How Culture Influences Counterfeit Luxury Purchases

Curtailing consumers’ desire for fake goods is crucial to winning the war on counterfeiting. Since the counterfeit market is driven by consumers’ desire for authentic luxury goods, researchers have begun to examine what motivates consumers to make luxury purchases, which can offer an understanding of why consumers buy counterfeit goods. From this, marketers can formulate targeted campaigns to weaken perceptions around the counterfeit industry.

Current research has found that consumers’ desire for counterfeit luxury goods are based on social motivations. However, these motivations tend to differ among consumers’ culture and country.

One study focusing on the purchase of genuine goods, found that Americans specifically buy such goods for hedonistic reasons of self-fulfillment while French consumers, for example, buy because they are expensive and exclusive. American consumers reported buying goods for self-fulfillment, rather than to please others.

Another study by the same author focused on different countries perceptions toward counterfeit goods.  The findings showed consistent attitudes in accordance with cultural patterns.  For instance, Americans and Europeans want high-quality goods and worry that counterfeits won’t have the quality they desire. Koreans, on the other hand, are more concerned with social perceptions and the shame associated with counterfeit goods.

With this information, advertising messages can target the cultural and social goals associated with preferences for counterfeits.