What is the effect of the existence of a counterfeit on the genuine brand?
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Background: In the twenty-first century, counterfeiting has risen an issue in numerous industries for both marketers, (who want to protect their ownership of their intellectual property from counterfeiters and consumer complicity with counterfeit products), and consumers (who involve in deceptive counterfeiting process and faced health, behaviour and emotional risk). The issue faced by both marketers and consumers due to counterfeits has consequences and is of importance to be addressed. By investigating the effects of counterfeits on genuine brands, the present research demonstrates conditions under which counterfeits may positively or negatively influence the image of genuine brands and why this is so. Purpose: The current research aims to fulfil two objectives: First, it aims to provide knowledge in the effects of existing counterfeits on the evaluation of the genuine brand and to discover whether the proposed effect is positive or negative on consumers’ choice and attitude toward genuine brands. Second, my research findings are expected to guide marketing managers to decrease consumer demands for counterfeits of their genuine products by showing that the existing counterfeit can improve consumers perceived quality, perceived exclusivity and perceived popularity of the genuine brand. Methodology: This study employed a deductive research approach with a between-subjects design to analyse the data. It also employed a quantitative method to aid in multivariate data analysis. To gather information, experiments were conducted under two studies, and an online-based survey was used through Amazon Mechanical Turk. The sample comprised 412 United States adults who were randomly selected. Outcomes and implications: The research findings support the research hypotheses. Study 1 suggested that existing counterfeits negatively affect the evaluation of the genuine brand for both men and women. This indicates that respondents didn’t purchase the genuine brand and developed negative attitude toward it in the existence of counterfeit brand existing in the market. As in study 1, study 2 also demonstrated that existing counterfeits negatively affect the evaluation of the genuine brand for both known and unknown brands. Moreover, study 2 also showed that the perceived quality, exclusivity and the perceived popularity of the genuine brand mediate the proposed effect of counterfeits on consumers attitudes toward a genuine brand, especially when consumers do not know the genuine brand. However, when consumers are familiar with the genuine brand, an individual’s perceived quality and exclusivity played a mediating role in the proposed relationship. The empirical findings in my studies provide a new theoretical understanding of consumer behaviour when a genuine brand has counterfeits in the market. Also, brand awareness has been used to explore the role of the perceived quality, exclusivity and popularity as marketing cues affecting consumer evaluations of the genuine brand when it has existing counterfeits in the market.