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Communication Research and Evaluation COMM2382
Final Research Report
TOPIC:INFLUENCES IN USING BRAND NAME CLOTHING FOR SCHOOLING OF RMIT STUDENTS.
Lecturer: Duong Trong Hue Group: 1
Student: Dam Le My Hanh ID: s3183107
January 10, 2011
Submit date: January 10, 2011
Table of contents
Introduction Literature Review Defining Brand name clothing Factors which affect on the purchasing Methodology Sampling Procedures Findings Theme 1: Functions lead consumers to use the brand name clothing. 2 3 3 3 7 7 8 10 10
Theme 2: Consumers wear branded clothing to represent for their characteristics, interests and financial ability. Theme 3: Socialization Discussion Limitations & Future Research References Appendiexes 11 12 14 16 17 Error! Bookmark not defined.
Topic: Influences on using brand name clothing for school of RMIT students.
In recent years, the average annual income of Vietnamese people has increasedfrom around 7 million VNDin 2005 to around 16 million in 2009 (Euromonitor 2010) so people set a higher standard in enjoying their life comparing with the last decades. Particularlyin Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC),the income has been above the average, 23 26 million VND,which leads to the
trendof enjoying life is more significant (Euromonitor 2010).Hence, HCM citizens can spend money on purchasing expensive brand name clothing including students. It is interesting to know influences in choosing to use brand name clothing over un-branded clothing of students. As a result, this research focuses on finding reasons of using brand name clothes for schooling of students in HCMC. In addition, RMIT University Vietnam Saigon South campus(RMIT SGS) is chosen to conduct the research. It is due to this
university is known as the highest school fees in HCMC andstudents are mostly in upper income families so they are able to support for dressing branded clothing.Thus,it raises me a personal interest about influences in using branded clothing of RMIT students.Moreover, the research s result will be helpful for fashion companies in understanding customers decision making to have a suitable strategy when targeting on the middle to above income customers. This report is divided into the literature review, the methodology, the findings, the discussion, thelimitations and the future research part.
Defining Brand name clothing In developing countries, the brand name products was defined as imported brands, which were preferred more than domestic brands (Agbonifoh & Elimimian 1999; Li et al. 1997; Marcoux et al. 1997; Wang et al. 2000, cited in Wang, Siu, &Hui 2004) and they were more favorable if they were imported from Western or developed countries (Batra, Ramaswamy, Alden, Steenkamp & Ramachander 2000). Domestic brand clothing might be more price competitive comparing with imported brands but people preferred imported ones because they were more stylish and higher brand recognition (Wang et al. 2004). In addition, consumers felt and perceived that the brand name products represented them and their social status (Keller 2003). Husic and Cicic (2009) stated that consumers used brand as a quality indicator and well know brand always had high quality. Clothing was classified as the most conspicuous and status revealing (Schiffman & Kanuk 1994). Furthermore, in this research I used the phrase brand name clothing with a meaning that it could be domestic or imported products, which had a high quality, durability and their names stand for the consumers social status.
Factors which affect on the purchasing Functions, quality and durability Consumers themselves were confident, protected and safe and they wanted to enjoy this feeling by wearing well known and brand name clothing (Husic & Cicic 2009). Moreover, using brand name products was affected by the
product sfunctions (Husic & Cicic 2009; Vigneron & Johnson 1999), quality (Husic
& Cicic 2009; Batra 2000; Strizhakova et al. 2008) and durability (Husic & Cicic 2009).
Lifestyle Brand name and consumers had an interrelated relationship because consumers co-created meanings for brands and a brand itself had meanings since it created by marketers (Strizhakova, Coulter &Price 2008). Consumers who preferred using imported clothing tent to have a unique lifestyle and shopping orientation (Wang et al. 2004, pp. 248). In addition, the desire to be style and unique was the manifest way for users expressing themselves and their social belonging (Park, Rabolt & Jeon 2008). Interestingly, the desires to pay for brand, quality and image of a product were not just belonged to consumers of the highest income group in a society (Wang at el. 2004) which means every people wanted to be looked as prestige and luxury.
Prestige belonging Consumers were willing to pay for high price of branded products to gain the prestige belonging more than quality and functions (Goldsmith, Flynn & Kim 2010). These consumers used brand name products as the symbol which they used to express themselves to be a part of the luxury group (Husic & Cicic 2009). Thus, the desire was to impress others by their ability to support for high price is a key element of the purchasing. Husic and Cicic (2009) reported that the purpose of purchasing luxury products was to impress others and position the owner in one specific group to which they wished to belong (pp. 242). While, Douglas &
Isherwood 1979 cited in Batra et al. (2000) emphasized that consumers in developing countries felt the social distinctions and status display were extremely important and they were satisfied by using imported product.
