Examining U.S. and Chinese Students' Purchase Intention for Luxury Brands
Type of Degreethesis
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Drawing on the conceptual theories of Functional Theories of Attitude, Cognitive-Affective Model of Buying and Theory of Reasoned Action, this study examines the effects of individual characteristics (i.e. need for uniqueness and self-monitoring) and brand-associated variables (i.e. self-expression attitude and self-presentation attitude, and affective attitude) on consumers’ purchase intention for luxury brands among both U. S. and Chinese consumers. In addition, the study also examines the difference in their purchase intention for luxury brands between U. S. and Chinese consumers. A total of 194 U. S. students and 200 Chinese students participated in a survey to collect data to measure each construct in the study. Using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM), this study finds that self-expression and self-presentation attitude toward luxury brands were related. In order to examine purchase intention among both U.S. and Chinese students, the study merged self-expression attitude and self-presentation attitude together as value-expressive attitude which was aroused by consumers’ self-monitoring and influence consumers’ purchase intention for luxury brands indirectly through affective attitude. The study also finds that Chinese consumers have a stronger need for uniqueness than U.S. consumers. Though self-expression attitude and self-presentation attitude were related in this study, an exploratory study was performed to further examine how individual self-expression attitude and self-presentation attitude influence consumers purchase intention. The exploratory study found that generally consumers’ need for uniqueness positively influences self-expression attitude toward luxury brands, and consumers’ self-monitoring positively influences self-presentation attitude toward luxury brands. Both self-expression attitude and self-presentation attitude have a positive influence on purchase intention through affective attitude. In addition, consumers’ self-expression attitude has a positive effect on purchase intention; Chinese students’ self-presentation attitude positively influences their purchase intention. Implications for luxury brands’ marketing strategies are provided. The study used student samples to examine consumers’ purchase intention for luxury brands; future study should utilize other consumers sample which are more representative of the entire consumer population.