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Using topdog versus underdog brand biography in advertising: Effects of similarity and consumption decision of non-deceptive counterfeits
Journal of Marketing Communications  (IF),  Pub Date : 2020-06-15, DOI: 10.1080/13527266.2020.1777579
Komal Nagar


The aim of this research is to investigate how consumption of high vs. low similarity counterfeit brands in the public affects consumer responses, in terms of attitude and purchase intentions, as against privately consuming the counterfeits. The study also aims to understand if consumers’ choice of a counterfeit depends on whether the leading brand uses a topdog brand biography as against using an underdog brand biography. Experimentation was chosen as the method of inquiry. The first experimental set-up was a 2 (similarity of counterfeit with original brand: low, high) x 2 (mode of consuming counterfeit: public, private) between-subjects design while in the second experiment, subjects were assigned to a condition of a 2 (brand biography: underdog, topdog) x 2 (mode of consuming counterfeit: public, private) between-subjects design. Results of two studies suggest that the evaluation of copycats increased with a higher degree of similarity, but only when the decision to consume the copycat was public. It was also found that counterfeit of brands using a topdog brand biography elicited more favorable responses when the counterfeit was consumed publicly. Results of the study will help practitioners to understand how to approach consumers’ consumption mode (public vs private) of copycat brands.