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| September 25, 2015

Indian Consumer Article Summary and Discussion Questions

 

The Indian Consumer: Apparel Clothing Involvement

In the article, “How Cosmopolitan are Indian Consumers?: A Study on Fashion Clothing Involvement,” published in 2013 author Arpita Khare explores the possible opportunities that await clothing manufacturers and retailers targeting the Indian consumer. Khare has chosen to focus this study on a country rich with culture and tradition. As one of the notable BRICS nations, India boosts a large population, a thriving economy and spends a substantial amount of money on luxury fashion apparel. And yet, there is still much to be discovered about the Indian consumer’s involvement in fashion. This study attempts to shed a light on this particular consumer in part by addressing the effect that cosmopolitanism has on their choices for apparel.

At first read this article presents the Indian consumer much like any other fashion consumer from many given countries, even western countries. For example, Khare notes in regard to the Indian consumer “…new money is purchasing luxury clothing as a symbol of wealth and status.” So what makes the Indian consumer so different from other consumers in other countries? One difference is the dichotomy of this consumer’s fashion choices. According to this study Indian consumers carefully balance their taste for luxury fashion with the need to be accepted within their social environment. Although this may be said for other countries and cultures, India is unique in this regard.

The Indian consumer is cosmopolitan. This consumer is open to the influence of other cultures as it desires to be regarded as a sophisticated country by the global community. However, this study shows the importance Indians place on tradition and culture, and this is what makes the Indian consumer so interesting. A good example of this is the popular Bollywood emergence influenced by the famous Hollywood in Los Angeles. This is an illustration of how cultural influence works in India. India accepts the influence but merges it with Indian’s own unique culture. Much like Hollywood’s influence on India’s entertainment industry, the study shows that the Indian consumer has a distinct openness toward global fashion brands, but wants to make them their own.

However, age may be a factor. Not surprisingly, Khare’s literature review shows that younger Indian consumers are more cosmopolitan than older Indian consumers. Unfortunately the ages of the participants in this study are relatively young, 18-40, so the findings in the study cannot confirm the findings in the review. It is interesting to note that many refused to participate in the study so, one has to wonder if it was the older population that declined. Does this say something about the Indian culture?

In conclusion, understanding the Indian culture is the key to success for apparel companies longing to tap into this potentially lucrative market. Presenting this consumer with luxury fashion clothing styles while honoring the Indian collectivism tradition will most likely bring the most success. Of course, this is easier said than done, but considering the global sensation of Bollywood; if that unique balance is found, the fashion consumption of the Indian consumer may surprise everyone.

 

Discussion Question Choices:

Discuss how India’s collective culture influences the Indian consumer’s fashion clothing involvement.

Using both the current article findings and previous literature, what changes have occurred globally to cause the Indian consumers to be more cosmopolitan?

Considering the success of international food chains in India, what are the factors or strategies required to make international apparel brands a success? Please use specific reasons and elaborate them accordingly.

India is considered to be the global leader of IT, yet they do not accept modified clothing. Discuss using references to support your opinion.

Can anyone else provide examples of how global fashion is currently influencing India and how Indian fashion is influencing global fashion trends?

