to appears be a change in traditional cultural beliefs in Eastern countries (China and Thailand), which has found that consumers behaviour has started to adapt to Western culture (UK) in regards to purchasing luxury brand products. Although some individuals still may have strong beliefs in cultural behaviours, the majority of teens may have adopted to Western cultural values. These changes seem to have occurred since there has been a popularity of Western style fashion that has emerged in Eastern countries. Western style of fashion is only one factor that might affect consumers; the other may be Western style behaviour. The influence of behaviour seems to have appeared after a long period of time, after which consumers have experience, a Western style environment. In terms of motivation, this research has suggested that the Snob, Perfectionist, and Hedonic effect motivate UK and Thai consumers into purchasing luxury brand products. On the other hand, China seems to be motivated by the Hedonic, and Perfectionist effect. The Perfectionist effect has shown a major impact on consumers, which all respondents seems to consider quality as important when purchasing luxury brand products. Some of the UK and China are also similar because these respondents may purchase luxury products for self-fulfilment and personal value. Several respondents from the UK are also similar to Thai respondents as these consumers might purchase luxury products for exclusivity, and items that are limited. In terms of income, the results suggest that all students UK, China, and Thailand do not use loans to purchase luxury brand products. In addition, all students seem to use money from parents, and only the UK seems to do not use credit cards to purchase luxury goods. Results suggested that, celebrities have shown no influence towards UK and Thai consumers, whereas some Chinese consumers seem to follow

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celebrities. In respect to Status and Materialistic Consumption, UK and Thai respondents may not want to possess luxury goods to show their financial status or because they envy others. However, some of Chinese consumers might purchase luxury products to show that they are upper class and for wealth purposes, and because they envy others.

6.2 Limitations

Even though results of this study are based on the past researches in an area of consumer behaviour purchasing luxury brands products, appropriate interpretation of the results are needed in order to avoid misconception.

This study focus on three particular type of ethnic origin (UK, China, and Thailand); therefore, the results may be inapplicable to others group of ethnicity. Sampling groups have been applied to this study that is only based on students who are studying in the UK; therefore, some respondents who have been studying for a long time (more than 5 years) may be influenced by Western culture. Thus, a broader view of consumer behaviour towards Culture differences would be more rational if respondents are considering studying in their home country. There has also been a constraint because of the focus on teenagers because wider range of ages may have different opinions and motives towards luxury products in comparison to a specific age group of generation Y. As this study employed snowball sampling which is a type of nonprobability sampling method. This method does not ensure that each unit will has an equal chance of being selected as in probability sampling; therefore, such samples are vulnerable to selection biases. Since a limited amount of time is a constraint in this study, only a small sampling size of 144 respondents can be obtained. However, a clearer view of consumer behaviour towards products known as luxury would be more reliable if large number of participants are taken into account, which would generate lower risk for external validity. In addition, some of the information may be misleading because research has not been up to date. In order for organisations to use the research that is going to be undertaken they must consider the confined information that has been contributed.

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6.3 Future Research Recommendation

This research only paid attention to how status and materialistic consumption affect on students purchasing luxury brands. An issue of I use credit card to purchase luxury brand products which is related to consumer debt is able to link with status and materialistic consumption in the further research in order to investigate their relationship. For example, researcher can test whether consumers are in debt have high possibility to purchase luxury brand goods. To understand the presence or absence of such relationship would be beneficial for students because there has been an increase in amount of student debt. As explained by Fan and Burton (2002) many students has doubled in the amount of debt by use of credit cards, and also own three times the amount of credit cards while in university.

While the British students were given the survey in their native language, the Chinese and Thai students received it in a second language. It is worth noting that, as mention earlier, these students are studying in the UKs university so classes are conducted in English. However, data interpretations of Chinese students were less easily translated compared to the rest. Thus, additional research should be conducted in respondents original language to avoid confusion, misunderstand, contradictions, and biasness.

6.4 Managerial Implication

It is considered a priority for marketers to know how to reach their customers in luxury markets with maximum efficiency. The possibilities of initiative for marketers to undertake could be to offer standardization in young consumers markets, or a modification of products need to be applied to accommodate all desires and behaviour to particular countries.

