Prestige seeking consumer behavior and evaluative criteria of premium brand jeans Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/6395w922d

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  • Although designer brand denim apparel has been popular since the early 1980’s, the term “premium denim” is a relatively new concept to the apparel industry. This study investigated evaluative criteria used by female consumers when purchasing premium denim jeans. Previous studies have examined evaluative criteria and its importance in purchasing consumer items (Engel, Blackwell, &Miniard, 1993). This study expanded the past research of clothing evaluative criteria by linking it to prestige-seeking consumer behavior literature (Vigneron & Johnson, 1999). Questionnaires which used a multi-measurement approach were used for data collection. The multiple techniques included: likelihood Likert scale ratings, importance rankings, conjoint-couplet trade-off scenarios, and open-ended questions. The data were collected at Oregon State University in the Winter Term of 2008. A purposive convenience sample of 90 students from the Department of Design and Human Environment courses were surveyed. Frequency, percentage, cross-tabulation, and descriptive statistics were used to analyze the data. Respondents were asked to assess nine evaluative criteria including those prestige-seeking behaviors by rating the likelihood of usage and ranking the top three criteria used in a previous purchase. The nine criteria were: fit, price, brand name, style, fabric, brand awareness, uniqueness, friend/peer opinion, and quality. They also decided between shopping scenarios that presented trade-offs between price and another criterion. Lastly, participants provided written descriptions of their last premium denim purchase. Results indicated that the criterion with the highest likelihood of usage in a premium denim purchase was fit, followed by quality and style. The rankings also revealed fit to be the most important characteristic when evaluating premium jeans. The trade-off shopping scenarios demonstrated that fit was largely preferred in a tradeoff with price and that a lower price was preferred over the quality of a pair of premium jeans. Finally, the open-ended questions revealed that although most premium denim consumers chose fit to be their most important criterion, they actually were more likely to use secondary characteristics of the term fit in order to explain what factors actually influenced their previous purchase. The four objectives were fully explained by the collected data to provide better insight and knowledge into what is important to premium denim consumers. The multi-measurement approach was helpful in accurately analyzing the evaluative criteria. It revealed that when an actual shopping simulation, or purchase situation is presented, it can cause a difference in opinion when compared to the likelihood of a future purchase. Premium denim manufacturers, retailers and buyers can draw implications from the study’s results to develop future premium jeans in accordance with consumer’s preferences. Furthermore, there is opportunity to further research the topic of premium denim as well as the opportunity to use this multi-measurement approach in other disciplines.
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