Attachments:Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers?: a study on fashion clothing involvement Arpita Khare Article information: To cite this document: Arpita Khare , (2014),”How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers?: a study on fashion clothing involvement”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 18 Iss 4 pp. 431 – 451 Permanent link to this document: http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-05-2013-0066 Downloaded on: 08 September 2015, At: 19:25 (PT) References: this document contains references to 96 other documents. To copy this document: permissions@emeraldinsight.com The fulltext of this document has been downloaded 645 times since 2014* Users who downloaded this article also downloaded: Yue Teng Wong, Syuhaily Osman, Aini Said, Laily Paim, (2014),”A typology of personal factor attributes among shoppers”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 Iss 4 pp. 394-412 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-03-2013-0029 Kerli Kant Hvass, (2014),”Post-retail responsibility of garments – a fashion industry perspective”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 18 Iss 4 pp. 413-430 http:// dx.doi.org/10.1108/JFMM-01-2013-0005 Arpita Khare, Ankita Mishra, Ceeba Parveen, (2012),”Influence of collective self esteem on fashion clothing involvement among Indian women”, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 16 Iss 1 pp. 42-63 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/13612021211203023 Access to this document was granted through an Emerald subscription provided by emerald-srm:146575 [] For Authors If you would like to write for this, or any other Emerald publication, then please use our Emerald for Authors service information about how to choose which publication to write for and submission guidelines are available for all. Please visit www.emeraldinsight.com/authors for more information. About Emerald www.emeraldinsight.com Emerald is a global publisher linking research and practice to the benefit of society. The company manages a portfolio of more than 290 journals and over 2,350 books and book series volumes, as well as providing an extensive range of online products and additional customer resources and services. Emerald is both COUNTER 4 and TRANSFER compliant. The organization is a partner of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) and also works with Portico and the LOCKSS initiative for digital archive preservation. Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) *Related content and download information correct at time of download. Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers?: a study on fashion clothing involvement Arpita Khare Indian Institute of Management, Rohtak, India Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine affect of cosmopolitanism and consumers’ susceptibility to interpersonal influence on Indian consumers’ fashion clothing involvement. Moderating effect of demographics was studied. Design/methodology/approach – Survey technique through self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection in both metropolitan and non-metropolitan cities in India. Findings – Utilitarian, value expressive factors of normative influence and cosmopolitanism influence Indian consumers’ fashion clothing involvement. Type of city, income, and education moderated influence of normative values and cosmopolitanism on fashion clothing involvement. Research limitations/implications – One of the major limitations of current research was that it had a large number of respondents in the age group of 18-40 years. Future research can attempt to reduce age biasness. Practical implications – The findings can prove helpful to international apparel brands marketing luxury and fashion clothing in India. However, since conformance to social norms was important for Indians, clothing manufacturers should use reference groups, opinion leaders, and celebrities to generate awareness. A blend of global and local lifestyle should be used. International luxury brands can customize their products to combine ethnic tastes. Originality/value – Fashion clothing market promises immense growth opportunities in India. There is limited research to examine influence cosmopolitanism on Indian consumers’ consumption behaviour. Knowledge about influence of global lifestyle, brands, mass media, and services on Indian consumers’ behaviour can help in targeting them effectively. Keywords Consumer behaviour, Fashion, India, Involvement Paper type Research paper Introduction Indian government’s policy of allowing foreign direct investment in multi-brand retailing has presented global luxury brands with immense opportunities (Amed, 2013). The economic and social trends suggest lucrative growth opportunities for foreign luxury clothing brands. Most international global clothing brands are planning to open their stores in metropolitan cities where they feel consumers have an appetite for luxury clothing. Totally, 81 million Indian households fall in upper middle class and high-income groups. Statistics points out that India is one of the fastest-growing and largest luxury markets in the world. The luxury brands sales are expected to touch $15 billion by 2015 (Shiware, 2013). Indian consumers’ are receptive towards purchasing high priced traditional and luxury clothing. Looking at traditional luxury market, Indian bridal wear priced $3,690-$22,141 at high end Indian stores is readily accepted. Indian bridal wear market accounts for 90 per cent of ultra luxury clothing segment. Earlier demand for luxury brands was primarily from film celebrities, young politicians, old moneyed families, and entrepreneurs. However, recent trends suggest people with new money are purchasing luxury clothing as a symbol of wealth and status. This suggests enormous spending power of Indian high-income groups. The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at www.emeraldinsight.com/1361-2026.htm Received 2 May 2013 Revised 9 August 2013 Accepted 15 August 2013 Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management Vol. 18 No. 4, 2014 pp. 431-451 r Emerald Group Publishing Limited 1361-2026 DOI 10.1108/JFMM-05-2013-0066 431 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) Purchase of apparel in India is driven by social events like festivals, marriages, and family functions. Apparel industry is second largest in India next to grocery and food products (Vittal, 2010). Another interesting trend is growth of luxury clothing market in smaller cities in India (Garg, 2011). Benetton has reported 20 per cent growth in sales from smaller cities. BRIC countries account for about 22 per cent of world’s luxury market which is expected to touch 36 per cent in 2015. Compared to other BRIC countries, Indian consumers spend 5 per cent on apparel. Chinese consumers in larger cities spend 10 per cent of their income on clothing. Since clothing is a reflection of one’s identity, status, class, and self-esteem, it should conform to social norms. Collectivist societies draw their identities from group association. Acceptance of other people’s views in one’s personal life is accepted and acknowledged. Individual’s identity is group dependent and derived from social class affiliations. Changes in lifestyle and cultural values must be in tandem with social norms. Influence of globalization does not decrease the tendency to conform to cultural values (Corbu, 2009). In this backdrop of growing Indian fashion market, influence of globalization, and rising income levels it was felt that understanding Indian consumers’ attitude towards fashion clothing would be interesting. Growth of opportunities in smaller cities, FDI in multi brand retailing, and willingness of Indian consumers’ to spend on luxury products present interesting research objectives. Indian fashion industry is likely to grow with availability of global fashion bran
