Overview of the Research
The purpose of this paper is to determine the influence of assigned and vicarious role models on the buying intention and buying behaviour of students. The assigned role models are the parents whereas the sports celebrities and entertainment celebrities are the vicarious models. Data were obtained from a survey sample of 101 students. The assigned role models and the vicarious role models were determined to be influential in the buying intention and behaviour of the students. It is expected that personal and celebrity oriented social relations plays an important role in the buying intention and behaviour of young consumers like student.
Although students do have a restricted budget many are living away from home and are therefore making independent choices over which brands to buy for the very first time. Attracting students at this time has huge long run brand loyalty effects. With a combined spending power of more than 10 billion and an average student spending over 5,000 each year the student market can be a highly lucrative one. Students are certainly the most profitable group of 18-24 year olds.
The student market is one of big maket with higher consuming power . So the student market is very lucrative to every company and that's why they are trying to target the student market. To target this market it is an important issue to know the degree of role models influence to students purchase intention and purchase behaviour.
The Research Questions
The research questions are aimed to find out the degree of role models influence to students purchase intention and purchase behaviour.
- What is the assigned role model's influence of students' purchase intentions?
- What is the assigned role model's influence of students' purchase behaviour?
- What is the vicarious role model's influence of students' purchase intentions?
- What is the vicarious role model's influence of students' purchase behaviour?
H1: There is a positive relationship between role model influence and students' purchase intentions.
H2: Assigned role models (parents) influence students' purchase intentions significantly more than vicarious (sports celebrities, entertainment celebrities) role models.
H3: Assigned role models (parents) influence students' purchase behaviour more significantly more than vicarious (sports celebrities, entertainment celebrities) role models.
Definition of Terms
The size of the student market has grown rapidly in the UK. UK is the second highest country for international student. In 2007-08 total number of international student in UK was 341,790 which indicate 5% growth from last year (http://www.ukcosa.org.uk/about/statistics_he.php#table8). The total international student demand for UK higher education is forecast to increase by 400,000 by 2010 (http://www.britishcouncil.org/eumd_-_vision_2020.pdf). This growth indicate that the student market will become a one of the largest and lucrative market in UK.
Students often find their 4-year period at a college as a time when they try to attain competence in many avenues of life, including decision-making. They are often influenced by a variety of factors as they start to create their unique self-image, personality and consumption patterns. Numerous studies have been carried out on how consumers develop particular consumer behaviours and specific factors that influence them. The social learning model and the cognitive-psychological model are the two primary models of human learning that have been helpful in the attempts to explain how consumers make consumption-related choices (Moschis and Churchill, 1978).
Although students do have a restricted budget many are living away from home and are therefore making independent choices over which brands to buy for the very first time. Attracting students at this time has huge long run brand loyalty effects.
University students make an ideal target market for internet-based companies. Over 99% of students are comfortable using the internet, going online at least once a week, although usually every day (http://www.marketingminefield.co.uk/articles/targeting-student-market.html).
A role model for a consumer can be anyone the individual comes in contact with, directly or indirectly, who potentially can influence the consumer's decisions or behaviours (Bandura, 1977). From this definition, a variety of individuals, such as parents, relatives, friends, teachers, leaders, celebrities, athletes can be considered as role models. Anyone that has an influence or impact on the buying attitudes and behaviour of a consumer is regarded as a role model. Sufficient evidence has been provided for the role model hypothesis through many research efforts that investigated the influence of assigned (parents) vs. vicarious (entertainers, athletes) role models on young consumers (Hackett, Esposito & O'Halloran,1989; Brown & Mann, 1991; Sherer, Brodzinski & Wiebe, 1991). A role model can be defined as "anyone the individual comes into contact with, either directly and indirectly, who potentially influences the individuals' purchase decision and behaviours (Martin and Bush, 200). This definition views the concept broadly and incorporates parents, friends, colleagues and business associates, celebrities and media personalities, sporting heroes and athletes as potential role models.
Students are often influenced by a variety of outside interests while adopting their own set of self-image, lifestyle, and consumption patterns. A significant amount of research in the social sciences has been devoted to determining how consumers develop these particular consumer behaviours and what variable of factors influence consumers. Two models of human learning, the cognitive-psychological model and the social learning model, have been utilized extensively to explain and predict how consumer make consumption related decisions (Moschis and Churchill, 1978). In communication and advertising research, the social learning model has often been a popular choice for explaining consumer behaviour (Moschis and Smith, 1985). Proponents of social learning theory suggests that individual customer develop consumption related attitudes and behaviour through learning experiences. These experiences can occur in a variety of contexts as consumers are exposed to a multitude of different influences and adventures, and are extremely important in shaping the consumer behaviour of young adults and adolescents (King and Multon, 1996).
Determining the specific factors that influence young consumer such as college student and their purchasing attitudes and pattern has become an important focus of consumer research. Much of this research focuses on modelling behaviour. Within social learning theory, it is proposed that individuals develop general behaviour and attitudes by modelling the behaviour of others (Bandura, 1977). These model often become the "role" models for the individual, influencing the career aspirations, educational objectives, and self-views of young people (Mitchell et al. , 1979). However the research focus of many role model studies has often been cantered of direct role models or the role models with which the individual has direct contact such as parents, teachers or peers. More importantly within the context of consumer behaviour research, the impact of direct role model on specific purchase intentions and behaviours has been relatively ignored, with the consensus often assume to be that consumer model the behaviour of the others in developing their consumption related attitudes and behaviours.