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THE INFLUENCE OF SPOUSE IN THE PURCHASE OF CLOTHING IN ANAMBRA STATE
1.1 Background of the study
Clothing is anything one puts on the body in order to protect, beautify or adorn it (Nnubia, 2010). Clothing includes dresses, hair-do, make-ups, accessories such as handbags, shoes etc. Clothing according to Kaka & Agwa (2008) is very important in the personal appearance of an individual. Clothing communicates culture and personality of an individual. Ozougwu & Anyakoha (2005) opined that clothing communicates characteristics of individuals such as individual’s personality, attitude, temperament and trustworthiness. Clothing worn by an individual gives various forms of impression about the individual’s personality traits, lifestyles, values, interests, emotional stability, social, economic, mental and educational status (Ozougwu & Anyakoha, 2005). According to Esiowu & Igbo (2008), there are various styles of clothes and numerous accessories that go with the clothes. Clothes include skirts, blouses, gowns, shirts and all trousers. Hence, clothing is used for adornment, identification of traditional, social and occupational status.
Kaka & Agwa (2008) also stated that clothing play role of communication by expressing the individual unique personalities for modesty, attraction, social status, and identification of roles in the society. Kelvin (2003) opined that clothing talk about the wearer and gives other people clues about values and how individuals should be treated. Physically, clothing serves many purposes: it can serve as protection from weather and can enhance safety during hazardous activities such as hiking and cooking. It protects the wearer from rough surfaces, rash-causing plants, insect bites, splinters, thorns and prickles by providing a barrier between the skin and the environment. Clothes can insulate against cold or hot conditions. Furthermore, clothes can provide a hygienic barrier, keeping infectious and toxic materials away from the body. Clothing also provides protection from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation (Kaka & Agwa, 2008).
Clothing choice is the process of choosing clothes for individuals and family members. It involves careful planning and selection (Nnubia, 2010). Clothing choice can also be described as the utilization of available resources in the family in order to meet the family’s needs for clothing without jeopardizing other related needs in the home (Uzoka, 2001). Selection of clothing presents a greater challenge today than in the past. Since the kind and variety of clothes available today seem almost limitless as a result of new technology and its accompanying mass production of garments, which has resulted not only in a vast number of garments but also a wide range of prices and quality from which selection has to be made by the individual. The invention of man-made fibres has also been one of the most important stimulants in the recent revolution in clothing, as these fibres have increased greatly the variety and types of clothing available to families. New finishes give these fabrics new properties which make them easy to care for and more appealing to the wearer. The rising incomes of families and individuals over the years have made many families to exercise their choices in clothing. All these factors have increased the range and emphasized the importance of decisions to be made by families in providing clothing for their members (Mohammed, 2010). Kanellakis (2007) stated that making sure one’s clothing fits properly should be the first step in dressing. Manwa, Ndamba & Lokadhia (2010) opined that one’s choice of clothing should ensure appropriate size, shape, style and colour.
According to Vongdip (2000), marriage is an alliance between two kin groups in which the couple is merely the conspicuous link. Marriage provides a forum by which the families of the couples finally become socially related. The term marriage according to Odebunmi (2007) refers to the union between opposite sexes and does not include same sex marriage as being practiced in some developed countries. The definition of marriage varies according to different cultures, but it is principally an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually sexual, are acknowledged. In some cultures, marriage is recommended or considered to be compulsory before pursuing any sexual activity.
Married people especially female face several problems in their clothing selection practices. Decision for instance, involving one or more judgments on what to add or discard from their wardrobe is a yearly occurrence. Agbo & Unom (2011) stated that clothing decision has to be made on the basis of appropriateness for the culture, climate and suitability to the occasion, comfort emotional and psychological needs. These problems are compounded by the very increasing styles and designs of clothing available in several colours, texture and fabrics in the market. An individual is well dressed when the person knows what truly gives the individual fittings and goes for it also one is well dressed when one does not follow fashion blindly but always make a point of duty to create personal style out of what is fashionable. Making informed clothing choice is an essential part of functioning independently as an adult in the society (Abiamuwe, Seriki-Mosadolorun & Lemon, 2015). Married people’s clothing choice should serve as role models to their unmarried counterparts in the society. Their mode of dressing should communicate such favourable intents as self respect/high self esteem, sense of responsibility and sound moral values.
Family purchase decision has attracted remarkable research interest. The focus of attention has been on the role of the husband and wife in the purchase decisionmaking process of the family. This is a remarkable shift of interest in consumer behaviour research – a shift from the individual consumer to the family as a key purchase decision and consumption unit. The family is rightly viewed as a far larger and more attractive segment with higher sales potential for marketers’ products compared to the single individual consumer. Hence, information about this area of interest will help in understanding behaviour of the family with regard to choice and purchase of its products and services.
Many studies have been done, from the distant past to the present time, on the influence or role of husband and wife in the purchase decision of many household products and services (e.g. Davis & Rigaux 1974; Bonfield, 1978; Ekasasi, 2005; Barles-Arizon, Fraj-Andres & Martinez-Salinas, 2013; Opara & Uboegbulam, 2015). The decisions to purchase certain major household products/services are typically made in the context of the family. The decision appears to be vested more on spouses such that they bring their respective influence to bear on the purchase decision situations.
