I. Introduction and Theoretical Framework
As globalization is increasing rapidly and new products from the foreign countries are finding their way into the country, the trend of utilization by our inhabitants is gradually changing. They are becoming more disposed to buying. The reason why consumers are more inclined towards global or local brands is associated to their desire for maximum satisfaction.
With the passage of time, the international fast food brands are getting more precedence in comparison to the local brands due to the influence by the western world. As the markets have globalized, complex marketing strategies have been developed. If any predisposition resulting from these strategies is seen in the buying decision, a close consideration should be given by the manufacturers, distributors, importers, exporters and other channel intermediaries to examine how it influence their businesses and employ appropriate strategies to counter this phenomenon, Samiee (1994).
The notion that called globalization has guided many organizations to operate on a global level which as a result has changed the buying behavior of consumers and an increase in his knowledge regarding global fast food brands. Due to the societal and cultural effects of telecommunication, more awareness is spread in consumers about other cultures, lifestyles and brands. It has now been examined that foreign fast food brands are consumed more on a frequent bases in contrast to local ones. People feel modernized in consuming foreign fast foods which has brought a rise in the power of global brands.
It is a common viewpoint that consumers consider only "external" factor while purchasing a foreign fast food brand. However, reality tells that there are a number of varied factors involved while evaluating a product.
Studies show that consumers who dwell in developed countries give more preference to foreign fast food brands, particularly from the west, not only because of the perceived quality but also of social status. Hence, a brand's country of origin serves as a "quality halo" or summary of product quality, cf. Han (1989), and consumers prefer these types of fast food brands for status-enhancing reasons. Quality is conceptualized in terms of the "dominance" or "excellence" of a product's performance, Zeithmal (1988).
A consumer's standard of living and his purchase pattern can also be determined by his income, education, occupation and family background, Magnar and Hulpke (1990) found that demographics significantly verify the exposure to, and thus the purchase of expensive foreign goods.
Like many other developing countries, Pakistani social classes also exhibit very evident brand preferences. Amongst the different social classes, elite class and the upper-middle class are more observed to be dining out at fast food foreign brands to sustain in the noticeable position in society. Karachi city has most of its people having the status consciousness characteristic. Whereas, foreign fast food brands are considered as a luxury for lower class, they do not consume them more often.
The researchers intend to study that how the internal lay out of dine-in restaurants, advertisements, celebrities showing up in the brand ads, friend's circles and families, are affecting the consumer's perception and making them aware to take informed decisions regarding their social status.
The data collection sources for research will be questionnaires, internet search and books. This research will be conducted in the city of Karachi.
II. Statement of the Problem
The researchers intend to study the perceptions, preferences and buying behavior of consumers towards the foreign fast food brands over the local brands.
Nowadays the young population is getting more diverse in nature. Consumers prefer choices in everything they consume. As they have more alternatives available to them due to global effects of the foreign companies operating in their local region, so they have a vast range of substitutes available, and if they feel dissatisfied with the one, they can easily switch to another. Also the young consumers are more aware about the local and foreign brands, so they can better evaluate their preferences based on different factors. Such as quality, price, country of origin, brand image and brand loyalty, services, current fashion trends and status consciousness.
III. Purpose of the Study
The purpose of the study is: