Factors influencing the purchase intention of the black middle-class in emerging markets for global brands: the case of fashion brands in South Africa

Van den Berg, Annekee
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With the rise of globalisation, consumers are increasingly faced with having to make purchase decisions between domestic and foreign products or brands. Therefore, it is important to gain a better understanding of what factors influence consumer decisions when considering a local or global product or brand. Although a number of studies have explored similar topics, a lack of research remains regarding a comprehensive theoretical model that provides a holistic view of factors influencing the decision to buy a global product. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate those factors that influence the purchase decisions of global fashion brands among black middle-class women in South Africa. More specifically, by means of a conceptual model, the present study proposes that ethnocentrism, price, brand knowledge (comprising of brand awareness and brand image), self-image, fashion involvement, brand love, attitude, and perceived quality influence consumers’ buying decisions. The findings of this study seek to fill the gap in literature regarding how emerging black middle-class consumers in South Africa make buying decisions with regard to (global) fashion products. An empirical study was undertaken, in which 500 black middle-class females were asked to complete an online survey to determine which factors influence their choice of global fashion clothing. The obtained data was analysed by means of Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) using Partial Least Squares. The findings support all proposed hypotheses, but not all hypotheses were found to be significant. The strongest relationships were found between brand knowledge and perceived quality, brand knowledge and attitude, and self-image and attitude. The weakest relationships were between ethnocentrism and purchase intention, price perception and perceived quality and finally brand love and purchase intention. Furthermore, the findings revealed that quality is the main reason for consumers to consider buying global fashion-branded clothing. On the other hand, price is the biggest drawback of sales of global fashion brands. This study is of significant importance to fashion marketers since it provides adequate insight into how global fashion brands can position themselves and influence consumers’ decisions to buy global fashion products. This study further provides a comprehensive model, adds to knowledge gaps, and provides several managerial implications and directions for future research.
A thesis submitted in full fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (Marketing) at the University of Witwatersrand, 2017
Van den Berg, Annekee (2017) Factors influencing the purchase intention of the black middle-class in emerging markets for global brands : the case of fashion brands in South Africa, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, <https://hdl.handle.net/10539/24145>