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  1. 1. Pearl Academy of Fashion<br />Academic Paper <br />Topic: The influence of social pressure on young Indian luxury consumers between 18 to 35 years old.<br />“Submitted by Vasundhra Goel in partial fulfilment of the requirements for degree of “Masters in Fashion Marketing Management” <br />(2010-2012)<br />Submitted to: Mrs. Nandita Abraham<br /> (Department of Business and Technology)<br />Submitted on: 24th March’2011<br />Acknowledgement<br />I owe a great thanks to many people who helped and supported me during the writing of this research paper. My deepest thanks to Dr. Jaideep Chatterjee, the guide of the project for guiding and correcting me throughout the execution of project with attention and care. He has taken pain to go through the project and make necessary correction as and when needed.<br />My deep sense of gratitude to Mrs. Nandita Abraham (Head of Department, Business and Technology), for her support and guidance. <br />I would also thank my Institution and my faculty members without whom this project would have been a distant reality. I also extend my heartfelt thanks to my family and well wishers.<br />Vasundhra Goel<br />Table of contents<br />Abstract…………………………………………………… 4<br />Chapter 1 Introduction……………………………………5<br /><ul><li>Background study……………………………….6-8
  2. 2. Research gap…………………………………….8
  3. 3. Research objectives……………………………...8</li></ul>Chapter 2 Research Methodology……………………….9<br /><ul><li>Research design………………………………….9
  4. 4. Sample definition………………………………..9
  5. 5. Data collection and analysis method…………….9</li></ul>Chapter 3 Results………………………………………….11<br /><ul><li>Research Objective 1: Findings and Analysis……11-12</li></ul> 3.2 Research Objective 2: Findings and Analysis……13-14<br /> 3.3 Research Objective 3: Findings and Analysis……15-17<br />Chapter 4 Conclusion…………………………………….18<br /> 4.1 Conclusion …………………………………….18<br /> 4.2 Recommendation……………………………….18<br /> 4.3 Limitations and suggestion for further research...19<br /> 4.4 References………………………………………20<br />Abstract<br />The purpose of this study is exploring the influence of social pressure on young Indian luxury consumers between age group of 18 to 35 years old to understand their attitudes towards luxury goods. In this study the initial research was secondary research which further followed by primary research using questionnaires as data collection tool to gather data from respondents between age group of 18 to 35 years old. Questionnaire was divided into three sections concentrating on demographic and lifestyle of the target consumers, social image consciousness and effect of relationship between social image and luxury goods on young Indian luxury consumers. The research found that majority of population belongs to age group between 18 to 25 years with almost females who are students and have completed their graduation. The research showed that majority of the population was conscious about their social image in the society and were affected by the influence of relationship between social image and luxury goods. This concluded the research that social pressure is one of the major aspects which affects the purchases of luxury goods by young Indian luxury consumer.<br />Introduction<br />This paper talks about the influence of social pressure theory on young Indians luxury consumers between age group of 18-35 years old. The main purpose of this research paper is to see what drives Indian luxury consumer to buy luxury goods and to understand their attitude towards luxury.<br />In order to conduct the research, a theoretical background was formed for the better understanding of theory of consumer behaviour i.e. Factors affecting consumer behaviour:<br /><ul><li>Psychological (motivation, perception, learning, beliefs and attitudes)
  6. 6. Personal (age and life-cycle stage, occupation, economic circumstances, lifestyle,
  7. 7. personality and self concept)
  8. 8. Social (reference groups, family, roles and status)</li></ul> This paper focuses on theory of social pressure comprising major aspects like social identity, social comparisons, self consciousness, status consumption and effect of peers, drivers which affect luxury purchasing. After the understanding of background study it was concluded that there is a relationship that exists between the concepts of social pressure and luxury goods.<br />After that a research gap was found that required further study was that “what kind of relation exists between luxury goods and social pressure within young Indian luxury consumer?”<br />This study is done with the help of self structured questionnaire which is designed in accordance to have insights of the target consumers keeping in mind the objectives of the research and accordingly to results and finding of research and conclusion is concluded.<br /><ul><li>Background Study</li></ul>Young adults or youth within the age bracket of 18-35 years old generally indulge themselves into the personal relationships that give value to their perspectives and which ensures them that their feelings are understood. This leads to the formation of peer groups. Peer groups are groups which share their personal life, their inner feelings among themselves which further leads to the comparison within the peers. The frequent interaction with peers, even more so than with parents, can also lead to social comparison. In such case, peers often become role models for individual, influencing their attitudes and opinions. The peer groups have been analysed by scholars in different aspects of social pressure which are as follows:<br /><ul><li>Social comparison</li></ul>Many researchers have added their insights to the very first social comparison theory introduced by Festinger (1954), positing that individuals have a need to evaluate their opinions and abilities. In simpler words, it can be mentioned as an instrument or tool to measure one’s personality in comparison with other. Since its original formulation, social comparison theory has undergone a few revisions. Festinger (1954) proposed that the motive of social comparison is to create an accurate self-evaluation. Wood (1989) added that individuals engage in social comparison for self-improvement and self-enhancement as well as self-evaluation. Individuals who perceive a discrepancy in their object of social comparison are motivated to close the gap on that dimension of interest.