2018 journal article
Price and perceived product quality: a comparison of denim jeans in three price categories
JOURNAL OF FASHION MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT, 22(3), 369–386.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to compare a set of product specifications to evaluate appearance and performance characteristics of denim jeans at three price categories, and identify any relationships between price and product quality. Design/methodology/approach This research is as a quasi-experimental laboratory study. The product specifications of jeans are identified. Next, the appearance and performance characteristics of jeans are examined initially and after one and five repeated laundering cycles. The data are analyzed within and between each price category to identify any possible relationship between price and product quality. Findings The price category of jeans does not necessarily reflect different dimensions of product quality. Although higher priced jeans had superior product specifications and visual appearance, they did not show superior performance with respect to all elements of fit, durability, and color performance when these three factors were measured through laboratory testing. Research limitations/implications The limitations of this study from a research perspective include a small sample size, gender-focused sample selection. and the focus on only three retail categories. These limitations impact the generalizability of the results but could serve as a basis for similar studies. The evaluated product quality attributes were limited to intrinsic/measurable characteristics. Future studies should consider the extrinsic attributes of quality, especially as they are related to consumer’s purchasing decision. Practical implications Retailers in moderate and budget price categories can benefit from educating consumers about the quality attributes of jeans that would ultimately influence their post-purchase experience and are not necessarily related to the product’s price category. Educators can use this information to assist in teaching students about the multiple dimensions of materials and assembly choices, and how this will impact their final products as they are learning the apparel product development process. Originality/value The focus of this study on the quantification of intrinsic product attributes is unique and provides measurable data for product evaluation by consumer researchers and industry. The results of this research identify the strengths and weaknesses in the appearance and performance characteristics of jeans in different price categories, and how those may affect consumers’ purchase intention.