Why we buy? Modeling consumer selection of referents

Theodore Tarnanidis, Nana Owusu-Frimpong, Sonny Nwankwo, Maktoba Omar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the dynamic concept of reference points through an empirical evaluation of consumer selection of referents related to apparel purchase decision-making. The overarching aim is to build a new multi-item measurement scale that exhibits sound psychometric properties and which can be reliably replicated across different sample populations. A mixed-method research approach is employed in data collection, comprising both qualitative (i.e. focus group discussions) and quantitative (i.e. survey instrument) techniques. The results produced a model made up of seven dimensions that underlined the highest first order constructs of implicit and explicit referents. The seven dimensions are: EXPLICITREFERENTS (BRAND, PRICE and STORE), IMPLICITREFERENTS (PERSONAL, FINANCIAL, SOCIAL and CULTURAL).The characteristics of the reference points inventory (RPI) can guide marketing managers to promote and advertise their products more effectively. The evolving categorization of referents adds value to, and extends, the reference points literature from the consumers׳ perspective.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-36
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Retailing and Consumer Services
Early online date27 Oct 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer referents
  • Reference points
  • Purchase decision-making
  • Apparel consumption
  • Greece


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