Female consumers' awareness of and preference for brand name apparel

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

This study investigated female consumers’ awareness of and preference for brand name apparel, sought to determine the relationship between these variables and the purchase of brand name apparel, and attempted to determine the sample’s perceptions of branded apparel. The respondents’ brand name apparel awareness, preference, and perception were also investigated in relation to several demographic variables.

Women professors and secretaries employed at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI&SU) were chosen as the sample for this study. A questionnaire was developed to ascertain the needed information and was distributed to 471 women by the intercampus mail system during the summer of 1985. The sample consisted of 97 secretaries and 73 professors, for a total of 170 participants.

It was found that the brand name of apparel was unimportant to the sampled consumers in the purchase of dresses for the job, sleepwear and casual clothing. Within these classifications, consumers were generally more concerned with intrinsic garment features such as fit, construction, material, care, and style. Magazines were not found to be a major vehicle to provide clothing information, nor was magazine readership found to be related to the respondents’ levels of overall recognition and preference for name brand clothing. Consumers who were exposed to brand name apparel via media or store displays had a greater level of brand recognition and recall, which ultimately lead to greater preference for brand name apparel. Occupation and total household income were not found to be significant determinants of brand name awareness and preference.