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ISSN: 2157-7595
Journal of Yoga & Physical Therapy
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What Drive the Consumers to Buy Yoga Studio Services? Evidence from Hong Kong

Kris M Y Law*

Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Hong Kong

Corresponding Author:
Kris M Y Law
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hung Hom, Hong Kong
Tel: 852-27666598
E-mail: [email protected]

Received date: August 13, 2015; Accepted date: August 14, 2015; Published date: August 20, 2015

Citation: Law KMY (2015) What Drive the Consumers to Buy Yoga Studio Services? Evidence from Hong Kong. J Yoga Phys Ther 5:199. doi:10.4172/2157-7595.1000199

Copyright: © 2015 Law KMY. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Introduction

Today many customers, managers, and scholars have become aware of the importance of purchase experiences, which are characterized as satisfying customers' psychic or personal needs. For customers, they care more about the experiences that are provided by service providers, and they are willing to pay for them [1]. Consumer buying behavior has been examined widely and customer experienced value has been commonly accepted as the basis of the choice of purchase (preference). As Drucker states: “The customers are willing to pay only for what they find of use and what brings them value”. What then can we understand by the concept ‘value’?[2].

The yoga studio business not only requires the very high level of service quality, but also has to confront with the changing demands from customers. Continuous changes in the customers’ demands can undermine management’s confidence in the business operation performance. These disruptions will lead to changes in the complicated operational issues, such as product/service strategy, operation management, resources allocation and more importantly business performance [3]. Therefore, knowing well the factors affecting consumers’ adoption of product or services is crucial and definitely an integral part in formulating proper business strategy.

This paper presents a study undertaken among a number of consumers on the key factors affecting the adoption of yoga studio services in Hong Kong. The proposed framework in the present exploratory study incorporates four types of factors, namely perceived value of product functionality, perceived value of customer service quality, perceived value of product esthetics, and perceived value of brand. Their influences on each other and on a consumer’s purchasing intention are studied. Particularly, we desire to test for the possible existence of direct relationships among these five constructs. A highlight among the findings of this study is that in attracting and retaining customers, it is essential for the branding effort of a service oriented enterprise (i.e. yoga studio in this study) to showcase the practical qualities of the core product itself as well as of the firm’s devotion towards servicing its customers in enhancing user experience, for mediating factors such as practical product qualities and customer service can directly influence the purchase intentions of the targeted group of consumers. Another highlight from this study is that practical product qualities and customer service both have reciprocal influences on branding. That is, how strongly a consumer identifies brand image as an essential product value can imply how strongly he/she identifies product qualities and customer service as essential product values, and vice versa. In light of the fact that consumers initially often know very little, if anything, about a new product or service [4] , the use and leverage of these reciprocal effects on potential customers can be highly relevant in enhancing a yoga studio’s position in the competitive market: for example, whether and how to capitalize the brand image due to previous success for the marketing of the present core services being offered, or whether rebranding is needed if recent services have been less than successful.

Yoga Studio Business

Originated from India, yoga is an ancient discipline bringing balance and health to the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual dimensions of the individual [5]. Yoga has moved into a much broader marketplace, the global reach of yoga is also reflected in the recent outcropping of new yoga studios and studio chains. Yoga is an art of life management and a universal means for self-realization. It is defined as “a practical discipline incorporating a wide variety of practices whose goal is the development of a state of mental and physical health, wellbeing, inner harmony and ultimately a union of the human individual with the universal and transcendent existence” [6].

Yoga has been widely known even in western countries and a substantial number of people have been practicing it for different purposes such as physical fitness, flexibility, stress management, psychological well-being, emotional rectification, good habits cultivation and disease management as adjunct therapy.

Popularity of Yoga

Popularity of yoga practice in the West has been ascending since 1960 [7]. Perceived better physical health and emotional well-being by the yoga practice is an important reason for the participation in the classes. The emergence of many more yoga studios in Europe and South Asia and research studies made pertaining diverse efficacies of yoga portray its ascending popularity by the global community. “Only US invest $5.7 billion dollars per year in yoga classes by involving 15.8 million people. Among US yoga practitioners, 72.2 percent are women who practice yoga to be slim, flexible, de-stressed and attractive [8]. In a national population-based survey (n = 2055), 3.8% of respondents reported using yoga in the previous year and cited wellness (64%) and specific health conditions (48%) as the motivation for doing yoga [9]. Turnover of yoga business in Asia is ascending and even in Hong Kong, there has been a number or yoga studio brands in Hong Kong, while Pure yoga is one of the biggest brand since 2002 [10].

Undeniably, the competition in the yoga studio market is getting more rigorous due to multi-folded reasons. Facing the increasing rent rate, competition with the direct competitors and substitutes (such as fitness centers or other sports clubs), yoga studios, like many other businesses in the service industry, have to shape their market strategies with reference to the situations of their targeted segments. Therefore, a good understand of consumer factors and the corresponding impacts on purchase intention would definitely be an essential.

Theoretical Model

Potential factors influencing purchase intention

Factors affecting consumer product selection can be simply categorized into ‘product’, ‘brand’ and ‘service received’ [11,12]. ‘Product’ refers to the core part of the purchase which is comparatively more tangible; while ‘brand’ and ‘service received’ refer to the personal perceptions. ‘Brand’ effects usually are referred to the feelings of confidence and trust as well the recognition of the values as given by the brand, which may also be affected by some factors. ‘Service’ generally refers to the customer services received during or relevant to the purchase of product/service.

