Given is an exploratory study on Young Indians Consumer Behaviour towards Purchasing Luxury Fashion Brands

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Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1 Introduction

With the rising globalisation and commercialisation, the demands of the customers showed significant changes, and in context to this, Indian market highlights that it has immense potential and lot of opportunities for entrepreneurs along with the consumers, to take advantage of it. In India, consumers are regarded as king because he possesses the right of selecting any product or availing any services as per their desires and needs and it guides the seller in producing products which provide maximum satisfaction to the customers (Lamb, Hair and McDaniel, 2011). Moreover, consumerism is dominating in the Indian market in current scenario as well as it is likely to dominate in the coming years also. It can be defined as a culture in the market which promotes the consumer interest to the maximum level. Thus, it becomes the need of the hour for all organisations to produce significant efforts to maximise consumer interest by providing high value and maximum satisfaction opportunity to consumers. 

Along with this, the final decision of buying a products or services is directly influenced by the perception of the consumers which they made regarding a particular brand or a product that affects consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviour can be defined as the study of people, processes, and organisations which guide the consumers in searching, selecting, using and disposing of products and services (Young, Hwang, McDonald and Oates, 2010). It produces a significant impact on the society and consumers and presents ideas to satisfy their needs. This consumer behaviour significantly affects their buying decision as it guides and motivates them to purchase products. Thus, the study of consumer behaviour is significant and highly needed in the current dynamic and competitive environment because it acts as a tool for entrepreneurs to succeed and ensure long-term survival in the industry. 

In addition to this, India has ranked amongst the second most populated country in the world which broadly segmented into rural and urban market that comprises of a large number of middle-class people, with a high number of affluent class people and a small number of economically disadvantaged class people (Mann and Byun, 2011). Among them, the young generation has the largest share which prefers to buy luxury products from renowned brands. It has been mostly recognised in the fashion products segment. The consumer has unlimited options of luxury brands in all over the world, as they promise to offer specialised, unique and high-value products to their customers. However, there are a number of factors which affect consumer’s buying decision of purchasing a luxury branded products which has will be studied in the research study. Along with this, the research study will focus on various aspects which help us to conducting an effective study on young Indian consumer’s behaviour towards Purchasing Luxury Fashion Brands.

1.2 Research Background

Globalisation has catalysed the growth of whole Indian fashion industry which driven along with the cultural attributes of Indian consumers. In order to survive in this globalised world, marketers develop core marketing capabilities to achieve significant portion of the Indian consumers market. In the context of the fashion apparel, Indian market has become more diverse due to launching of multiple designer brands, personalisation, store branding, ethnicity and use of mass advertising to reach their products at multiple locations including rural areas (Schiffman et al. 2013). Thus, the preferences and critical analysis of consumer behaviour act as a key to success which helps to identify the target customers and provide an opportunity to gain significant share in the market. In order to examine the background of the research topic, the analysis of luxury brands, Indian luxury market and Indian luxury consumers are discussed below: 

•    Luxury brands

In the view point of Kapferer, (2012), Luxury brands can be stated as the brands which creates a unique and distinct identity in the mind of consumers that comprises of high level of association of aesthetics, quality, uniqueness, extraordinariness and prices (Kapferer, 2012). With the modernisation and globalisation, various brands expand their business to multiple places and countries to become international luxury brands. In the context of Indian market, people are switching more towards luxury brands as it offers a variety of benefits to the Indian consumers. The benefits involve high prices with high quality products, offer rarity which provide confidence to consumer in selection of particular product of particular brand. Moreover, in the 21st century the consumption of luxury products increased significantly and gained so much popularity. 

•    Indian Luxury Market

India is known for its heritage, royal families and diverse culture which welcome the luxury market products with open arms. In the previous few years, the Indian government and regulatory authority opened the domestic market for global organisations, which is counted amongst a significant step to encourage the use of luxury brands in the market (Cateora, 2008). It prominently gained attention in the fashion segments which offers a variety of products such as bags, apparel, belts, shoes and various other products. Along with this, there is progressive use of western merchandising in Indian market which creates extreme rivalry among the domestic firms and international brands (Thussu, 2008). Today, India has become a most favourable market of luxury brands, which presents high visibility of profits in the coming years for the brands. In the past few years, Indian luxury market showed a robust growth of 20% that reached to 5.75billion dollars as per the survey of 2010 which presents that the market growth is more than the expectations which is likely to increase in the future (Kearney, 2011)

•    Indian Luxury Consumer

With the rising globalisation and increasing commercialisation that led to increasing consumer disposable income, the people are getting more inclined towards luxury brands (Sassatelli, 2007). Among all consumers, young consumers are more fascinated towards luxury brands. The prime reasons behind it social outlook, rising economy of the country, job opportunities, high purchasing power and rising affordability of the Indian consumers. All these reasons contribute to rising number of luxury consumers in the India market which highlights a positive shift in the purchasing pattern of the Indian youth. 