ds in the country. Indian government has recently allowed 51 per cent FDI from multinational firms in multi brand retail (Shiware, 2013). Indian consumers are likely to get more choices and access to global brands. Understanding Indian consumers attitude towards fashion clothing can help global and Indian fashion manufacturers in segmenting and targeting decisions. Earlier research on fashion clothing involvement of Indian consumers has examined influence of collective self-esteem and interpersonal influence (Khare et al., 2011, 2012a, b; Handa and Khare, 2013). The current research attempts to extend these researches by examining role of cosmopolitanism in fashion clothing involvement. Several psychographic factors may influence consumption; however, this research restricts itself to understanding role of cosmopolitanism, consumers’ susceptibility to interpersonal influence (CSII), and demographics (age, gender, type of city, income, education, and marital status) on fashion clothing involvement. The variables considered are examined in literature review section, followed by research methodology, findings, discussion, marketing implications, conclusions, and future research direction. Literature review Fashion clothing involvement Numerous studies have examined role of involvement on consumer decision making (Mittal and Lee, 1989; Gabbott and Hogg, 1999; Dholakia, 2001; Zhao, 2003; Wirtz, 2003; Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006; Prenshaw et al., 2006; Guthrie et al., 2008). Clothing fulfils multitude of functions. It helps in creating right impression on others (Auty and Elliott, 1998) and enable consumers’ select right clothes which communicate their position in society. People rely on “consumption-based stereotypes” (Belk et al., 1981) that define one’s identity. Clothes reflect a person’s self as well as social identity (Noesjirwan and Crawford, 1982). It communicates values endorsed by the person with respect to social groups and norms. Clothes symbolize status, position, class, and personality. The social image can be enhanced by type of clothes one wears. Therefore, adopting 432 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) clothing which is accepted by social groups, peers, and relevant others helps in improving self-image (Piamphongsant and Mandhachitara, 2008). According to Solomon and Rabolt, fashion connotes a collective behaviour accepted by society. It is a behavioural process enabling people create an identity for themselves (Banister and Hogg, 2004; Vieria, 2009). Since clothes are integral part of a persons’ identity, self-image, and social esteem people are likely to pay attention to it. They would be cautious about selecting “right” clothes that improve their appearance and status. Clothes would symbolically represent not only wearer’s social class but also help other’s form opinion about him/her. People experience high involvement with products that are important for one’s identity. Involvement towards a product refers to degree, intensity, and relevance it holds in individual’s need and ego structure (Zaichkowsky, 1985). The degree of involvement is affected by person, product, and situational factors. It varies from person to person, as it is related to a person’s needs, motives, and personality. It also differs across product categories; people can be involved in different degrees with different products. Consumers are involved with a product category if it fits with their self-concept and identity (Zaichkowsky, 1985; Banister and Hogg, 2004). Kapferer and Laurent (1985/1986) define involvement as four-dimensional construct comprising of product importance, risk, pleasure, and symbolic meaning attached with the product. Objective of the current research was to examine fashion clothing involvement. The following section examines consumers’ fashion clothing involvement. O’Cass (2000) states that consumers’ involvement with products is driven by materialist values and products symbolize status and position. Possessions communicate success and happiness. In similar vein, fashion clothing as a possession conveys materialism and improves self-image. Consumers differ in their knowledge about fashion clothing and interaction with friends and salespeople helps in decision making (O’Cass, 2004). Fashion clothing signifies different values to different people. Fashion is a dynamic outcome of changing culture, values, and reflects tastes of social system (O’Cass and Frost, 2002). Rutherford-Black et al. (2000) examined students’ opinions about body shape (stereotypes regarding thin, average, obese, and morbidly obese) with fashion, style, and clothing selection. Thin or average body weight students were considered flamboyant having correct information about fashion clothing. Fiore et al. (2004) posit that consumers’ motivation to participate in designing fashion products increases value and satisfaction. For apparel manufacturers it is important to use co-design process for improving consumer satisfaction. Active engagement of consumer with co-design was affected by different optimal stimulation levels and clothing interest. Kawabata and Rabolt (1999) compared fashion clothing purchase behaviour of Japanese and American students. American students placed importance to fit, quality, fashion, and brand/manufacturer image. Japanese students were economical, and placed importance to design and style. Definition of fashion clothing differed in both cultures. Japanese associated fashion with high priced clothes. US students used catalogues, friends, family, and non-personal sources for finding about fashion clothing. Kim et al. (2002) posit that apparel involvement was affected consumers’ attitudes towards brand, product attributes, and advertising messages. Apparel involvement attributes like comfort, fashion, and individuality influenced consumers’ beliefs about clothing. Auty and Elliott (1998) found that branded products were perceived positively; and young people placed importance to trendy looking clothing. 433 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) Younger people and women were concerned about their image. O’Cass and Choy (2008) examined fashion clothing involvement of Chinese youth with respect to brand status, willingness to pay for status brand, and brand attitude. Consumers’ involvement was found to be positively related to their brand attitude and willingness to pay for status brand. O’Cass (2004) posits that fashion is derived from socially acceptable behaviours and its ability to cater to society’s needs. Kozar and Damhorst (2008) found that elderly women found older models attractive as compared to young models. They perceived similarity with older looking models and had positive impression about their appearance and tastes. They showed willingness to purchase clothes advertised by these models. Similarly, Thomas and Peters (2009) found older women conscious about their appearance. They placed importance to being physically fit and were interested in fashion clothing. Being conscious about their appearance, taking care about their looks and wearing latest fashion clothing helped them feel good. It improved their self-esteem and bolstered their confidence in themselves. Majima (2008) found that consumers’ involvement with fashion clothing has been growing. It was positively related to youth, increase in employment of women, and social class. Goldsmith et al. (1999) state that heavy clothing users were fashion innovators, shopped frequently for clothes, and exposed to heavy fashion media. This clearly reflects involvement of consumers with clothing as means of expressing their identity. Involvement would vary as people associate different products with their identity. Michaelidou and Dibb (2006) examined consumers’ enduring involvement with clothing. Involvement with clothing was influenced by pleasure associated with shopping and symbolic meaning attached with clothes as a means of selfexpression. Similarly, Cardoso et al. (2010) studi
