ASSIGNEMENT 3: RESEARCH PROPOSAL
Counterfeit goods are illegal products made as imitation or reproduction of valuable products that already exist, with the intent of fraudulently passing it off as genuine. Today, the counterfeit trade is reaching epidemic proportions and has been describe as ‘perhaps the world’s fastest growing and mostprofitable business’ (Gene M. Grossman and C. Shapiro, 1986) 1. The luxury market is significantly affected by counterfeit goods, which are taking advantage of the prestige image of its brands by capturing their tradition and identity. In particular, France is a large target for counterfeiters. Indeed, the French luxury brands are among the most imitated because of strong and valuable industrialheritage and know-how.
In this context, one of the main problems of the counterfeit market is its impact on the perception of the brand image by consumers. We can identify two types of counterfeit consumers: the deceived and the non-deceived. Non-deceived consumers are conscious that they are buying a fake product, as a Louis Vuitton handbag buying from black market for example, contrary to deceivedconsumers that are not aware that they are buying a counterfeit product. In that case, consumers would have a wrong perception of the luxury brand because of poor quality products in terms of design details and durability. Moreover, counterfeiters of prestige goods impose a negative externality on consumers of genuine items, as fakes degrade the personal gratification associated with a given brand.However, the luxury brands can benefit from this issue because counterfeit market is often the first place where consumers develop an aspiration for genuine luxury accessories, hence it increases brand awareness and consciousness. Furthermore, it is important to highlight that today thanks to the international anti-counterfeit fighting, much more people are aware of the problem that luxurybrands are facing because of counterfeit and pay more attention when they are buying a luxury good.
As one of the most counterfeit French brand in the fashion world, especially for leather goods and accessories, linked to its strong image and its famous recognizable LV monogram, I have chosen to focus my research on the Louis Vuitton brand. The aim of my research is to understand what is theimpact of counterfeit on the perception of the brand image by consumers regarding Louis Vuitton leather goods?
I will examine the French market; hence I will be able to collect qualitative information from consumers and managers more easily. Besides, as Louis Vuitton is a French brand the impact of counterfeit on French people is significant; it is a part of their tradition and heritage.
Thereason why I have chosen to exploring the impact of counterfeit on consumers of Louis Vuitton goods is that as I come from the French Riviera, this region is really known to be an area where the counterfeit market is developed especially at the frontier between France and Italy, I am concerned by this issue as potential consumer. Furthermore, I would be able to help Louis Vuitton managers tounderstand and to face the expansion of counterfeit; which impact the consumers’ perception of the brand image.
1 Grossman, Gene M. & Shapiro, C. (1986). Counterfeit-Product Trade, Discussion Paper No. 103, April 1986
* The counterfeiting industry of luxury goods
The counterfeit is a specific legal term describing a crime. According to the IACC1, counterfeiting is a $600billion a year problem and approximately 5-7% of the world trade is in counterfeit goods. A counterfeit product is defined as an imitation of genuine product by recreating the shape and apposing the original brand logo. Counterfeit goods are illegal, low-priced, and often lower-quality replicas of products that typically possess high brand value (Lai and Zaichkowsky, 1999) 2. Luxury goods have...