1.3 Rationale of the Research

The rationale of the research is the prominent section of the introduction chapter of the research which aims to offer the reasons for addressing problems of the research study. A rationale of the research presents the set of reasons offered by the researcher to conduct the research on a particular topic or particular area of study. In the context of this research study, the study aims at examining the consumer behaviour of young Indians while purchasing luxury fashion brands. The study critically evaluates the factors which affect the consumer buying decision of branded products, as there are certain factors which directly and extensively affect the consumers buying decisions. Thus, the aim of study highlights that the study will significantly contribute to the marketing analysis of Indian fashion brands firms. 

Along with this, the use of luxury brands also gained positive momentum, and in the Indian market, consumer are increasingly attracting towards branded products (Pal and Kapur, 2010). Now, the purchase of branded products is not restricted to the prestigious and elite class of people, and they increasingly preferred to buy these luxury branded products. It is prominently popular among the young generation. The major reason behind it is to fulfill their needs and aspiration for a better living of life and to show others their extravagant life with good financial value, present broad fashion statement with a view to gain the attention of others. The research study presents significant information on the consumer behaviour and Indian market trends. It also presents a critical discussion of the Indian luxury fashion brand market and consumer mindsets towards branded products along with highlighting the changes in customer perspective towards branded products. Thus, the research study has a significant scope in the market analysis of Indian market which can be used in the further research study conducted in the similar area. Hence it can be stated that the research study has significant rationale which guides the researcher in conducting the research study in the best possible manner. 

1.4 Problem Statement

The problem statement of the research study presents the brief description of the issue which is needed to be addressed by acquiring significant information and knowledge on the research topic. In context of this research study, it aims at studying consumer behaviour in the context of the Indian market. The research focuses on examining consumer behaviour mainly in context of the luxury fashion brands. Along with this, the research helps in determining the factors which affects the buying decision and Indian consumer behaviour while buying the branded fashion products. In order to address the above discussed issues, the problems statement can be stated as, “Whether the behaviour of young Indian consumers is in favour of purchasing luxury fashion brands or not?”

1.5Research Aims and objectives

Research aims and objectives are the significant part of the whole research study which acts as a guiding path for the researcher. Every research has a well-defined aim which is stated clearly before starting the research in the area of study. It can be defined as a comprehensive statement that clearly and precisely elaborates the aim of the research study. In context to this, the aim and objectives of the research study are stated below:

Research aims:

The primary aim of the research study is to find out definition of luxury in accordance to the young generation. Along with this, it also aims at identifying the determinants that affect young Indian purchase of luxury brands product. It also analyses the role of social recognition and demographic changes as a variable factor in determining young Indian purchase of fashion products mainly focusing on shoes, bags, clothes, belts and leather products. 

Research Objectives:

In order to achieve the primary aim of the research study, the researcher needs to address following objectives that help in providing effective solution of the research problem and in attaining the research objectives. 

To examine the theory that explains the purchasing behaviour of young Indian consumers towards luxury brands.

To understand how social status and demographics are related to variable factors such as social value and personal values.

To study the factors liable for increase in luxury brand purchase in India.

To analyse the young Indian consumer behaviour for purchasing luxury fashion brand products

1.6 Organisation of the Research

The organisation of research section of the chapter highlights the sequential manner which will be followed by the researcher while conducting research. In relevance to it, this sequential process is described below which helps in attaining the aims and objectives of the research study. 

Chapter 1: Introduction

   The introduction chapter of the research study presents the brief overview of the research topic by clearly stating the rationale of the research study. Along with this, introduction chapter also highlights the background of the research study, research aims and objectives, with describing the problem statement of the research study. It helps in guiding the research work in the effective manner.  

Chapter 2: Literature Review

Literature Review is one of the main chapters of the research study which provides a critical theoretical framework for the research study. In context of this research study, the section will comprises of different sub- sections that help in analysing and studying the consumer behaviour towards luxury branded products in Indian market. 

Chapter 3: Research Methodology

The chapter comprises of research methods and techniques which guides the researcher while conducting research, in the area of study. It defines the research philosophies, design, methods, approach and data collection technique by which the researcher collects the data from the sample population with the aim to reach at meaningful conclusion. 

Chapter 4: Data Analysis and Discussion

  In data analysis and discussion chapter, the critical analysis of data has been conducted by employing suitable approaches and methods with the aim to provide meaning to the data, gathered from the sample population. Based on the analysis, discussion is presented over the findings of the analysis. 

Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations 

This chapter comprises the summary or gist of the whole research study on the basis of which recommendation are drawn. The recommendation highlights the suggestion for the further improvement in the area of research study.

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