ed fashion consciousness among Portuguese consumers with respect to fashion involvement, fashion innovativeness, impulsiveness, and a means of self-expression. They classified fashion consumers as enthusiasts, moderates, and apathetic. Cervellon et al. (2012) studied women’s involvement with vintage clothing. Recently, apparel manufacturers are launching collections inspired by old fashion designs. Old designs are catching consumers’ imagination in terms of communicating a distinct style and image. Women’s involvement with vintage fashion clothing was driven by nostalgia and uniqueness. It helped them appear different than others. Jordaan and Simpson (2006) posit that fashion clothing involvement is related with innovativeness, symbolic meaning attached to the product, and opinion leadership. The socio-psychological meaning associated with fashion clothing is more important in its adoption than its functional attributes (Park, 1997). Research suggests that psychographics are important in purchase of fashion products (Greco, 1986; Fairhurst et al., 1989; Banister and Hogg, 2004; Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006; Bye and McKinney, 2007). Fashion clothing involvement has been studied among Indian women (Khare et al., 2012a, b). Results suggest that informative and normative influence and collective self-esteem influence fashion clothing involvement. Younger age groups were more involved in fashion clothing than older segments. Men were less involved with fashion clothing as compared to women (Khare et al., 2011; Handa and Khare, 2013). Schofield and Schmidt (2005) point out the importance of clothes in communicating individual’s self-identity at three levels: at community, neo-tribal, and situational levels. Fashion clothing enables fluid construction of identity which indicates existence of specific culturally embedded meanings. These meanings help in differentiation and linking multiple identities. 434 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) Susceptibility to influence CSII describes influence of peer groups, social norms, and social institutions on individual’s behaviour. It examines informative, value expressive, and normative social influences (Bearden et al., 1989; Netemeyer et al., 1992) Susceptibility to interpersonal influence (CSII) is an individual trait and varies across people and cultures. Consumers’ desire to conform to social norms and groups depends on their conditioning and socialization process. In some cultures, group identity is important and people place high value to conformance. A person’s susceptibility to group influence in one situation makes him/her likely to get influenced in other social situations (McGuire, 1968). Some researchers suggest that susceptibility to interpersonal influence is affected by personality and self-esteem. Orth and Kahle (2008) found that consumers’ with high internal values and complex personalities were less susceptible to normative influence and placed value to brand image. Brand-related communication should emphasize in-group membership and acceptance. People with less complex identities were susceptible to normative influence. Similarly, people with low self-esteem and low social class were likely to seek conformance from groups. The social status of individual affected his/her susceptibility to interpersonal influence (Bearden et al., 1989; Batra et al., 2001; Schmid Mast et al., 2009). Lynn and Harris (1997) found that consumers’ high on need for uniqueness are not likely to place importance to normative influence. The trait exhibits itself in acquiring products that are scare, innovative, and customized. The consumers seek uniqueness in their shopping experience which helps in asserting their personality. Conformance to social norms reduces anxiety about being rejected and social compliance’ provide information to behave in social setting (Calder and Burnkrant, 1977; Bearden et al., 1989; Clark and Goldsmith, 2006). O’Hara et al. (2008) examined influence of attitudes, demographic, and normative factors on young females’ alcohol consumption behaviour. Subjective norms were not found to be relevant. It clearly implies that purchase and consumption decisions are driven by the desire to get acceptance and recognition from peers. Piamphongsant and Mandhachitara (2008) state that high independent self-construal leads to low social anxiety whereas high inter-dependent self-construal relates to high social anxiety. Possessions such as fashion clothing help in self-construal and in asserting one’s affiliation with groups. Social anxiety and desire to conform to groups would make one susceptible to cues that help in reinforcing one’s affiliation with relevant group. This conformity would stem from normative influence which helps in complying to norms. Mourali et al. (2005) discuss the role of culture on desire to conform to social norms. People are susceptible to interpersonal influence but vary in degree to which they are likely to conform. Some individuals are more susceptible to social influence than others. People from collectivist cultures place importance to conformance and likely to exhibit high susceptibility to interpersonal influence. However, Jin and Kang (2011) have a differing view. They found that globalization has brought about changes in the values of Chinese consumers. They were moving from collectivist orientation to more of individualist cultural values. Affluence, modernization, and exposure to mass media had made them individualistic and opinion of others was important in purchase of apparel. The Confucian principles of face saving and group conformity had no influence on their purchase intention. Among the three normative influences: face saving, group conformity, and subjective norm, only subjective norm affected purchase intention. It is interesting, that Indian consumers placed high value to normative influences on their fashion clothing purchase behaviour (Khare et al., 2011, 2012a). 435 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) Singh (2006) posits that cultures characterized by small power distance, masculinity, and low uncertainty avoidance would exhibit tendencies of innovativeness. Whereas cultures with high power distance, high uncertainty avoidance, and feminity would exhibit tendencies to seek conformity. Consumers in collectivist cultures would be susceptible to normative influence in adopting innovations. Shukla (2011) compared normative and informative influences among British and Indian consumers. Applicability of CII scale developed by Bearden et al. (1989) on both developed and emerging market consumers was reported. Significant influence of normative values on luxury brand purchase was found in both countries. Luxury brands are used to connote high social status. Indian consumers showed higher scores than British consumers on normative influence. Collectivist nature of Indian society makes people place high regard to group conformance and identity and consumption was dependent on social cues and accepted code of behaviour. Whereas Indian consumers were more susceptible to informational influences on luxury brand purchase, there was no relationship of informational influence on British consumers purchase decision. Wu (2011) found that Chinese Americans’ automobile purchase decisions were influenced opinions of others. Collectivist values influenced susceptibility to interpersonal influence of Chinese migrants settled in America. The CSII scale developed by Bearden et al. (1989) consists of two dimensions: normative and informational. The normative influences are defined as the degree to which people conform to expectations of others to gain rewards or avoid punishments (Ryan and Bonfield, 1975). Normative beliefs are value expressive and utilitarian in nature (Bearden and Etzel, 1982; Bearden and Rose, 1990; Bearden et al., 1989). Age plays a significant role in CSII (Batra et al., 2001; Mangleburg et al., 2004). As individuals grow older, they recognize that others’ opinions are important
