AbstractsEducation Research & Administration

Exploring the Efficacy of Consumer Education with Regard to Consumption of Branded and Luxury Counterfeit Merchandise

by Connor S. Goddard

Institution: Ohio University
Department: Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising (Education)
Degree: MS
Year: 2014
Keywords: Education; Educational Evaluation; Communication; Continuing Education; Curriculum Development; Gender; Counterfeit; Counterfeit Consumption; Luxury Goods; Branded Goods; Consumption; Consumer Education; Theory of Planned Behavior; Knowledge; Attitudes; Behavior; Efficacy of Consumer Education; Educational Seminar; Gender and Country of Origin Differences
Record ID: 2025120
Full text PDF: http://rave.ohiolink.edu/etdc/view?acc_num=ohiou1398421242


Counterfeiting in general has become a worldwide phenomenon, and the production of fashion merchandise is at the forefront of this economic predicament. As severity of the issue rises, businesses and scholars suggest that consumer education and awareness could be the tool to lessening the impact of counterfeit manufacturing (Berman, 2008; Cheek & Easterling, 2008; Juggessur, 2011; Marcketti & Shelley, 2009; Phillips, 2005).This study presents the topic of counterfeiting, its negative consequences and the fight against this illegal business. The study uses consumer education as a method of creative vigilance toward the public in an effort to find out whether this alters future purchase intentions of counterfeit merchandise.Results indicate strong support for the efficacy of a consumer education seminar with regard to knowledge, attitudes, and planned behavior toward the consumption of counterfeit merchandise. Additionally, three variables, parents' annual income, sex, and country of citizenship, introduced some variation among participants that suggest there are differences based on demographic factors.After the educational seminar, students had a greater understanding of counterfeiting, felt more knowledgeable about the topic, acknowledged that it is illegal, realized how it affects the global economy and retailers, and linked it to social issues such as organized crime, terrorism, child labor, and sweatshops. In congruence with scholars who suggest consumer education as a vehicle to decrease counterfeit consumption, participants agreed that this seminar was educational and informative, and an effective means towards minimalizing the consumption patterns of counterfeit merchandise. Because participants gained a significant amount of knowledge in the educational seminar, this could affect preferences for authentic and counterfeit merchandise, and reduce intent to purchase counterfeits. An educational session would be expected to have relatively immediate change in knowledge and attitude, but not in behavior, because it takes time for consumers to take action.This exploratory study substantiates the notion that consumer education is effective in influencing knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors about counterfeit merchandise consumption.