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Establishedin 1984 in Yamaguchi, Japan, UNIQLO Co., Ltd remains to be a leadingcompany dealing in the manufacture of clothing brand for both sexes.Since the year 1997, UNIQLO has been a leading clothing warehouse,thanks to the unique approach that it has been employing. It hasdifferentiated from its competitors by developing its products,having flexibility in the production adjustment and adopted low-coststore management with reduced rent and labor costs (Jing-yan, 2010).
Owingto these strategies, the global warehouse has been at an advantagepoint as the fashion industry continues to grow globally with anindication of few signs of slowing down especially in Asia where thespending of the consumer increasingly is on an upward trend(Jing-yan, 2010).
Thispaper aims to explore the customers’ intention when doing purchase.In doing so, the study will employ data collected from UNIQLO asshown in Appendix 1. Students from a local university who approachedpeople as they were walking into the outlet undertook the study usingface-to-face survey. While doing the study, 220 responses weregathered and later coded appropriately. The study seeks to analyzethe different survey data obtained by covering the different customerpurchase intentions including brand name, brand reputation and brandimage. While presenting the analysis, significant differences areprovided and highlighted in regards to age, gender, level ofeducation, income level, marital status and online usages. From thedata collected by the researcher, conclusions and recommendationswill arrive at that will help inform the decisions of UNIQLO forconsideration.
BrandName and Purchase Intention
Indetermining whether there is a significant relationship between thebrand name and purchase intention, the brand name was used as anindependent variable and purchase intention as the dependentvariable. It was found that the significant value is P<0.001 andthe T value: 25.275. The problem under query is determining theeffect of brand name on buyers purchase intention. This meant thatthere was a significant relationship between the brand name andpurchase intention. A Brand name is a combination of sign, symbol, ordesign to differentiate the products or services from the competitorsor substitutes (Adamu & Bambale, 2016). This means that having astronger brand name is synonymous with the quality perceptions of theproducts. Therefore, the customers prefer to do the purchase of theproducts of UNIQLO owing to the stronger brand name that the productscarry with them. This means that if any factor were to affect thebrand name of UNIQLO, then the business in its entirety would fail.Therefore, the stronger the brand name, the higher the chances ofUNIQLO changing the intention of the buyers to purchase (Grewal etal., 1998). Often, the brand name plays a critical role in sendinginformation to consumers regarding the country of origin of aproduct. From the results, it is evident that the brand name, UNIQLOenforces positive perception of the products. Ultimately this affectsthe intention of the buyers to purchase as they are in a position torelate UNIQLO with Japan. UNIQLO’s logo is part of the brand nameof UNIQLO, and the positive relationship with the intention of thebuyer to purchase meant that the buyers approved the logo and couldeasily identify with the passion, love and excitement that isrepresented by the logo. Ideally, the logo was very instrumental inattracting the customers hence making purchase.
BrandImage and Purchase Intention
Thesecond study examined whether there is a relation between brand imageand purchase intention. Theproblem under query is determining the effect of brand image onbuyers purchase intentionFrom the values that were obtained, it was clear that there exist asignificant relationship between brand image and purchase intention.The hypothesis was thus supported. Brand Image is the image that thebrand leaves with the consumers. Normally, brand image iscategorized into three types, and they include functional, symbolicand experiential (Wu, Yeh, and Hsiao, 2011). From the resultsobtained, the notion of brand image in consumer mind impacts thepurchase intention positively. Therefore, from the results, UNIQLOhas a successful brand image that offers the consumer a chance todistinguish the UNIQLO brand from the other competitors. Owing tothis capability, the consumers are then in a position to make apurchase (Wu, Yeh, and Hsiao, 2011). The results also point to theability of UNIQLO to increase market share as it is in a position toimprove the competitive advantage and hold a higher position withinthe market. UNIQLO products ideally have had a strong image, and thisis considered by the consumer as higher quality thus leading tostronger purchase intention (Wu, Yeh, and Hsiao, 2011).
BrandReputation and Purchase Intention
Fromthe results, there is a significant relationship between the brandreputation and purchase intention. This meant that the customers careso much about the reputation of the brands of UNIQLO and anythingthat would taint the reputation would automatically affect thepurchase intention. Excellent brand reputation translates to positivepurchase intention by the customers while negative brand reputationmeans weak purchase intention (Chu, Choi and Song, 2005). The brandreputation of UNIQLO is tied with the honesty of the company todeliver on its missions and values rather than just making them astatement. From the results, there is a significant relationshipbetween the values and mission of the company with the purchaseintention of the buyer. The buyers at UNIQLO feel that the productsare made according to the set reputation of the company.
IncomeLevel and Effects on Brand Name, Brand Image and Brand Reputation
Fromthe results that are obtained in the study, it emerges brand name,brand reputation and brand image is affected by income positively.Individuals with higher incomes tend to look for the three variableswhen making a purchase (Wheatley and Chiu, 1977). Therefore, thethree variables affect their purchase decision-making process. Withhigher incomes, individuals have a greater predisposition todifferent brands and thus ideally have a choice to make from nearlyall the choices available. One the other hand, low income means lessemphasis on brand name, brand image and brand reputation. Therefore,income levels affect the purchase intention of the customers. Therepresentation is even clearer from the framework that has beenprovided (Wheatley and Chiu, 1977). Nonetheless, the level of effectof the brand image, brand reputation and brand name on the purchaseintention differs. Comparatively, it emerges that across thedifferent income levels, the brand image has the strongest effect onthe purchase intention followed by brand reputation and then brandname.
Fromthe analysis, the resulted may not be fully informative as the trendof purchase intention is affected by several factors. Among thefactors that play a huge role in the process is the income level.This makes it a bit cumbersome to get to a conclusion. Additionally,there is thin line between the factors and they overlap, brand imageand brand reputation for instance are strongly related. This makes itabsolutely difficult to maintain the autonomous effect of onevariable. Given that the data was collected from the same source,there are also chances that there is common method bias(Conway and Lance, 2010).
Chu,W., Choi, B. and Song, M.R., 2005. The role of on-line retailer brandand infomediary reputation in increasing consumer purchaseintention.InternationalJournal of Electronic Commerce, 9(3),pp.115-127.
Conway,J.M. and Lance, C.E., 2010. What reviewers should expect from authorsregarding common method bias in organizational research. Journalof Business and Psychology, 25(3),pp.325-334.
Grewal,D., Krishnan, R., Baker, J. and Borin, N., 1998. The effect of storename, brand name and price discounts on consumers` evaluations andpurchase intentions. Journalof retailing, 74(3),pp.331-352.
Jing-yan,Z.H.O.U., 2010. Business Management of Japan`s Uniqlo (UNIQLO)Apparel. Journalof Jilin Province Economic Management Cadre College, 6,p.005.
Wheatley,J.J. and Chiu, J.S., 1977. The effects of price, store image, andproduct and respondent characteristics on perceptions ofquality. Journalof ,pp.181-186.
Wu,P.C., Yeh, G.Y.Y. and Hsiao, C.R., 2011. The effect of store imageand service quality on brand image and purchase intention for privatelabel brands. AustralasianMarketing Journal (AMJ), 19(1),pp.30-39.