. The informational component measures tendency to obtain information about products and brands from other people (Kropp et al., 2005; Roberts et al., 2008). Informational influence enables individuals to acquire accurate information in order to take right purchase-related decisions (Cialdini and Goldstein, 2004; Hoffmann and Broekhuizen, 2009). Cosmopolitanism Cosmopolitans are defined as individuals’ who adapt and interact with people of different cultures, imbibe diverse cultural values, openness, and favour associating with multiple cultures (Hannerz, 1990; Cannon and Yaprak, 2002; Cleveland et al., 2009). They show respect and sensitivity towards other cultures and are willing to accept those values. Their lifestyle is influenced by different cultures. Thompson and Tambyah (1999) posit that cosmopolitanism combines both masculine and feminine traits for resolving culture differences. Proliferation of mass media, availability of international brands, and increased travel to foreign countries has exposed consumers to diverse cultures. Yoon et al. (1996) define cosmopolitanism in terms of global and local. Global cosmopolitans imbibe global values and culture and believe it to be superior to local cultural values. Local cosmopolitans are attached to their local roots and values despite appreciating other cultures. Cleveland et al. (2013) examined linkages between acculturation, religiosity, ethnic identity, individual values, and consumption related values (materialism and ethnocentricism). A comparison between different religious groups revealed that Lebanese Muslims and Christians placed high value to materialism as a means of showing affiliation with global culture. Levels of ethnocentricity and religiosity varied 436 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) according to ethnic identity. Demangeot and Sankaran (2012) investigated adoption of global brands and practices from diverse cultures. Adaption of other cultural values, food, music, and clothes was influenced by “cultural pluralism”. They suggest three different strategies for adopting cultural pluralism: experimentalist strategies (actively searching for culturally diverse products in the environment), purist strategies (avoiding contact with any culturally diverse product or experience), and extensionlist strategies (taking a cautious approach towards other cultures). When people change environments their tastes change and willingness to experiment with diverse cultures increases. This leads to cultural flexibility and openness (Nijssen and Douglas, 2008). Cleveland et al. (2011b) posit that cosmopolitans perceived themselves as less “provincial” and ethnocentric. Their brand choices reinforce their global consumer identity and affiliation. Cleveland and Loroche (2007) developed acculturation scale and includes different constructs related to knowledge, skills, and behaviours of burgeoning global culture. The constructs were cosmopolitanism, exposure to marketing activities by MNCs, understanding of English language, social interaction with foreigners (including foreign travel and migration), exposure to foreign mass media, and receptivity towards global culture. Person’s personality traits, cultural orientation, openness, and acquired skills and knowledge affect acculturation and adaptability to other cultures. Traditional values can restrict or facilitate adaptation of global culture and lifestyle. After staying in foreign countries, migrants found it difficult to settle back in their own country. They found themselves different and superior than their countrymen. However, people can exhibit attachment to ethnic traditional culture and global values. Cosmopolitanism does not restrict one from being attached to one’s heritage and traditions. Caldwell et al. (2006) state that countries’ with post-colonial heritage exhibit high cosmopolitanism. Cleveland et al. (2011a) found significant relationship between strong traditional values (ethnic identity) and adoption of cosmopolitan values among Mexican, Korean, Chilean, and Indian consumers. The findings provide evidence of cultural integration wherein consumers can imbibe local cultural values along with global values. Economic, cultural and political factors affect cosmopolitanism. Countries with uneven economic development, poor integration of local economy with global economy, historical cultural legacies, strong national culture influences, and political events demonstrated low cosmopolitanism. Lim and Park (2013) investigated impact of cosmopolitanism and national culture on consumer innovativeness and willingness to adopt innovation among American and Korean consumers. Both cultures exhibited different levels of innovativeness and cosmopolitan behaviour. Consumers with high cosmopolitan traits exhibited higher levels of innovativeness in both countries. Cosmopolitanism had a positive influence on innovation adoption among Koreans whereas it was negative for Americans. They support other researches about coexistence of global and national cultures (Cleveland et al., 2011a). Researchers have examined acceptability of global culture and lifestyle among Indian consumers (Eckhardt and Mahi, 2004; Mathur et al., 2008; Durvasula and Lysonski, 2008; Johnson and Tellis, 2008; Cleveland et al., 2011a; Gupta, 2013). Acculturation was more prominent among Indian youth (Mathur et al., 2008; Durvasula and Lysonski, 2008). They exhibited high degree of acculturation and endorsed global brands, products, and lifestyle. Eckhardt and Mahi (2004) suggest strong influence of British colonial rule on Indian culture. Cultural values, traditions, social, and political system have been strong linkages with British ideologies and 437 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) values. The colonial heritage made Indians susceptible to global cultural. India has a very diverse culture: a result of different settlements, religions, tribes, and ethnic groups inhabiting the country. Invasions by foreigners have led to intermingling of diverse cultures; wherein they have left an everlasting impact on Indian art, monuments, cuisine, dress, and traditions. Johnson and Tellis (2008) have a divergent view. They believe strong cultural traditions make Indians less receptive to global values. Gupta (2013) studied acculturation among metropolitan and non-metropolitan consumers. Younger age groups were susceptible to global culture influences as compared to older people. Metropolitan cities with conservative and traditional heritage had lower acculturation scores. Higher income groups were more open to global culture. They were exposed to global brands and their high income permitted them to experiment with global lifestyle. Hypotheses Based on the literature review, the following set of hypotheses regarding relationship between consumer susceptibility to interpersonal influence, cosmopolitanism, and fashion clothing involvement and moderating influence of demographic factors have been taken up for examination: H1. CSII would influence their fashion clothing involvement. H2. Cosmopolitanism would influence fashion clothing involvement. H3. Demographic factors would moderate influence of CSII and cosmopolitanism on fashion clothing involvement of Indian consumers. Research methodology Sample Data were collected from seven different cities in India (Delhi, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Lucknow, Indore, and Chandigarh). A mix of convenience and random sampling technique was used. To get a representation from different regions, cities in north and south were targeted. A self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection (Griffin et al., 2000; Otieno et al., 2005; Vida and Reardon, 2008). Different locations in each city were identified for data collection. Respondents were approached in malls, offices, and colleges. The objectives of the research were communicated and help was solicited. Many respondents refused to participate in the survey. In each city, two major malls, five offices, and two universitie
