National differences revealed in counterfeit study

Jung JaeheeA comparison between German and Korean consumers has revealed stark difference in counterfeit buying behaviours.

Looking at attitudes towards the purchases of luxury goods such as handbags, shoes and wines, the study - due to be published shortly in Luxury Research Journal - found that price alone did not explain buying patterns.

Jaehee Jung (pictured) of the University of Delaware and co-authors from Leibniz University in Germany and Kyung Hee University in South Korea conclude that while price was a factor, other considerations such as how a person wished to be seen by their social contacts was also important.

"We found that people’s perceptions are what really determine the market for counterfeits, and we found cultural patterns," said Jung.

"German consumers want high-quality goods, and they worry that counterfeits won’t have the quality they desire," she said in a report on the University of Delaware website.

"Korean consumers are more concerned about social perceptions and making a good impression on others - they worry that people will think less of them if they are known to buy counterfeits," added Jung.

Previous work by the researchers has revealed different buying patterns for genuine luxury goods around the world, with consumers in France valuing the exclusivity of goods while Americans seek "hedonistic … self-fulfilment".

In the future, Jung et al want to extend their behavioural and motivational research into markets such as China, India and Brazil, where the markets for luxury goods are expanding quickly, to help guide public awareness campaigns to persuade the public not to buy counterfeits.

"What we’ve learned is that to have effective strategies, we have to be country-specific," said Jung.

"Even being culture-specific isn’t enough; Korea is not the same as Germany, but it’s also not the same as China and other Asian countries."

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