The role of brand image, product involvement, and knowledge in explaining consumer purchase behaviour of counterfeits: Direct and indirect effects

Xuemei Bian, Luiz Moutinho

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    221 Citations (Scopus)
    22 Downloads (Pure)


    Purpose – Counterfeiting has become a significant economic phenomenon. Increased demand for counterfeit branded products (CBPs) makes the study of determinants of consumers CBPs purchase behaviour more worthwhile than ever before. Existing studies have largely neglected brand influence on consumer purchase behaviour of CBPs. This research seeks to examine the impact of perceived brand image, direct and indirect effects (mediator and moderator effects) of product involvement and product knowledge on consumer purchase intention of counterfeits in the context of non‐deceptive counterfeiting.

    Design/methodology/approach – The current study tests the conceptual model and hypotheses developed based on the existing literature. Four focus groups (ranging from six to eight participants in each group) are used to construct the research instrument. The conceptual model and hypothesis are tested using hierarchical regression analyses with survey data from 321 consumers in the UK.

    Findings – This research is the first in the literature on counterfeits to establish that perceived brand personality plays a more dominant role in explaining consumers' purchase intention of CBP than other influential factors (e.g. benefit and product attribute). Involvement/knowledge has no significant influence on counterfeit purchase intention. Evidence of involvement as a moderator does not exist. Brand image is not a mediator of the effects of involvement/knowledge on purchase intention.

    Research limitations/implications – This research only investigates one brand of one product category (watches) in the context of non‐deceptive counterfeiting, although this has not prevented the emergence of significant results.

    Practical implications – The results of this study hold important implications for both practitioners and academics. They help to alert practitioners to the factors that truly affect consumer proneness of CBPs, for example, brand personality. For academics, they demonstrate that brand influence should not be further ignored in the study of consumer behaviour in relation to CBPs.
    Originality/value – This research is one of the few which investigate CBP not only as a product but, more importantly, also as a brand – a counterfeit brand.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)191-216
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number1/2
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2011


    Dive into the research topics of 'The role of brand image, product involvement, and knowledge in explaining consumer purchase behaviour of counterfeits: Direct and indirect effects'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this