s were randomly identified for data collection. The survey was conducted on week days between 10 am to 4 pm in order to reduce sampling errors. The demographic profiles of the respondents are shown in Table I. Attempt was made to have an equal representation of population across age groups, gender, and type of city. However, sample represented a large segment of younger population (age groups 18-40 years). Instrument design The instrument comprised of three scales. The first part of the instrument comprised of CSII scale developed by Bearden et al. (1989). It contains 12 items (four utilitarian, four value-expressive, and four informational). The utilitarian and value-expressive items combine to explain normative influence while remaining four items explain 438 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) informational influence. Cosmopolitan scale was adapted from acculturation scale developed by Cleveland and Loroche (2007). It contains sub-dimensions to measure cosmopolitanism, exposure to marketing activities by MNCs, exposure to English language, social interaction with foreigners (including foreign travel and migration), exposure to foreign mass media, and desire to emulate global culture. Only cosmopolitan sub-dimension comprising of eleven items was adapted. The third scale was adapted from O’Cass (2000) to measure fashion clothing involvement. Sub-scale to measure fashion clothing product involvement was adapted. Total items in fashion clothing involvement scale were sixteen. The questionnaire also contained measures for age, income levels, marital status, education, and type of city. The responses of the consumers were taken on a five-point Likert scale with responses ranging on the scale of 1-5; with 5 denoting strongly agree and 1 strongly disagree. Total items were 44. Findings and discussion The scale has been extensively used in western countries; however, its application in Indian context has been limited. Shukla (2011) had discussed applicability of CSII on Indian consumers. Similar results were reported. The original CSII scale had twelve items (eight items to measure normative influence and four items to measure informative influence). Exploratory factor analysis results revealed two factors which Variable Frequency % Gender Female 267 53.0 Male 237 47.0 Age (years) 18-21 91 18.1 22-25 139 27.6 26-30 134 26.6 31-40 110 21.8 41-50 24 4.8 50 and above 6 1.2 Marital status Married 232 46.0 Single 272 54.0 Education Higher secondary 22 4.4 Senior secondary 98 19.4 Graduation 293 58.1 Post graduation 84 16.7 PhD 7 1.4 Household income Below 10,000 (below $218) 4 0.8 10,000-20,000 ($218-445) 44 8.7 21,000-30,000 ($446-667) 88 17.5 31,000-40,000 ($668-889) 79 15.7 41,000-50,000 ($890-1,112) 133 26.4 Above 51,000 ($1,113 and above) 156 31.0 Type of city Metropolitan 279 55.4 Non-metropolitan 225 44.6 Total 504 Table I. Demographic description of respondents 439 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) were similar to original scale and labelled as utilitarian and value-expressive influence as original normative sub-scale factor of Bearden et al. (1989). The nine items loaded under similar factors as normative sub-scale dimensions of utilitarian and value expressive (see Table II). Three items of informative sub-scale were removed as they had factor loadings o0.5 and failed to meet Nunnally’s (1967) desired score for scale development. They were: “I like to know what brands and product make good impressions on others, I often consult other people to help choose the best alternative available from a product class, I frequently gather information from friends of family about a product before I buy”. The informative sub-scale gets eliminated as the remaining one item loaded under utilitarian sub-scale of normative influence. Two factors covered 49.43 per cent of variability and all eigenvalues exceeded 1.0. Exploratory factor analysis was administered on Cosmopolitan sub-scale (Cleveland and Loroche, 2007). The ten items loaded under two factors and explained 54.07 per cent of variability (Table III). One item: “When it comes to trying new things, I am very open”, had factor loading o 0.5 and was removed from analysis. First factor was labelled as “cosmopolitanism related to products” as it explained consumers’ liking for food, travelling, and meeting people from other cultures. The second factor was labelled as “cosmopolitanism related to views” which included exchanging views, interacting with people from other cultures, and learning about different cultures. Fashion clothing product involvement sub-scale consisted of 16 items. The scale had been used in earlier researches (Khare et al., 2011, 2012a, b) where high fit on Indian sample was reported. Exploratory factor analysis was run. The 16 item scale loaded under one factor as original scale (O’Cass, 2000). It was labelled as “fashion clothing CSII scale items Factor 1: utilitarian Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.795 Factor 2: value expressive Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.646 I rarely purchase the latest fashion until I am sure my friends approve of them 0.840 It is important that others like the product and brands that I buy 0.704 When buying products I generally purchase those brands that I think others will approve of 0.739 If other people can see me using a product I often purchase the brand they expect me to buy 0.551 If I have little experience with a product, I often ask my friends about the product 0.634 I achieve a sense of belonging by purchasing the same product and brand that others purchase 0.570 If I want to be like someone I often try to buy the same brand that they buy 0.792 I often identify with other people by purchasing the same products and brands they purchase 0.709 To make sure I buy the right product or brand I often observe what others are buying and using 0.533 Notes: Extraction method: principal component analysis. Rotation method: varimax with Kaiser normalization Table II. Exploratory factor analysis for CSII KMO and Bartlett’s test ¼ 0.871 440 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) involvement” and Cronbach a value was 0.960 which was higher than previous studies on Indian sample (see Table IV). Step-wise regression analysis was run to understand moderating influence of demographic factors on CSII and cosmopolitanism in predicting Indian consumers’ fashion clothing involvement (Table V). To understand if the variables in the model had any collinearity, Collinearity diagnostic test was run. For the current model, the VIF values were below 10 and tolerance statistics all above 0.2. Collinearity was not a concern for regression analysis (Field, 2009). Step-wise regression analysis revealed seven models. H1, H2 get accepted and H3 gets partially accepted. The major predictor for fashion clothing involvement in first model was “cosmopolitanism related to products”. It affected 32.4 per cent of fashion clothing involvement of Indian consumers (R2 ¼ 0.324, po0.01). The results indicate that fashion clothing involvement enabled consumers to imbibe cosmopolitan values. Products are a reflection of individual’s identity and self-concept and fashion clothing facilitated consumers to associate with relevant global values. The socio-psychological meaning of clothing enables identification with social groups and ideologies (Michaelidou and Dibb, 2006; Bye and McKinney, 2007) and similar interpretation could be drawn from the model. In the second model, value expressive factor was introduced. Cosmopolitanism related to products and value expressive factor predicted 39.8 per cent of fashion clothing involvement. Clothes help in self-expression. In collectivist societies, conformance to group values, and beliefs are important (Singh, 2006; Shukla, 2011). Product purchase decisions are guided by group norms and social values. Fashion clothing purchase would have both cosmopolitan and value expressive connotation. It would help in creating social identity by sh
