Consumer Purchasing Behavior on Local and International Brands

The purchasing behavior of the customers vary according to their perceptions on the brands, be it local or international. Customer perception plays a key role in determining the buying behavior of the product along with other factors like price and quality. The perspective of the consumers depends on how well they are acquainted with a particular brand whether it is local or international.

Some people perceive that local brands are deemed to be less superior in terms of quality and the brand value. But this is more of a perception rather than the ground reality as it is a known fact that quality is independent of a brand’s national or international presence. The main difference between the local and international brand would be its market presence where the local brands are concentrated on tapping the consumers of a particular region while the international brands cater the needs of consumers from various countries. Even though the brand image of the international brands is large, it is not always the brand image that is the driving factor to influence the consumer spending behavior.

The customers perception is quite complex to understand where some people stick on to the same brands whether it is local or international while some other customers keep changing the brands from time to time. Brand loyalty plays a key role here. The focus of the research here is to examine the factors that affect the consumer purchasing behavior on local brands versus international brands. The research concentrates around examining the perception of consumers towards local brands and international brands.


To identify and critically review the factors that affects the consumer behavior in choosing local brands versus international brands.


  • To understand the customer perception on local and international brands.
  • To critically review the buying behavior of customers in general
  • To understand the difference between local and international brands in terms of price, quality, availability and how it influences customers


  • Customer buying behavior depends on the presence of the brand rather than quality and  price
  • International brands attract more customers rather than local brands
  • International brands are superior in quality and durability compared to local brands

Literature review

                  John.A. Howard and Jagadeesh attempted to explain the buying behavior of the consumers over a period of time. This theory attempts to explain the behavior of consumers in choosing brands. This theory states that brand choice is systematic and not random. This theory provides the structure for this type of behavior so as to explain that it is a system. Some of the assumptions are considered while attempting to explain this phenomena. The first assumption is that buying behavior is a rational approach where the individual applies his limited cognitive ability and knowledge while choosing a brand. The second assumption is that buying behavior is dealt in a normative approach rather than a positive approach.

The third assumption is that brand behavior is systematic in the sense that it follows some set of standards. The fourth assumption is that buying behavior is considered as systematic in a way that it triggers some stimulus either in the buyer or in the buyer’s environment. This stimulus leads to an event of buying. The stimulus is the input which leads to the output of purchasing. The purchasing behavior is considered more or less repetitive. The buyer follows a purchase life cycle that depends on how often he will buy. This life cycle vary according to the different types of products. Some of the products like durable appliances observe a lengthy purchase life cycles while products like food, personal care items and other perishable items witness a short purchasing life cycle.

When the purchaser goes for repetitive buying, he simplifies his task in choosing the brand as he possess some relevant information about that brand and it some how happens to be a routine in choosing that brand. The buying behavior is determined by a set of elements that are considered while making a purchase. Some of the key features that determine the brand choice are a) a collection of notions about a brand which are deemed to satisfy the consumer’s expectations b) various options available in choosing a course of action c) decision intermediaries where the motives are evaluated against the alternatives. Alternative are other brand options available to the buyers that could satisfy the motives of the buyers.

Three important factors are considered while defining the alternatives of a brand. 1) Two or more products can be considered as alternatives by the buyers when they pertain to the same product class. 2) The alternatives must belong to the evoked set .An evoked set is that kind of set where the alternatives form a small proportion of the brands that are preferred by the customers from various available brands in the market. Finally, no two customers may possess the same alternatives in the evoked set.

Decision mediators are the collection of rules that determine the structuring and ordering of buyer’s choice and it also affects the brands in a way that how the brands keep their competitive edge. Decision mediators aid in evaluating the buyer’s motive against the potential of the brands to satisfy the buyer’s motives. Decision mediators develop from the buyers knowledge about his past experience of a brand or they are developed from the information about a brand from his commercial or social environment.

The buyers experience relatively narrow decision mediators when they are new to a product class or they don’t have prior information about a product. When a buyer is satisfied with a product, he develops a set of decision mediators about that product. These decision motives aid in purchasing that brand repetitively as he is satisfied with that brand or product . In that way, the decision mediators enables the consumers to potentially choose the best brand from the evoked set. It then becomes a practice of routine purchasing where the decision motives are well established. The buying then becomes structured where the event triggers the process and even completes it. 

The repetitive purchasing affects in reduction of the product class, thereby making the evoked set large Aspects like time pressure, financial position, personality characteristics, social and organizational environment, culture largely affects the buying behavior. Stimuli may be internal or external . Generally , the marketing decisions are made on orienting these stimuli in consumers. The marketers provide such kind of environments so as to trigger stimulus in the customers in order to encourage buying .

Intended method for Data collection 

Qualitative research methodology is implemented in this research to gather the required information. Both the primary and secondary source of information is used to proceed with this research and they are as mentioned below

Primary source of information: Primary source of information is gathered in the form of semi structured interviews conducted with the respondent’s choosen for this research. Case study is considered as the research design process in this research. Two supermarkets are considered as the case study in this research and almost 15 to 20 customers are interviewed from each supermarket to gather the required information. Sainsbury and Wal-Mart are considered as the case studies and the customers visiting these places are interviewed with respect to their purchasing interests regarding national and international brands of different products.

Secondary source of information: Secondary source of information is gathered from different books, journals, user reviews and websites as given in the source section.

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