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The work reported in this paper is based on many Bangladeshi local apparel fashion brand outlets which are flourishing in a light-hearted way. As Bangladesh doing its RMG products business both in the international and the local market with praising fame and faith, so many local apparel brands are growing their business like a newly born baby. Understanding the customers desired requirements for local apparel branded products and satisfying the customers demand have become very difficult task for the brand management. Hence, an approach was made in this study to investigate the customer’s perception in buying decisions toward local apparel products. The study was conducted among 200 respondents including ten local apparel brands among which Cat’s Eye, Yellow, Westecs, Artisti, Aarong achieved better brand value and Anjans, Plus point, Rex, Artness achieved less brand value. The work also reported that customer desires the products quality, comfort, price, functional and aesthetic look, offer & discount and many others key buying factors suitable for them when visiting a brand showroom.
The garment manufacturing sector earned $19 billion in the year June 2012, one of the impoverished nation’s biggest industries. Bangladesh is the world’s second largest exporter of clothing after China. Readymade garments make up 80 percent of the country’s $24 billion in annual exports. Consultancy firm McKinsey & Company said that Bangladesh could double its garments exports in the next 10 years. Definitely it is a good news that our local apparel products are trying to satisfy the need of local customers along with strengthening the country’s economic growth. So, knowing the customers desired requirements when they purchase such local apparel brand products are mandatory to better clothing’s brand developments. Brand management holds the key in the modern markets, particularly in case of Bangladeshi local apparel markets. Bangladeshi people are very traditional in clothing’s choice. The traditional dress for men is Lungi, Panjabi, Gengi, and Shirt and for women is Shari. Due to the globalization process, people are getting attracted to readymade dresses, particularly multinational brands (Jayashree, Y. 1998). The growth of readymade men’s wear business in Bangladesh was very slow till the early ¬1990’s. The main reason for this was that Bangladeshi people were used to buying cloth and getting their outfits tailored ¬mainly through local tailoring shops from the unorganized segment. Consequently, there were no national level brands in this category for a long period. By the mid ¬2000’s, however, customer mindset seemed to have started changing gradually, along with increasing urbanization, and changes in the social and economic status and life styles. As in many other industries in the nation, the move towards ‘branding’ soon took momentum in the clothing’s wear market. Both listed and unlisted players cater to the branded apparel market. Many local apparel products brands such as Cat’s Eye, Yellow, Westecs, Artisti, Aarong, Kay Kraft, Richman, Dorjibari, Anjans, Ecstacy, Plus point, Rex, Artness etc. are trying to expand their clothing business to satisfy the local customers’ demand of clothing.
A brand, as defined by Keller, is “a product, but one that adds other dimensions that differentiate it in some way from other products designed to satisfy the same need (Biplab, S. B., 1998). These differences may be rational and tangible – related to product performance of the brand – or more symbolic, emotional, and intangible – related to what the brand represents”. Mariotti (1999) defines a brand as “a simplified ‘shorthand’ description of a package of value upon which consumers and prospective purchasers can rely to be consistently the same (or better) over long periods of time (Biplab, S. B., 1998). It distinguishes a product or service from competitive offerings”. Khalid Mahmood Khan, director of Kay Kraft, an emerging local brand said that the key to ensure brand loyalty is to increase the value of the brand in the mind of the consumer. He also argued that to build brand value, factors such as product improvements, package design, communicating the competitive positions and promotion.
Variations in customers like and dislike, the cognitive growth and motivation force them to act in various ways in purchasing clothing’s products (Lalitha. A, Ravikumar, J.and Padmavali, K., 2008). Individual may not act in the same way always, customers act consistently and we have tried to figure out the customers in below groups according to their buying behavior.
Bangladesh has witnessed a frantic pace of retail development over the past ten years. Readymade garments make up 80 percent of the country’s $24 billion in annual exports. Consultancy firm McKinsey & Company has said Bangladesh could double its garments exports in the next 10 years. It is believed that the country has potential to deliver the faster growth over the next 50 years. There is increased sophistication in the shopping pattern of customers, which has resulted in the emergence of big retail chains in most metros; Mini metros and towns are in the next target. Customer taste and preferences are changing, leading to radical transformation in life style and spending patterns, which in turn is giving rise to new business opportunities. The generic growths likely to be driven by changing life styles and strong surge in income which in turn will be supported by favorable demographic patterns (Shainesh, 2004). Customers include the present customers consuming the products of a brand and also the prospective customers who are presently consuming the products of competitors. Customers must be periodically analyzed from several perspectives such as who constitute the customer inventory, level of customer retention, what makes them buy, what their level of satisfaction is, where they are placed in the loyalty ladder, what makes them disloyal, and so on, (Kamalaveni. D., Kalaiselvi, S. And Rajalakshmi, S. 2008). This analysis is to be performed not only on the existing customers but also on the former customers so that corrective actions may be instigated to retain current customers. Periodical customer satisfaction audit program would provide a meaningful insight into the customer attitude and their behavior and also would form the basis for developing appropriate strategies to retain relationship.