Information sources Information source is one of important influences of the brand name clothing purchasing and using. For instance, consumers used to follow styles of people who came from Western countries because Western style was defined as more trendy (Batra et al. 2000). In addition, consumers, who read more fashion magazines, go shopping more often (Wang et al. 2004). Batra et al. (2000) concluded that consumers in developing countries desired to be similar with the glamorous Western styles and they were exposed to through movies TV programs. According to Kinley et al. (2010), consumers with high involved got inspiration from clothing in the store, magazines, catalogs, TV advertising, music video, internet advertising and celebrities. Thus, it was clear that consumers were strongly affected by fashion information and they even not recognized that they were influenced by these information sources. To sum up, previous researches found factors affected on the consuming and using branded name products such as functions, quality and durability, life style, prestige belonging and information sources. However, those studies were done in different nations, researched on different sample population, based on various concepts and focused on brand name clothing in general but not on a specific type of clothing such as clothing for schooling. Husic and Cicic (2009) said that there was no difference in the desire of consumers across nations about attitude toward
purchasing and using brand name clothing. However, I wanted find new results, which have not been mentioned in previous researchesso I developed the research in a university in Ho Chi Minh City, RMIT University SGS. I was studying there and everyday I saw students around me use millions VND T-shirt and jeans so it raised me a personal interest about factors affect them in using the clothing. Moreover, it was easy for me to contact with participants to conduct interviews. This research based on these concepts as a basic understanding of the topic to develop the research question as well as the interview protocol.In addition, this research answered the research question which was Why do RMIT students buy brand name clothing for schooling .
Tounderstand students attitude and opinion, I used the semi-structured face-toface in-depth interview method, which wasone of the most usedresearch techniques (Opdenakker 2006, Barbour 2008),to help me to gain a deep understanding about my topic (Gillham 2008).In addition, the snowball sampling method was used to select the sample among RMIT student population.
Sampling My population was RMIT students and in the selecting sample I usedsnowball sampling method which was known as the process of selecting a sample using networks (Kumar 2005, pp. 179). Normally people look ed for being a part of a group in which they shared similarities in habits, behaviors, or interests (Keyton 2006). In my research, this method helped me to meet members in the brand name clothing for schooling group.I contacted with three students who were my friends and used the clothing and then I was recommended to contact with two other students in the same group.I interviewed one male and four female students including Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Communication. Theyincluded various usage ratesof using branded clothing for schooling. For instance, twoout of five participants wereset as heavy branded clothing userswhose all clothing were branded, two others were least heavy users whose clothing were both branded and un-branded clothing and one of them did not use the clothing much.
Procedures All interviews were conducted at RMIT SGS campus. Before each interview, I gave a participant the consent form, and then I started interviewing since he/she agreed and signed on the form. In addition, I explained for the key word brand name clothing , told them my topic, the estimated time for an interview and their rights to tell me to stop the recorder. I planed 30 40 minutes for each interview but
interviews took different amounts of time,which was around 20 minutes per interview, depending to stories of participants and their convince during the time. In each interview, I recorded as well as took note in order to limit the lost of information (Opdenakker 2006). In addition, noteswere draft of transcription of key points to help me be easier to follow a conversation when I heard from the recorder later. However, there were two participants did not allow me to record the conversations so note taking was the only way to record information. All of five interviews used the in-depth interview technique with the semistructured. Firstly, during an in-depth interview there was a repeated interaction between the interviewee and an interviewer with extended length of time so the friendly atmosphere between participants and I was enriched (Kumar 2005, pp. 124). Secondly, more information was gained by voice, intonation and body language of interviewees (Opdenakker 2006). Lastly, I added supported questions following the interviewee s answers becausethe semi-structured interview allowed me, as an interview,to be flexiblein balancingin adding and repeating questions (Gillham 2008; Baxter & Babbie 2003). After interviewing, I gathered data to find the similarities and differences among answers of participants.I listed points which directly answer the research question
in a separated paper, took three most common ideas and set them as three themes to the findings part. There are some advantages of using the semi-structured face-to-face in-depth interview. Firstly, during interviews, questions were asked openly so interviewees were free to tell me their stories. Secondly, all interviewees and Iwere active and interactive in responding answers and asking question because all of us could raise questions to clear any uncertainty (Gillham 2008, Barbour 2008). Finally, I chose right participants who used branded clothing for schooling by using the snowball sampling so they told me alotof their opinions and examplestoward this using.