owing one’s commitment to global values. Norms have a value expressive function (Bearden et al., 1989) and help in Cosmopolitan Items Factor 1 cosmopolitanism related to products Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.833 Factor 2 cosmopolitanism related to views Cronbach’s a ¼ 0.749 I am interested in learning more about people who live in other countries 0.775 I like to learn about other ways of life 0.779 I enjoy being with people from other countries to learn about their unique views and approaches 0.682 I enjoy exchanging ideas with people from other cultures or countries 0.545 I like to try restaurants that offer food that is different from that in my own culture 0.590 I like to observe people of other cultures, to see what I can learn from them 0.635 I find people from other cultures stimulating 0.678 I enjoy trying foreign food 0.747 When travelling, I like to immerse myself in the culture of the people I am visiting 0.746 Coming into contact with people of other cultures has greatly benefited me 0.713 Notes: Extraction method: principal component analysis. Rotation method: varimax with Kaiser normalization Table III. Exploratory factor analysis of cosmopolitan KMO and Bartlett’s test ¼ 0.915 441 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) managing identity in socio-cultural setting. Individuals use fashion apparels to communicate their social affiliations and cultural values (Schofield and Schmidt, 2005; Majima, 2008). In the third model, type of city was introduced. The three factors explained 45.9 per cent of fashion clothing involvement (R2 ¼ 0.459, po0.01). The b value for type of city was negative, indicating fashion clothing involvement being higher among metropolitan consumers. All values were significant at 0.01 levels. Metropolitan consumers are more informed about latest fashions and styles. Exposure to global brands and fashion apparel affects involvement level. In fourth model, “cosmopolitanism related to views” was introduced and all four factors predicted 50.6 per cent of involvement. Fashion clothing involvement was influenced by global culture, values, and views. Conformance to global products and values helped in improving social image. Fashion clothing has strong symbolic association with social group norms, beliefs, and global culture. Fashions connote global identity endorsed by global consumer groups across different countries. In fifth model, utilitarian value was introduced. Cosmopolitanism related to products, value expressive, type of city, cosmopolitanism related to views, and utilitarian value were major predictors to fashion clothing involvement. Fashion clothing symbolizes global culture and lifestyle and therefore social conformance has utilitarian and value expressive function. Improvement in R2 values indicated influence of all the factors in predicting fashion clothing involvement. In sixth and seventh model, income and education were introduced (R2 ¼ 0.536 and R2 ¼ 0.543 for sixth and seventh models, respectively). All the factors predicted 54.3 of fashion clothing involvement in seventh model. Type of city, income, and education factors moderate influence of cosmopolitanism and CSII on fashion clothing involvement. Age, marital status, and gender had no influence on Indian consumers fashion clothing involvement. Fashion clothing involvement items Factor loadings Fashion clothing mean a lot to me 0.720 Fashion clothing is a significant part of my life 0.706 I have a very strong commitment to fashion clothing that would be difficult to break 0.691 I consider fashion clothing be central part of my life 0.698 I think about fashion clothing a lot 0.719 For me personally fashion clothing is an important product 0.739 I am very interested in fashion clothing 0.689 Some individuals are completely involved with fashion clothing, attached to it, absorbed by it. For others fashion clothing is simply not that involving. How involved are you? 0.693 Fashion clothing is important to me 0.743 Fashion clothing is important part of my life 0.745 I would say fashion clothing is central to my identity as a person 0.753 I would say that I am often pre occupied with fashion clothing 0.741 I can really identify with fashion clothing 0.721 I am very much involved in/with fashion clothing 0.745 I find fashion clothing a very relevant product in my life 0.759 I pay a lot of attention to fashion clothing. 0.747 Cronbach a 0.940 Notes: Extraction method: principal component analysis. Rotation method: varimax with Kaiser normalization Table IV. Factor loadings for fashion clothing involvement KMO and Bartlett’s test ¼ 0.960 442 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) Model Variable b R2 Adjusted R2 Sig. 1. First regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.324 0.323 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.569** 0.000** F ¼ 240.723 2. Second regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.398 0.395 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.447** 0.000** Value expressive 0.297** 0.000** F ¼ 165.322 3. Third regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.459 0.456 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.381 0.000** Value expressive 0.293 0.000** Type of city 0.258 0.000** F ¼ 141.661 4. Fourth regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.506 0.502 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.212 0.000** Value expressive 0.270 0.000** Type of city 0.239 0.000** Cosmopolitan related to views 0.285 0.000** F ¼ 127.828 5. Fifth regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.524 0.519 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.143 0.002** Value expressive 0.239 0.000** Type of city 0.236 0.000** Cosmopolitan related to views 0.238 0.000** Utilitarian 0.181 0.000** F ¼ 109.483 Sixth regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.536 0.530 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.147 0.001** Value expressive 0.251 0.000** Type of city 0.209 0.000** Cosmopolitan related to views 0.230 0.000** Utilitarian 0.160 0.000** Income 0.116 0.000** F ¼ 95.570 Seventh regression (dependent variable: fashion clothing involvement) 0.543 0.537 Cosmopolitan related to products 0.153 0.001** Value expressive 0.242 0.000** Type of city 0.213 0.000** Cosmopolitan related to views 0.229 0.000** Utilitarian 0.155 0.000** Income 0.106 0.001** Education 0.088 0.004** F ¼ 84.274 n ¼ 504 Note: **Significant at 0.01 level Table V. Step-wise regression 443 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) The findings are differ from earlier researches which suggest that fashion clothing involvement varies across age groups (Fairhurst et al., 1989; Auty and Elliott, 1998; Banister and Hogg, 2004; Majima, 2008; Handa and Khare, 2013) and younger age groups are likely to be more fashion conscious. However, results indicate no difference across age groups. Support can be drawn from some researches that suggest older women to be equally involved in fashion (Szmigin and Carrigan, 2006; Borland and Akram, 2007; Kozar and Damhorst, 2008; Thomas and Peters, 2009). Most of the research has attempted to understand fashion clothing involvement among women as they pay greater attention to physical appearance. Clothes help them create an identity for themselves and improves social image. Fashion clothing involvement among men has not been examined. The findings add to existing literature that Indian men are equally involved in fashion clothing as women. This shows an interesting phenomenon which is supported by cosmopolitanism being a major predictor variable in present findings. Cosmopolitan values influence consumers’ lifestyle and views about the world. They are willing to imbibe global brands that communicate distinct global identity. Using products and brands that help in strongly reinforcing their global identity appears to be equally important across both genders. The findings support Lim and Park’s (2013) assertion that cosmopolitanism increases consumers’ flexibility to adopt inno