The influence or dominance of the spouses in the purchase decision is felt whenever any of the two is involved in the purchasing decision-making roles/stages as the initiator, information-gatherer, influencer, and/or decider in a given purchase situation. This influence is more obvious, not in the purchase of daily or routine lowunit-low-cost household product needs of the family, but in the purchase of major household products and services classified under extended and limited problemsolving situations. In which case, the consumer is faced with a costly product, unfamiliar product brand, needs to collect fresh information, evaluates brands, and is not yet decided on the evaluative criteria to be used to take the decision. Davis and Rigaux (1974) study however, reduced the stages to only problem recognition (initiator), information search (information-gatherer) and final decision (decider).
Problem recognition or need identification is the first stage of family purchase decision process. There is an identified problem, need or want, a lack, a shortage; a new need, or need for replacement of old item may arise. The realization of any of these unfulfilled needs will prompt a step toward solving it. It takes a member of the family, husband, wife or child (in this case husband and/or wife) to make this first step, i.e. initiating the move to the purchase decision. Identification of this need is followed closely by searching for and gathering further information on the identified need as pertains to price, brand make, source, quality etc. The essence of this information search is to clarify the problem very well so as to reduce the risk of making wrong purchase. Final decision which is the concluding stage is about the final say about whether to buy the product/service or not to buy. This final say could be made particularly by either of the spouses.
The desire to contribute to this knowledge area drives this study to investigate a crosssection of the Igbos of Anambra in South-East geopolitical zone of Nigeria to ascertain the relative influence of the spouses on the purchase decision of certain durable household goods and services for the family. Anambra-South Senatorial Zone of the state, as the study site is considered the core of Igbo culture that behaviour of the population could be rightly assumed a fair representative of the constituent blocs of the Igbo nation.
- STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Recently it has been observed that both married and unmarried people dress in similar ways, some culminate in indecency. Wang (2012) had noted that dressing is said to be indecent when it deviates from acceptable code in a particular culture. It involves dressing in a manner that could be immoral, disgusting, provocative or sending lewd suggestion and negative signals. This abnormal dressing cuts across sexes for example indecent dressing among the women is manifested in putting on transparent dresses, miniskirts, tight trousers and other dresses that reveal parts of the body. It could be the bust, belly, upper arms or buttocks. For the men, it manifests in the form of sagging trousers, wearing shirts that reveal the armpit, rough jeans, T-shirt with different kinds of messages. Best (2002), noted that this negative trend in dressing is a possible indication of low level of cultural and religious values and practices. In almost all societies, there are usually acceptable modes or ways of dressing that is both culturally and socially acceptable. Such guarded cultures are fast fading away due to copying of other cultures and carelessness in selecting clothing by individuals. Many families could be wrecked as a result of the married women being carelessly and indecently dressed. It exposes such married ladies to sexual harassment and molestation by other men. Dissatisfaction by husband and his family members about the appearance of some women may result in family quarrels and family instability.
Indiscriminate use of clothing by married people may introduce their children to wear same and poor clothing habit or indecent dressing can exist among family members. In a society that places high regards on good morals, any misconduct in general behaviour and particularly dress habit of an individual member of the family, may mislead other members of the family (Agbo and Unom, 2011). Lack of regard for what is worn by married people could also pose health hazards such as cold, catarrh and pneumonia thereby exposing the family to financial drain, emotional and social challenges.
Two different people united by marriage may have different priorities on clothing choice before marriage and if not properly reconciled may cause challenges for their marriage. Some couples in an attempt to meet up with fashion trend spend much on clothing to the detriment of other basic needs such as food, shelter, education etc in the family. If this is not curtailed, it can bring about family instability.
1.3 RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The seemingly insufficient researched information bordering on purchase of certain products for the Igbo families in Nigeria as it affects the Igbos of Anambra State has hindered the understanding of spousal involvement of couples of this area in purchase decisions. It will therefore be pertinent to understand which of the spouses wields greater influence at identifying the need for family car, sitting room sofa, television, refrigerator, children schooling and land property, searching for information on them, and final decision to purchase. Thus three research questions and three organically linked null hypotheses were proposed to address the research objectives:
1. To what extent does each of the spouses exact influence or is more involved in identifying need for household product for the family consumption?
2. To what extent is each of the spouses involved in the search for information for the purchase of household products?
3. To what extent does each of the spouses exact influence on the final decision to purchase the selected household products?
Ho: There is no significant difference between the influence of the spouses on the final decision to purchase the selected household products.
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It is expected that findings of the present study will be important to firms and marketers for purposes of significant accurate targeting and, corresponding appropriate design and execution of marketing programs and campaigns. So also, interest scholars will gain more insight from the outcome of the study into the purchase decision behaviour of the Igbo ethnic tribe of Nigeria.
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant difference between the influence of husband and wife in identifying need for a product for the family.
H1: There is no significant difference between the influence of husband and wife in identifying need for a product for the family.
H02: There is no significant difference between the involvements of each of the spouses in the search for information on the product to purchase for household.
H2: There is a significant difference between the involvements of each of the spouses in the search for information on the product to purchase for household.
1.6 DEFINITION OF TERMS:
1. Spouse: a husband or wife, considered in relation to their partner.
Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothing is made of fabrics or textiles, but over time it has included garments made from animal skin and other thin sheets of materials and natural products found in the environment, put together.
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