(Kara Chan, 2008) {4}<br /><ul><li>Public Self - consciousness</li></ul>Everyone has self image or their own identity, and the way individuals present themselves in the public or society or the concern of the image or their own individuality is public self consciousness. In simple words, the way individuals present themselves in society is public self consciousness. Public self consciousness plays an important role in individual’s life towards its approach to or by the society. People who are very highly conscious are very concerned about their social identities and oriented toward gaining approval and avoiding disapproval in society.<br />Research has shown that individuals who are high in public self-consciousness are more fashion-conscious and likely to report using clothing and makeup to affect their public image. (Miller and Cox, 1982). The research shows the basic traits of the individuals who are very highly public consciousness are social needs for affiliation, social recognition and exhibition. These individuals also showed higher levels of anxiety and lower self-esteem. (Yingjiao Xu,2008){1}<br /><ul><li>Youngsters status consumption</li></ul>Young adults between age group of 18-35 years have shown very recent changes in their spending pattern. They have open new opportunities to marketers and companies to taste new waters. New entrants are now free to make new inventions and innovations inspired by the change in the attitude for buying or new buying pattern of this particular segment. All facets of the media (i.e. fashion, television, the Internet and music) form significant influences, and make teens savvy towards what they want. Many previous conducted studies have shown that this particular segment: (Piacentini and Mailer, 2004; Tan, 1999; Taylor and Cosenza, 2002)<br /><ul><li>Lavish spenders when it comes to branded and luxury products
  9. 9. Are more likely to be involved in luxury consumption</li></ul>Many researchers have explored the trend of status, symbolic or prestige consumption for different purposes and developing understanding towards status brands and the behaviours associated with it. Researchers (Eastman et al, 1999) have defined that conspicuous consumption plays important role in enhancing social recognition. Conspicuous consumption involves the public consumption of luxury products that signal wealth, status and power. Researchers pointed out that status-oriented consumer will only purchase products that represent status in the eyes of others whom they feel are significant. (Ian Phau, Yip Siew Leng, 2008) {2}<br />Given the background study indicates that there is relationship between social pressure and luxury goods. Based on the background study, this paper identifies the following research gap:<br /><ul><li> Research Gap:</li></ul> The above background study shows that there is a relationship between luxury<br /> goods and social identity. The gap is how this relationship affects young Indian<br /> luxury consumers between age group of 18 to 35 years old which influences them <br /> to buy luxury.<br /><ul><li> Research Objectives:</li></ul> In order to find solution to gap, three research objectives were established.<br /> RO1: To understand target consumers in terms of their demographics and lifestyle.<br /> RO2: To see how target consumers are concerned about their social image or effect of<br /> social pressure on them. <br /> RO3: To see how the relationship between social image and luxury goods affects young<br /> Indian luxury consumers between age group of 18-35 years old.<br />Research Methodology<br />2.1 Research design<br />The initial research undertaken is designed to be exploratory and to provide basis for further research which included referring of journals, books and articles etc. to prepare the theoretical background or literature review followed by primary research i.e. descriptive research.<br /> Sample definition<br />The sample selected for the research was a non probability group of 10 consumers between 18 to 35 years old, 70% of the respondents belongs to age group 18-25years, 20% of respondents to age group 30-35 years and 10% of respondents belongs to age group 25-30 years. 80% of respondents are female and rest of the respondents are male, living in New Delhi and NCR. <br />Data collection and analysis method<br />Data is collected by self administered questionnaire. The first section of questionnaire addressed demographics of the consumers including information like age, income, location, gender, marital status, education and occupation and their lifestyle indicators like their hobbies, interests etc. which fulfilled the purpose of (RQ1). The second part of the questionnaire was used to assess the respondent’s insights on self image consciousness. (RQ2) And lastly the last part of questionnaire measured respondent’s relation between social image and luxury goods. (RQ3). The questionnaire is designed to limit respondents to one answer to help make it more precise and simple.<br />The data was collected through emails, telephonic interview and in person.<br />Another technique was used the participant observation. The data was analysed by the help of Microsoft office excel.<br /> Results<br /> RO1: To understand target consumers in terms of their demographics and lifestyle.<br />After understanding of the consumer profile of luxury consumers in secondary data, sample set for research is selected on that basis only to get productive insights of the respondents ensuring authenticity of the research.<br />3.1 Main findings:<br /><ul><li>Demographic IndicatorsFindingsMarital status80% of the respondents are unmarried.20% of the respondents are married.Occupation70% of the respondents are students.20% of the respondents are housewife.And only 10% of the respondents are engaged in business.Education 40% of the respondents are post graduates.50% of the respondents are graduates.10% of the respondents are under-graduates.Monthly Household Income50 % of the respondents belong to income category of Rs1, 50,000 & above.30% of the respondents belong to income category of Rs1, 00,000 to Rs 1, 50,000.20 % of the respondents belong to income category of Rs50, 000 to Rs1, 00,000.Residential Location50% of the respondents belong to west Delhi.20% of the respondents belong to north Delhi.30% of the respondents belong to south Delhi.</li></ul>Analysis: Demographic profile of target consumer i.e. young Indian luxury consumer.<br /><ul><li>18-25 years old.