After gathering data, I found that there were some common reasons among participants for using brand name clothing for schooling which are functions of the clothing; representations for the users; and socialization. Theme 1: Functionslead consumers to use the brand name clothing. Participants shared similar reasonsof in term of functions using brand name clothing for schooling that were quality, updated fashion style and
comfortableness of clothing. Firstly, all of participants believed that brand name clothing always had a good and stable quality whichwere associated with texture, color and durability. I like Mango brand because its texture is flexible and the color does not change after being washed many times so I can use those clothing for a long time. (Female A) Next, although clothing for schoolingwassimpler than for going to parties, participants felt they needed to have their own style to stand out of the crowed so wearing updated new trend of clothing was needed and important. For example, some participants thought brand name clothing caught up with the fashion trend in the world quickierthan normal clothing. One of them claimed that: Fashioncompanies update new fashion sflow becausethe companies in Vietnam are mostly multinational companies so they bring new trends which are popular from their origin countries to Vietnam. (Female A) In addition, another interviewee shared a similar thought about the fashion trend of domestic brands such as An Phuoc, NinoMax and PT2000 .
I also like domestic brands because there are always new collections for each seasonand each year which update the fashion trend but still keep their own values. (Male 20) Lastly, comfortableness of clothing for schooling was one of the top concerns when purchasing brand name clothing because participants had to wear them all day at school. I prefer wearing clothing which help me be comfortable because I stay in school all day to study after class. Clothes must also keep me warm because the air conditioners in the library, in students work areas and in class rooms are always set low and I get freeze. (Female C) To sum up, the three most common factors affect to students decision making in buying and using brand name clothing, are quality of products, updated fashion trend and comfortableness. Besides tangible benefits of the using branded clothing, intangible benefits such as self-representation, self-confident and socialization were essential influences on the using.
Theme 2: Consumers wear branded clothing to represent for their characteristics, interests and financial ability. In term of style, participants believed that each brand was known by its own characteristics so using the right brands would represent forinterests, characters and style of users. Clothing was also one way for users tell others about their interests. For example, a male participant shared that he liked sport so his favorite brands were Adidas, G-Star and Lacoste andthe using these brand let people know that he liked sport. In addition, he felt the design and color of these brands were sporty whichsuitedfor him and reflected his favorite. In addition, other
participants told they preferred some brands than others because they felt they and those clothing shared similar characteristics so wearing these brands was one way they told to people their characteristics. A female participant said I am quite person so I prefer simple design with light color clothes (Female B) while another participant shared she wore particular brands because their designs were her style. I always want to have fun so I am a fan of Bo Sua and Bamboo clothes. (Female C) Besides that branded clothing told people about the users financial ability in which twoparticipants strongly believed that brand name clothing represent for who theywerebythe wealthy of their family. It takes amount of money for these clothes so the wearing tell other people about my family s financial ability. Around me at school [RMIT] there are lot of rich students but I do not want to look as not have as much money as others by not having branded clothes. (Male) Basing on its own characteristics, brands represents for the users in term of interest,characteristics and financial ability so users feel confident when using the clothes. Moreover, the financial ability can be linked with the idea of socialization, which is asserted the users wealth.
Theme 3: Socialization There are opposite answers for using branded clothing to be members of the luxurious group. Two of participantsthoughtthat they did not want to be different and to be judged by what they wore among friends. One of them said:
Most of my close friends wearing brand name clothing so without branded clothing I feel shamed when going with them. I do not want to be looked different. (Female A) However, other three interviewees thought it was not important on how much money they spend on branded clothing and they did not care much about how people looked at them by their clothing. One of them said: It is not much important when people judge me on what I am wear and I do not look people differently based on they wear branded clothing or not. Even a person is wearing a expensive branded clothing, it is still not pretty and attractive if that person does not mix suitably. (Female B) Whether participants who agreed or disagreed with using branded clothing was a way to be members of the luxurious group, they shared a similar opinion about sharing information about their favorite brands, price and where they shopped. Participants were confident when sharing with their friends who also used the similar brands with them but they were not confident to talk with people at other levels. One participant said, I am not comfortable and confident to talk with others about price and brandsexcept the ones who shared similarities with me. It because I am afraid of people think I discriminate them when they use un-branded clothes or some people will despise when I do not have a similar clothes with them (Female C) To sum up, some participants agreed that they wearing the clothing tosocialize with their friends but others did not share that idea. However, in term of sharing information, all participants said they were only convenient with friends who used the similar products. It can be understood that some people do not aware or try to avoid using brands to socialize with others.
