The aim of this research study is to find out the different factors that cause consumers to purchase low-end brands such as Primark. The purpose of this study is to identify the factors that influence the British consumers’ purchase decision as well as their motivations in buying clothes from the low-end retail brands. In line with these research aims, relevant literatures were gathered and presented in this chapter to determine the factors that lead consumers to choose Primark over other clothing brands. Supporting theories are also identified in this literature review.
The Factors Consumers Consider When Making Purchase Decision
There are many factors that influence consumers when making purchase decision. According to Sokolowski (2013), several different factors are being considered by consumers every time they make a purchase decision and among these include their own perception of the brand. This was also reflected in the theory of buyer behavior which illustrates an integration of the different marketing, social and psychological influences that affect consumer choice through information processing (Bray, 2013). Davis (2009) states that the influence of the brand is fundamental in the purchase decision process as every consumer inevitably considers the strength of the brand including its benefits, identity and what it can possibly offer them. In addition, prior to making a choice on which product/ brand to purchase, consumers typically consider the value of the brand and its differentiation with other competing brands that offer similar products. Aside from brand perception, another important factor that consumers consider when making purchase decision is the present cultural trend. For example, many consumers are influenced by the shopping habits and behavior of other people such as those they see online. Apparently, consumers tend to choose brands that are deemed popular and useful by the majority (Perreau, 2013, p.9). Aside from cultural influence, social factors are also considered by consumers prior to making a purchase decision. For instance, many consumers seek the perceptions, views and opinions of a specific reference group which may include their family members, friends or even experts and other users of a brand, before making any purchases (Batra & Kazmi, 2009, p. 295).
How a Brand Affects the Consumers’ Purchase Decision
According to Davis (2009), a brand is defined as that which represents the company’s ‘full personality’ and serves as the interface between the company and the consumers (p. 12). In addition, a brand is also defined as a ‘promise’ that companies must live up to in order to protect and improve its reputation (Lantos, 2011, p. 420). Brands significantly affect the consumers’ purchase decision as many of them choose the brand that they trust and value in order to avoid uncertainties and quality-related issues (Zeb, Rashid, & Javeed, 2011, p. 225). In the fashion industry, brands do affect the consumers’ purchase decision. As argued by Zeb, Rashid, & Javeed (2011), a brand is what differentiates a clothing product from others. The level of involvement of a consumer on a specific clothing product is determined by the brand. This implies that the more positive the consumers’ perceptions are to a brand, the higher the consumers’ involvement (p. 226).
The Consumers’ Perceptions on Low-End and High-End Brands
According to Adams (2013), the main difference between the consumers’ perceptions on low-end and high-end brands is that in the latter, perception and experience are considered more important than use. Apparently, many consumers purchase high-end, luxury brands based on their satisfying experience and positive perception on the brand. As emphasized by Zeb, Rashid, & Javeed (2011), the consumers’ willingness to pay a high price for a product depends on their brand perception and positive relationship with the brand (p. 227). In the world of fashion, many people tend to purchase high-end brands not for functionality purposes but for the image and prestige that the brand brings. This means that many fashion consumers who patronize high-end brands are motivated by the fact that they will be able to project a certain image or status that will differentiate them from other people (Zeb, Rashid, & Javeed, 2011, p. 227). This was also validated in the Herbert Simon’s Satisficing Theory of Consumer Behavior which asserts that consumers seek satisfactory as opposed to optimum choices (Bray, 2013, p. 4). On the other hand, there are also consumers who prefer low-end brands over high-end brands. For instance, the low-end retailer, Primark is highly preferred by many British consumers who consider price as an important factor in buying clothing products (Davis, 2009, p. 127). The brand specifically appeals to consumers who are price conscious and are looking for “value for money” products. These groups of consumers appear to be conscious and aware of lower-priced products as compared to brand status and appeal (Dzama, 2013, p. 308).
In this chapter, it was validated that there are many factors that influence consumers when making purchase decisions. Among these factors include their own perception of the brand as well as cultural and social factors. Brands significantly affect the consumers’ purchase decision as many of them choose the brand that they trust and value. Moreover, the level of involvement of a consumer on a specific clothing product is determined by the brand.
Adams, A. (2013). Luxury consumers value products, not buying experiences. Forbes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/arieladams/2013/05/23/luxury-consumers-value-products-not-buying-experiences/
Batra, S., & Kazmi, S. (2009). Consumer behaviour. Excel Books India.
Bray, J. (2013). Consumer behaviour theory: Approaches and models. http://eprints.bournemouth.ac.uk/10107/1/Consumer_Behaviour_Theory_-_Approaches_%26_Models.pdf
Davis, M. (2009). The fundamentals of branding. AVA Publishing.
Dzama, T. (2013). Consumer Decision making styles among female students in tertiary institutions for clothing products in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. International Journal of Science and Research, 2(2), 307-311.
Lantos, G. (2011). Consumer behavior in action: Real-life applications for marketing managers. M.E. Sharpe Inc.
Perreau, F. (2013). The factors that drive consumer behavior. http://theconsumerfactor.com/en/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2013/12/The-forces-that-drive-consumer-behavior-Fanny-Perreau-TheConsumerFactor.pdf
Sokolowski, O. (2013). Influences and attitudes within consumer behaviour process. GRIN Verlag.
Zeb, H., Rashid, K., & Javeed, M. (2011). Influence of brands on consumer’s buying behavior in Pakistan. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 2(3), 225-231.