  10. 10. Female
  11. 11. Unmarried
  12. 12. Students
  13. 13. Graduates
  14. 14. Having monthly household income Rs1, 50,000 and above.
  15. 15. Belongs to West Delhi.
  16. 16. Lifestyle IndicatorsFindingsNo. of family members40% of respondents have 5 family members.40% of respondents have 4 family members.10% of respondents have 3 family members.10% of respondents have 10 family members. Hobbies/sportsMost popular hobbies/sports among consumers was reading, listening music, shopping, basket ball, billiards etc.Forms of entertainmentMost preferred form of entertainment for consumers was movies, travelling, surfing (face book), clubbing etc.
  17. 17. The parameters used to analyse consumers for research objectives 2 and 3 are based on the secondary research i.e. background study. </li></ul>RO2: To see how target consumers are concerned about their social image or effect of social pressure on them. <br />3.2 Main Findings:<br />Parameter: Get along with other people at work place, college and at any other social gathering.<br />Finding: 90% of respondents from all the age groups comprising both male and female agree that they are comfortable with other people at various places and rest of the 10% of the respondents are not comfortable.<br />Parameter: Conscious about self image in the society.<br />Findings: 70% of respondents from all the age groups comprising both male and female are conscious about their self image in the society except the 30 % of the remaining participants.<br />Parameter: Involvement in any kind of social comparison in terms of physical appearance.<br />Findings: 90% of respondents from all the age groups comprising both male and female are engaged in social comparison in terms of their physical appearance. In simple words, participants compare themselves with other people in terms of their physical appearance. This shows the influence of social pressure on them and rest of the 10% are not engaged in social comparison in terms of physical appearance.<br />Parameter: Social comparison helps in self enhancement or self improvement.<br />Findings: 100% respondents believe that social comparison helps them in their self enhancement.<br />Parameter: Importance of social recognition.<br />Findings: For 80% of the respondents, social recognition is important for them except the 20% who doesn’t feel much need of social recognition.<br />Parameter: Meaning of fashion……………….<br />Findings: For 80% of population fashion means “a way to express inner self” and for rest of the 20% of population, fashion is “looking sober and mature”. Nobody opted for looking cool and hip.<br />Analysis: From the above main findings, it is analysed that the majority of population is concerned about their self image or is influenced by social pressure. But remaining percentage of population which comprises of all age groups specially all students who denied to another parameters concerning self image consciousness not but they all agree to the fact that social comparison helps for self improvement or social enhancement. This analysis shows different consumer behaviour belonging to same demographic profile which means that even consumers having same demographics and psychographics behaves differently and have different perceptions and attitudes towards different issues in this case with respect to social pressure.<br />RO3: To see how the relationship between social image and luxury goods affects young Indian luxury consumers between age group of 18-35 years old.<br />3.3 Main findings:<br />Parameter: Friends complement your fashion style.<br />Findings: All the respondents agreed that their friends like their way of following fashion.<br />Parameter: Who influences while buying luxury goods?<br />Findings: 80 % of the respondents comprising of all age groups says they make their own choice, except the 20% of the respondents who comprised of younger consumers says that they are influence by family and friends while buying luxury goods.<br />Parameter: For you having luxury goods means……………..<br />Findings: In this case respondents had given mixed answers, but majority of respondents said that having luxury goods means having high social class/wealth family followed by being respectable and then showing off.<br />Parameter: My choice of luxury goods is always trying to be acceptable to public taste.<br />Findings: 70 % of the respondents denied that the fact their choice of luxury goods has to be accepted to public taste and rest of the 30% believes that their choice of luxury goods has to be accepted to public taste because with this they feel that they are part of the society supported by background study.<br />Parameter: Luxury goods help wins respect of others.<br />Findings: 60% of the respondents agree to the fact, luxury goods help win respect of others, except the rest of 40% do not agree to this fact.<br />Parameter: Most important need fulfilled by the possession of luxury goods.<br />Findings: 70 % of the respondents feel that having luxury goods means expression of their identity. And other respondents feel that it’s about self esteem and self concept.<br />Parameter: Feeling when purchasing luxury goods.<br />Findings: Respondents had mixed feelings when they purchase luxury goods:<br /><ul><li>Prestige, gratitude