This study supports for current conclusions about reasons of using brand name clothing and answers the research question. All participants felt the clothing style for schooling should be simple because school was the place to gain knowledge and not for showing how stylist they weresothey shared the similar opinions in wearing branded clothing for schooling.Participants use the clothing because of itshigh and stable quality in texture, color and durability, style and comfortable. However, according to Park et al.(2008), the reasons are the manifest motive to set themselves in a social status and prestige belonging. In addition, they are similar to researches of Husic & Cicic (2009), Vigneron & Johnson (1999), Batra (2000) and Strizhakova et al. (2008) in term of functions, quality and durability of those products. Openly, however, this research finds out the tendency of participants want to have simple clothes, which help them to be comfortable for the whole day at school and be active in class activities. Depending on the usage rates of participants, this research finds that the more frequent and the longer time a participant use, the more he/she thinksof the quality and durability of product. As one heavy user mentioned, he believed in the quality of branded clothing and not think that unbranded clothing has a similar quality. In term of style, from my observation, participants in the heavy users group seem to have a typical style comparing with medium and light users. It becausethere are not much brands in Vietnam and each brand has their own style soit is no choice for the heavy users. Whilelight and medium users are more flexible in picking any clothing they like which may catch up quickly with the new fashion flow among the youth, for example Korean style.
The research of Husic and Cicic (2009) pointed out consumers used branded clothing to impress others by their ability to support for high price clothing and to enjoy the prestige belonging. In addition, the users gained the social distinction and status display by using brand name clothing. Similarly, this research find out that showing the financial ability is an important representation of the users in purchasing and using branded clothing for schooling. Participants agreed using branded help users gain the prestige belonging and confidence in socialization whether three of them did not support strongly for the idea of using the clothing for these purpose. Once again, this difference relates to the usage rates of participants in which the more frequent they use the product, the more important they consider the reasons of the prestige belonging and the confidence in a group on friends. However, my research discovers participants considered the factor to use the clothes is to berepresented for the their characters, interests and hobbies which were not developed in previous researches. In addition, differently in the result of Batra et al. (2000), Wang et al. (2004) and Kinley et al. (2010), this research did not see the relationship between using the clothes with the impacts of information sources. To sum up, using branded clothing is one way participants socialize with people around them about their characteristics, interests, style and financial ability. Moreover, this is one of important reasons which affect participants using brand name clothing for schooling. In addition, product s functions such as quality and durability are basic requirements for the using.
LIMITATIONS & FUTURE RESEARCH
This research contributes for conclusions of previous researches and gains some new and interested pointsof influences of using brand name clothing. However, there are two limitations in this research. One of them relates to the sample size. Five interviews may not be enough to bring a big picture for this topic andthe unbalance in gender of participants (1 male and 4 female) was limited to get more opinions and attitude of male to see the differences in reasons between genders. As a result, future research should expand the number of participants and a balance in male and female to limit this limitation. In addition, this was lack of strong evidences to prove for the relationship between branded clothing and characteristics of the users so researches in the future should work on this point.
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Thank you for your time. I would like to ask you about your attitude and habit relating to my topic about thereasons that affect you to buy brand name clothing for school. In this interview, brand name clothing stands for domestic or imported clothes, which have a high quality and durability and their names stand for the consumers social status. With your permission, I would like to record the interview, but you can ask to turn off the recorder at any time. Your identity and the names of anyone you mention will be kept strictly confidential. Only pseudonyms will be used in the write-up report. This interview will take 30-40 minutes and you can stop me to ask question if you have. 1. Can you tell me yourfashion style for schooling?
2. What are your favorite clothing brands for schooling?
3. Why do you like them?
4. Where do you get information about your favorite clothing brands?
5. How do you think clothing brands represent for users in terms of socialization? Open questions 6. Are there any things we have not mentioned, or I have not asked about, that you think relating to brand name clothing and appearance? 7. Do you have any questions for me before we finish?
Thank you very much!
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