Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Counterfeiting: The Scary And Surprising Facts – 8/12/09

Could you tell a real Louis Vuitton handbag from a counterfeit?

In a research study, a marketing scholar has challenged luxury handbag owners to do the same – with surprising results.

Renee Richardson Gosline, Assistant Professor of Marketing at MIT, showed photos of luxury handbags (both real and fake) to 100 handbag owners. Some of the handbags were on blank backgrounds whilst others were worn by people in social settings. Gosline found “people are more likely to identify a designer handbag as authentic if the individual carrying it wears expensive clothes, or has a certain aura that says rich person.”

The study also revealed that:
• People will pay twice as much for an item when they think they can use it to send cues about wealth and taste.
• Annual sales of counterfeit goods total about $600 billion worldwide, almost 7 percent of global trade. (Although these figures include industries other than luxury goods.)

Counterfeiting is definitely big business. According to Bloomberg, the International Anticounterfeiting Coalition says that it costs U.S. businesses as much as $250 billion a year.

In a separate study, Gosline discovered that buying a counterfeit was a precursor to buying a genuine bag for 46 percent of those interviewed. She said, “The counterfeit actually served as a placebo for brand attachment. People were becoming increasingly attached to the real brand even though they never possessed it at all.”

For us, the key finding to this study is that counterfeits are no substitute. The discerning can always tell…

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Who's behind the MO DOWN

Melinda O’Rourke is the founder and Director of MO Luxury, a dynamic, Sydney-based management firm specialising in luxury brands and services. Melinda and her associates at MO work with local and international brands across prestige retail, fashion, fine jewellery, timepieces and specialised services. Melinda is well-connected, well-read, and well-versed in the demands of the luxury market and its client base. Her advice is firmly based in objectivity and ultimately, accountability. Melinda offers constructive counsel and both strategic and creative thinking and is able to draw upon a strong network of specialised talent to compliment the MO Luxury team as needed. Melinda enjoys excellent industry relationships and is regularly quoted in the business and fashion media. Read more about MO Luxury, www.moluxury.com.au