Westernisation has affect most of the Eastern countries, which has also changed many of the teens behaviour towards purchasing luxury brand products. From a marketing perspective, they should consider the change that has been taken

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and should adopt the idea of a global standardization in products, which could be used to target all teens worldwide. Targeting teens in each country may be inappropriate, because all teens are considered to have the same desires towards products. The effect of a Global teen target will be less time consuming because products would be standardized. Additionally, Global teen targeting would also be cost saving in terms of advertisements, and promotion which could be used worldwide. However, marketers should note that although Western culture has affected most of the Eastern teen consumers, it has also changed their behaviour. Western behaviour is considered as independent, freedom, and concerned with inner self, and values, which could make predicting consumers desires more difficult towards luxury brand products.

Research has also indicated that consumers consider quality as a high priority when purchasing luxury brand products. Marketers could use this finding towards improving products. Products that show more quality could be beneficial to retailers, and also consumers. Retailers would benefit from the increase in price for each product, whereas consumers would benefit from the quality that is received. Even though the price has increased in luxury products should not affect consumers as long as they are exclusive and high in quality.

Another interesting discovery that has been found in this research is that the majority of consumers purchase luxury brand products to fit in with friends. Marketers should consider the idea of identifying which luxury products has been consumed the most by teens, which will then be able to accumulate other consumers alike into purchase similar products.

Marketers should also note that, the use of celebrities associated to luxury brands influences consumers to purchase similar products. This research has also found that celebrities set the trend for fashion, and the use of the media has a mass influence on consumers. From a marketing perspective take these findings into account, and use celebrities associated to luxury brands on advertisement, presenting exclusive luxury brand products for maximum efficiency in attracting consumers.

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Appendix 1: Questionnaire
I am a student of Nottingham University studying MSc in International Business. This questionnaire is designed to investigate consumer behaviour of students purchasing luxury brand products. Luxury can be defined as something adding to pleasure or comfort but not absolutely necessary; an indulgence in something that provides pleasure, satisfaction, or ease (Merriam Webster Dictionary 2004). Luxury can be in forms of clothing (Armani, Paul Smith, Versace, Prada, Burberry, etc), accessories (Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci, Rolex, Tag Heuer, etc), and appliances (Sony, Bose, Samsung, Apple, etc). If you have purchased products that have been included above or similar products please proceed in answering the questionnaire. If not then please ignore this questionnaire. Part I Personal Details 1. Age: 2. Gender: under 18 Male 18-25 Female Chinese Thai Others ________ 25-30 30+

3. Ethnic Origin: British

(please specify)

4. How often do you purchase luxury brand products? Weekly Monthly Every 6 months Once a year

Part II Please rate these questions to your opinion 1 = Strongly disagree 2 = Disagree 3 = Neutral 4 = Agree 5 = Strongly agree 1 2 3 4 5 I use money from my part time job to purchase luxury brand products. My parents give me money so I am able to purchase luxury brand products. I use credit card to purchase luxury goods. I buy luxury brand products because they offer better quality. I still purchase luxury brands products even if the prices increase. I consider quality as a priority when purchasing luxury brand products. I am attracted to luxury brand products that are high in price. I use student loans to purchase luxury brand products.

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Representation of celebrities associated with luxury brand products influence me into purchasing them. I have less desire towards luxury brand products when mass quantities of people consume the same products as me. I purchase luxury brand products even though I do not like them. I purchase luxury brand products because I simply like the style of them. I purchase luxury brand products to fit in with my friends. I purchase luxury brand products to differentiate myself from others. I purchase luxury brand products for others. I purchase luxury brand products regardless of what other people think. I purchase luxury brand products because I want others to view me as an upper class status. I envy others with luxury brand products e.g. I want the same products that they have. Part III Please feel free to answer these questions according to your understanding. (There is no right or wrong answers) 1. Why do you think teenagers are purchasing luxury goods?

2. Do you think that Western Culture influences your behaviour into purchasing luxury brand products? And Why?

3. What do you perceive as luxury brand products? And Why?

----------THANK YOU VERY MUCH--------

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