Lalitha et al., (2008) made a study entitled “Brand Preference of Men’s wear”. Scope of the study focuses on the brand preference regarding shirts and pants of select consumers living in two cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad. It is confined to the customers visiting the select showrooms in Hyderabad and Secunderabad. The objectives of this study were to know the reason why customers prefer branded shirts and pants to unbranded ones, to find out the influence of advertisement for branded clothing for the purchase behaviour of the respondent and to know the factors influencing customers while choosing branded shirts or pants. It is concluded that educational qualifications, employment status, age group, convenience of shops, and advertisement are influencing factors for purchasing the branded shirts and pants by the respondents. 94 percent of the respondents are highly educated and purchased branded ready wears.
Age group of 20¬50 years are income earning people and spending on the branded wears. The study reveals that the advertisements play a limited role to choose the brand among ready made dresses available in the market. 54 percent of the customers are buying branded ready wear because of quality and status symbol. Ritu Narang (2006) in a study entitled “A Study on Branded Men’s wear”, was taken up in the city of Lucknow with an intention to explore the purchase behavior of the buyers of branded men’s wear. The objectives of this research are to study the purchase behaviour of the buyers of branded men’s garments, to study the impact of advertising on the purchase decision of buyers, to study the impact of promotional activities on purchase behaviour of buyers (Kazmi, 2001; Mathur, 2002). The research type was exploratory as it was conducted to develop a concept about the purchasing behaviour of buyers of branded men’s garments and the impact of advertising on their purchase decision. This study concluded that most of the times buyers visit the showrooms of branded garments with the purpose of shopping (Jaishri and Jethwaney, 1999).
Pathak and Tripathi (2009) made a study entitled “Customer Shopping Behaviour among Modem Retail Formats: A Study of Delhi & NCR”. The Study is an exploratory research conducted in Delhi & NCR. It specifically focuses on customer shopping behaviour in Indian scenario among the modern retail formats (Sumathi, 2003). Objectives of the study are to find out the factors that affect the buyer’s decisions among the modern retail formats and to evaluate the comparative strength of these factors in buying decision of the buyers. Today’s young consumers are inclined more towards leading a comfortable and hassle free life. They have come in possession of money and wish to spend it on trusted goods and services, which are well worth the money that they would pay. ‘Brands’ cost them dearly and yet, they prefer the same as they are conscious of the fact that branded products give them their money’s worth. This generation of consumers may, therefore, be labeled as ‘the brand conscious generation’ (Sherlaker, 1995).
Cats-Eye, Yellow, Richman, Aarong, Kay-Kraft are trusted brands to the customers. The problem is that when they started they were pioneers in their line, whereas today, there are multiple brands that are able to deliver the same quality at a lower price perhaps. A rational approach to clothing needs and expenditure makes the consumer more effective participate in entire market economy”. Gender has been identified in much literature on consumer shopping behavior as a significant factor in understanding consumer behavior and as a fundamental market segmentation index for companies to meet their customers’ needs and wants. Marketers should strive to understand the gender differences in decision-making. Research addressing the issues of gender differences in decision-making styles could help marketers to find better ways of communicating with both sexes and to guide marketing mix decisions (Mitchell and Walsh, 2004). Numerous studies in the past have provided evidence that gender relates to consumers’ perceptions, attitudes, preferences and purchase decisions (Bakewell and Mitchell 2006).
After an extensive literature review this project is conducted with the objective of assessing the buying behavior in respect with Bangladeshi local clothing brands especially in Dhaka city. For the purpose of assessing the level of various satisfaction issues, primary data have been collected from respondents and secondary data have been collected from books, magazines and websites. Samples of 200 respondents were interviewed during the period january to april 2013. People who used readymade clothing’s have been chosen as respondents purposively (non¬random sampling method), as the main objective of research is to study the buyer behaviour in respect of local clothing’s brand. Due care has been taken to include people of various age groups hailing from different socio¬economic background. Percentages, ranks and various scores have been computed to fulfill the objectives of the study. Rank analysis has also been carried out to rank six important reasons behind the purchase of branded clothes. They are quality, status symbol, official purpose, good colors & designs, smart look & comfortable and different style. Overall mean scores have been calculated for eight showrooms specific factors with five point scale via, best, good, neutral, poor, very poor for various brand showrooms. The factors are: location of shops, salesmanship & courtesy, wider choice in color, design & material, price range, offers & discounts and facility for use of credit card and so on. Finally based on observed outcome suggestive action plan has been developed for strong apparel brand creation.