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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

When Seeing is Not Enough: Consumer Behavior in an Environment of Counterfeiting of Products

Published: May 28, 2019


Eleonora Axelova, LUISS Business School


Consumer Behavior; Counterfeiting; Authenticity-Seeking


A study is on the base of the identification of the problem that the most important issue of the phenomenon of counterfeiting from a consumer's point of view is not that the phenomenon exists, because many consumers knowingly buy fakes, but that people can not or have a difficulty to distinguish an inauthentic from an authentic product. Our paper considers the case of counterfeiting of products when the consumers do not want to buy counterfeits. The notion of Authenticity-Seeking Consumer Behavior is introduced. Consumer behavior facing the phenomenon of counterfeiting is examined. Sure criteria for the distinction of authentic from inauthentic products are not found, but an optimal marketing-mix is suggested. We concluded that in an environment of counterfeiting of products Seeing is Not Enough. For the distinction of authentic from inauthentic products additionally to the sight, the involvement of the other four of the five senses is suggested. Managerial implications are discussed.