Word-of-Mouth and Luxury Brand Consumption: The Role of Attitude Functions

Gerald ALBAUM, Shing Chung POON, Cheng-Yue YIN

Research output: Other Conference ContributionsAbstractpeer-review


This study aims to investigate the effect of word-of-mouth on the purchase of genuine and counterfeit luxury brands. It also examines the roles of attitude functions and social norm in the relationship between word-of-mouth communication and consumers’ luxury brand evaluation. A 2 (information source: advertising vs. word-of-mouth) × 2 (luxury brand: genunie vs. counterfeit) between-subjects experimental design was used to collect the data. A total of 153 adult consumers from Shanghai, China were recruited and randomly assigned to one of the four experimental conditions. Prior to the conduction of the actual experiment, a pretest of 30 respondents was conducted to determine the brands and scenarios selected for the experiments. Attitude function (social-adjustive function or value-expressive function) is measured by a self-monitoring scale. Social norm, luxury brand evaluations on genuine and counterfeit luxury brands were measured. MANOVA and ANOVA were performed to examine the proposed hypotheses. Results indicated that purchase intention for counterfeit luxury brand was moderated by subjective norm. Word-of-mouth increased the subjective norm related to the disapproval of counterfeits, compared to traditional advertising. Subjective norm was found to strongly influence consumers’ counterfeit luxury brand evaluation. The relationship between subjective norm and counterfeit consumption was positively significant. The moderating effects of self-monitoring and subjective norm on consumers’ evaluations and consumption for counterfeit luxury brands were found to significant. In short, the findings support the proposed hypotheses and showed that positive word-of-mouth was an efficient way to enhance consumers’ purchase intentions for genuine luxury brands, and also an effective means to decrease purchase intentions for counterfeit luxury brands. The results reveal that social-adjustive function and value-expressive function served by luxury brand consumption can be increased by positive word-of-mouth. Furthermore, higher levels of social-adjustive function and value-expressive function served by publicly consumed product (vs. privately consumed product) are found, indicating that product categories also affect the attitude functions served by luxury brand consumption. Managerial recommendations are provided to the marketing managers for luxury brands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015
Event2015 Global Fashion Management Conference - Italy, Florence, Italy
Duration: 27 Jun 201527 Jun 2015


Conference2015 Global Fashion Management Conference
OtherGlobal Alliance of Marketing and Management Associations (GAMMA)


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