Indian consumers' brand equity toward a US and local apparel brand
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine effects of gender, need for uniqueness, and attitudes toward American products on dimensions of brand equity for a US and local apparel brand in the Indian market. Design/methodology/approach: Three dimensions of brand equity are evaluated based on the respondents' shopping experience related to the selected US and local apparel brands. Data are collected from a convenience sample of college students in India. Findings: The empirical tests show that, for a US apparel brand, there are direct and indirect effects of Indian consumers' gender, need for uniqueness (NFU), and attitudes toward American products on three dimensions of brand equity: perceived quality, brand loyalty, and brand associations with brand awareness. For local apparel brands, these effects are found for only one brand equity dimension: perceived quality. Research limitations/implications: The study uses only one US apparel brand, which may limit the generalization of the findings to all product categories and countries. Practical implications: US marketers need to improve Indian consumers' attitudes toward American products through marketing and promotional campaigns. On the other hand, Indian marketers should overcome the negative relationship between Indian consumers' attitudes toward American products and their quality perception toward a local apparel brand. Originality/value: Little attention has been given to individual differences in evaluating the three dimensions of brand equity. By assessing brand equity based on the individual characteristics of gender, need for uniqueness, and attitudes toward American products, results of the study can help marketers to obtain more specific knowledge of brand equity about a target consumer group and thus enable them to plan and implement well-suited strategies for improving their brand equity.