vations. Fashion clothing represent consumers’ acceptance of new ideas, global lifestyles, and latest trends. Clothing symbolizes innovativeness and helps in expressing one’s personality ( Jordaan and Simpson, 2006). It enables in showing one’s affiliation to certain social groups ( Jin and Kang, 2011) and self-construal (Piamphongsant and Mandhachitara, 2008). Interestingly, influence of cosmopolitanism as a predictor did not diminish the role of normative values on Indian consumers’ fashion clothing involvement. Involvement with fashion clothing was also affected by social conformance. This implies that Indian consumers exhibited regard for both cosmopolitan values and group norms. Fashion clothing would be adapted if it implied a good fit with social norms, group acceptability, and helped in self-construal. Clothes are an extension of personality and help in communicating one’s tastes. Indian consumers appear to balance global values/ lifestyle with group conformity. Being a collectivist society this is accepted (Dev and Babu, 2007; Banerjee, 2008; Shukla, 2011; Khare et al., 2012a). It implies using fashion clothing to communicate one’s identity within acceptable social norms (Goldsmith et al., 1999; Bakewell et al., 2006). Fashion clothing involvement was more of value expressive function that helped in improving self-esteem. Its functional utility in improving person’s image was important. Education, type of city, and income were important in predicting Indian consumers’ fashion clothing involvement. The findings support Gupta’s (2013) findings that high-income groups are more likely to purchase global brands than lower income groups. High income enables them to try global brands. Similarly highly educated consumers are likely to have greater exposure to foreign products, music, food, and mass media. This can significantly impact their attitude to endorse global lifestyle. It can help them in understanding importance of fashion clothing as a medium to communicate membership to global consumer segments. Marketing implications The main findings suggest that Indian consumers’ involvement with fashion clothing was affected by cosmopolitanism and utilitarian and value expressive factors of normative influence. Influence of cosmopolitanism on fashion clothing involvement 444 JFMM 18,4 Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) is apparent. It suggests a change in cultural values; cosmopolitan values coexist with local cultural values. It is interesting to note that group conformance and cosmopolitanism are both important predictors in fashion clothing involvement. By imbibing global values, consumers appear not to break away from Indian values of collectivism. They appear to place high regard to group conformance and cosmopolitanism. If we look at the results, there are two types of cosmopolitanism identified; one was product related and other related with ideas. Cosmopolitanism related to products is more important in predicting fashion clothing involvement. It clearly suggests that Indian consumers understand their involvement with fashion clothing brands as symbolizing global identity. Informative influence had no influence on involvement. No difference among genders and age groups was found. The findings support earlier researches that suggest role of social norms and global lifestyle on consumers’ purchase decisions. Clothing helps in communicating a persons’ identity at three levels: at individual, social, and global levels. Clothes reflect not only a persons’ status and affiliations but also help in communicating specific cultural messages. It helps in communicating our identity with respect to others. In collectivist cultures, a person’s identity is derived from groups and social systems. Schofield and Schmidt (2005) had discussed importance of clothes in fluid construction of identity which can change according to social ideologies. Fashion also communicates global trends that help in reinforcing consumers’ association with global consumer segments. Further it helps in differentiating and showing allegiance to accepted code of conduct in terms of possessions. Results can be related with Piamphongsant and Mandhachitara (2008) research that fashion clothing help in asserting one’s belongingness to desired groups. Purchasing clothes that help consumers conform to social values and norms becomes important. In a collectivist culture, social norms are important as identity is derived from social class and group. Purchasing fashion clothing in accordance to group norms would help in reducing social anxiety and fear of rejection. Consumers’ desire to conform to social norms makes them sensitive to cues. Social norms help in purchasing clothes that help in identity construction. Findings posit that Indian consumers pay high regard to social norms and observe the brands that are being used by relevant others. It appears that there exists a strong influence of opinion leaders and reference groups on purchase decisions. They did not seek information about fashion clothing, but paid close attention to accepted code of behaviour regarding fashion trends. Fashion clothing has strong social connotations which enable in improving consumers’ self-image and esteem. Indian consumers place high regard to group conformance as identity and consumption was dependent on social cues (Mourali et al., 2005; Shukla, 2011; Khare et al., 2012a). It is interesting to note that there was no difference between men and women regarding fashion clothing involvement. This may be interpreted in the light that since fashion industry. For marketing fashion clothing, companies can use global lifestyle, modernity, affluence, and global consumer segments as main advertising themes. Advertisements should use social class references which blend western and Indian lifestyle. It is important to link ethnic cultural identities with global consumer identities. Advertisements can use celebrity endorsements for communicating strong brand identity. Hollywood celebrities can be also used to promote luxury brands. Reference group influence can be used in creating acceptance among middle-income group consumers. Since income and education were important demographic factors influencing fashion clothing involvement, marketers should focus on these particular segments. Vittal (2010) states that by 2015 middle class will increase to 64 million and most Indians were conscious about recent fashion trends. This presents immense opportunity for 445 How cosmopolitan are Indian consumers? Downloaded by California State University Northridge At 19:25 08 September 2015 (PT) fashion brands. Increasingly Indians are embracing fashion clothing as a means of “self-expression”. High-income groups have the flexibility to adopt fashion clothing. Educated Indians are likely to place importance to global identity as it helps them in differentiating themselves as elite and superior to other groups. In India, people are categorized according to their distinct social class clusters and normative influence becomes all the more prominent. One has to stick to their specific class boundaries; and this should be used in promoting fashion wear. The accepted social behavioural codes define roles of individuals and clothes can help in performing those roles. Reference group advertisements should communicate ethnic and global identity. Marketers should combine global values with traditional Indian values. It should not be forgotten that India is still a country of slawar kameez and saris. Fashion clothing must combine ethnic and traditional wear to deliver new styles and westernized look. Conclusions and future research direction A convenience random sampling technique was used for data collection. A larger group of population can be targeted for future research. One of the major limitations of current research was that it had large representation from age group of 18-40 years. Future research can attempt to reduce age biasness. The findings can help fashion clothing companies to use cosmopolitan and normative influence to target Indi
an consumers. Income, education, and metropolitan cities can be initially targeted, as people are willing to endorse global lifestyle along with Indian values. Future research with a larger representation of older consumer segment can help in understanding their preferences and involvement. Research can be conducted to understand Indian consumers’ definition of Indian and foreign fashion clothing. Total expenditure on clothing can be also recorded in order to understand its impact on purchase. Fashion clothing advertising involvement can be studied with respected to attitudes and purchase. Indian consumers’ preferences about style and design can be explored with respect to acculturation. Lifestyle and acculturation can be studied on fashion clothing involvement. FDI in Indian retail sector is likely to improve availability of global fashion brands across the country. New retail formats and infrastructural developments would affect consumers’ shopping styles and values. 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