  18. 18. Inner satisfaction
  19. 19. Well being
  20. 20. Satisfaction
  21. 21. Pampered
  22. 22. Its add to style and confidence
  23. 23. Feels to be part of latest trends
  24. 24. Very happy
  25. 25. Feels good
  26. 26. Analysis: The above findings measure the relationship between social identity or social pressure and luxury goods and its effect on young Indian luxury consumers. These findings also conclude that the majority of young consumers majorly between age group of 18-25 years old make their own decisions while purchasing luxury goods, this shows that they independent in their purchasing decisions are not much influenced by their peers but they like the fact that their friends complement their fashion style. Other parameters regarding relationship between social identity and possession of luxury goods like feelings and needs fulfilled by luxury goods shows that shows that consumers have all kinds of positive feelings like happiness, self esteem, gratitude, confidence, part of society etc. when they have luxury goods or while buying luxury goods. This fact is also supported by background study and it shows that the relationship between social identity and luxury goods does affect young Indian luxury consumers except the two parameters which contradicts this conclusion is that 30% to 40% of respondents say that luxury goods do not help win respect of others and choice of luxury goods is always trying to be acceptable to public taste. The above findings again show diversity in consumer behaviour having same psychographics and demographics.</li></ul>Conclusion<br /><ul><li>Conclusion</li></ul> The purpose of this research was to examine the impact of relation between social pressures and luxury goods on young Indian luxury consumers between age group of 18-35 years. This study showed the complexity of consumer behaviour. <br />According to my research respondents having luxury goods means having a high social class/wealthy family. The aspects of social pressure that the background study mentioned as status symbol, public self consciousness, social recognition etc have direct impact on young Indian luxury consumers for possession of luxury goods.<br />In fact they emphasise the intrinsic characteristics of luxury goods and the pleasure and satisfaction they provide.<br />And the result shows that all the consumers between age group of 18-35 years whether male or female are influenced by social pressure which acts one of the major factors which triggers them to luxury goods which makes them feel as the part of the society.<br /><ul><li>Recommendation</li></ul>As the research conclude social pressure influence luxury consumption of young Indian luxury consumers, this study can be helpful for international luxury brands who have recently entered into Indian luxury market which is mainly comprised of jewellery segment. Through this study, international luxury brands can have better understanding of their target consumers specially the young segment call accessible and aspiring consumers who have desire to have these brands to show their status among their peers which gives them positive feelings like high status, prestige, part of social circle etc. And thus these brands can plan marketing plan or strategy targeting these consumers which can help them achieve better sales.<br /><ul><li>Limitations and suggestions for further study</li></ul>The sample for this study was small limited to ten productive respondents only due to time constraint. As this study was focussing only three major aspects of social pressure acting on young Indian luxury consumers between age group of 18-35 years old, in the further research more aspects of social pressure can be considered in context older age group to see whether this segment is also affected by social pressure in concern with buying of luxury goods.<br /><ul><li>References
  27. 27. Journals
  28. 28. Xu Yingjiao. Young Consumers. “The influence of public self-consciousness and materialism on young consumers' compulsive buying.”
  29. 29. Bradford: Vol. 9, Iss. 1 (2008); pg. 37.
  30. 30. Phau Ian, Leng Yip Siew. “Attitudes toward domestic and foreign luxury brand apparel; a comparison between status and non status seeking teenagers.”</li></ul> Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management. <br /> Bradford: Vol. 12, Iss. 1 (2008); pg. 68<br /><ul><li>Goodrich Kendall, Mangleburg Tamara F. “Adolescent perceptions of parent and peer influences on teen purchase: An application of social power theory.”
  31. 31. Journal of Business Research.
  32. 32. New York: Vol. 63, Iss. 12 (Dec 2010); pg. 1328
  33. 33. Chan Kara. “Social comparison of material possessions among adolescents.”
  34. 34. Qualitative Market Research.
  35. 35. Bradford: Vol. 11, Iss. 3 (2008); pg. 316
  36. 36. Internet
  37. 37. “The Indspirit 2010 Show Goes On” Editorial (November.2010)
  38. 38. Wise geek - “What Is Consumer Behavior?” (2 Feb’2011)
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  40. 40. Harvard Format- A style guide to referencing
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