The effect of word-of-mouth on the purchase of genuine and counterfelt luxury brands : the roles of attitude functions

  • Wei WANG

Student thesis: MPhil Thesis (Lingnan)


This research aims to investigate the effect of word-of-mouth (WOM) on the purchase of genuine and counterfeit luxury brands with a focus on the roles of attitude functions, product type, valence of WOM, and brand popularity. It consists of two experimental studies. Study 1 examines the effect of WOM on the purchase of luxury brands and attempts to investigate the mediating role of attitude functions in the relationship between WOM and purchase intentions for luxury brands, with regard to different product types and valence of WOM. Study 2 compares the effects of WOM communications with traditional advertising on the purchase of counterfeit and genuine luxury brands. It also examines the differences between popular and non-popular luxury brands.

Results reveal that social-adjustive and value-expressive functions fully mediate the effect of WOM on luxury brand evaluation while partially mediate the effect of product type on luxury brand evaluation. The effect of WOM on attitude functions is more pronounced for high (vs. low) susceptibility to interpersonal influence consumers. Findings of Study 2 support the moderating role of subjective norm in the self-monitoring and counterfeit luxury brand evaluation relationship, indicating that compared to advertising, WOM is a more effective way to decrease counterfeit luxury brand consumption. Managerial implications for strategic brand management and directions for future research are discussed.
Date of Award2011
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Department of Marketing and International Business
SupervisorShing Chung Patrick POON (Supervisor) & Ling PENG (Supervisor)

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