“The ‘Real’ Value of Fakes: Network-Based Subcultures of Brand Appropriations and the Implications For Consumer-Brand Relationships”

Marketers fear counterfeits, assuming that consumers will not buy the authentic good. Preliminary findings indicate that this is not always true. I conducted a longitudinal ethnography in two markets: 1) the socially-embedded “purse party”, and 2) the atomistic “street vendor”.  Consumers in an embedded market exhibited a high propensity to later purchase the authentic brand (controlling for prior purchase).  I argue that networks and pseudo-access to the brand increase aspiration for the brand.  These consumers had never purchased the brand (“too smart to be label-conscious”), and they made negative attributions to those who do (“frivolous”).  However, these consumers renegotiate their in-group identity as their aspiration for the brand increases.  This research contributes to “pseudo-endowment” research that shows actual possession is not a prerequisite for endowment effects. 


Renee Ann Richardson (2007) ,"“The ‘Real’ Value of Fakes: Network-Based Subcultures of Brand Appropriations and the Implications For Consumer-Brand Relationships”", in E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8, eds. Stefania Borghini, Mary Ann McGrath, and Cele Otnes, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 333-336.


Renee Ann Richardson, Harvard Business School, USA


E - European Advances in Consumer Research Volume 8 | 2007

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