Product (Service): 'Product’ can be divided into two main subfactors: ‘functional’ and ‘aesthetical’. Aesthetical factors are referring to the sensations of satisfaction and joy induced by aesthetical presentation of the product/service, such as the marketing and packaging. Functional factors refer to the core product offered, its properties and core values.

Branding and Customer Services: Consumers have their expected product values. They compare the ‘received’ product with the expected ones – the ‘reference value’. When the actual value exceeds the reference value, the consumers would likely be satisfied and have a higher tendency to adopt the purchase [5,11,13-17] . The customer satisfaction in return influences perceived value of the brands. In this light, the purchase intention is thus determined not only by the core functional factors, but also by the upward or downward disparity between the experienced and expected values of the purchase [14,15]. Consumer satisfaction is emotional, which can be led by the branding effects or the customer services received [5,18].

It has been well accepted that the abovementioned factors may impose influence toward purchase intention. In this study, it is thus delved further to elaborate the various specific measures that will be used to elucidate how the purchase intention of yoga studio services is influenced.

The measures

Product – The functional and emotional aspects: In this study, the ‘substance’ concerns the benefits given by the product or service which is formed from the physical properties of the products or services, innovations, usability, guidance and instruction, user interface and ease of use, maintainability and availability of spare parts, savings in operating costs, etc. A more practical way of categorizing the product ‘substances’ is evolved from the framework of [19]. In this study, the ‘product’ mainly refers to the following ‘Functional’ measure: quality, innovations, usability, ease of own processes and functions.

The ‘Emotional’ measures in this study refer to the concept of ‘Interaction’. Here, ‘Interaction’ means the way the customer experiences acquiring the product or service or information about it. The component ‘Interaction” thus is dependent on the product but only in the way the company offers the information, availability, service, etc., and how the consumers perceive it: experience, aesthetic character, joy, pleasure.

Based on these theoretical backgrounds, in the present study, we conjecture that the functional and emotional factors are among the essential perceived values that directly influence the purchase intention of yoga studio services amongst our target population.

Branding of the product: ‘Reputation-value’ refers to how the consumer experiences the product, service, manufacturer or outlet (company) while customers initially often know very little about a new product or service [4]. ‘Reputation-value’ is not directly influenced by the product or service or interaction, although in a repurchasing situation, the experiences of the consumer or his/her friends do have an effect on the ‘reputation-value’. The ‘reputation-value’ is formed by how well-known the company is, the customers’ own and others’ experiences, quality, stories, degree of company ethics and values in relation to the customers’ own personal values, environmental issues (green values), company image, visible company culture, financial success as well as successful competition and management. The country of origin (domestic versus foreign industry) can also have an influence on the ‘reputation-value’ depending on the local culture and the product or service. In this study, ‘Branding’ refers to the perceptions and feelings of the consumers with regards to the companies’ reputation, the reference and appreciation from the social group and also some ‘trendy’ goodwill such as green values and social responsibility. We conjecture that branding of a product is an essential perceived value that directly influences the purchase intention of the product amongst our target population. Also, viewing ‘reputationvalue’ as a proxy giving the consumer an expectation about the qualities of a product, we conjecture that how strongly a consumer perceives the product(core service) qualities as essential values of yoga studio service directly predicts how strongly he/she perceives branding as an essential value of the yoga studio service.

Services quality/service received: Parasuranam et al. (1985) includes reliability, competence, achievability, courtesy, communication and credibility as the elements of service quality [11]. Competence means that the knowledge and skills of the staff are at a good level, and that the organisation is able to clarify matters and find solutions for the customers. Communication means that the contact persons speak to the customers using language and words which the customer can easily understand, and that they explain to the customers the details of the service or purchase. Credibility means reliability, honesty and the perceived trust. Other factors for building credibility are the good name of the company, the company’s reputation and personality and courtesy of the contact persons. In this study, we conjecture that the service received is an essential value that directly influences the yoga studio service purchase intention amongst our target population.

In this study regarding the consumer purchase intention of yoga studio services, hypotheses are predefined as:

H1: The purchase intention of a consumer is directly influenced by how strongly he/she identifies the core product, the branding, and the customer service received as essential values of a yoga studio services

H1a: How strongly a consumer identifies the functional factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.

H1b: How strongly a consumer identifies the aesthetical factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.

H1c: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.

H1d: How strongly a consumer identifies the customer service received as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.

A further interesting research question to ask is whether the how strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential value of yoga studio service (product) directly implies how strongly he/she identifies the perceived qualities of the core product and the customer service received as essential values of yoga studio service:

H2: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential value of yoga studio services directly implies how strongly he/she identifies the perceived qualities of the core product and the customer service received as essential values of yoga studio services.

H2a: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the aesthetical factor of the product as an essential product value.

H2b: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the functional factor of the product as an essential product value.

H2c: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the customer service received as an essential product value.

A research model expressing the hypotheses H1and H2 is depicted in Figure 1.

yoga-physical-therapy-hypothesized-research

Figure 1: The hypothesized research model.

Methodology

The aim of this study is to explore the motivating effects of various factors as perceived by the consumers. We anticipate that the factors possibly affect the intention of purchase. Therefore, the study is trying to explore the significance of the factors as perceived by consumers. Positive correlation between the factors and intention of purchase on the adoption of selected service, yoga studio service, is explored. Quantitative data were obtained via a questionnaire administered to yoga studio consumers in Hong Kong.

Questionnaire design

The questionnaire was designed with four sections according to the model as illustrated in Figure 1. The first section gathered respondents’ demographic details of participants. The second section addresses the motivating factors affecting the consumers’ selection.

Items were measured on a six-point Likert scale (1=strongly disagree; 6=strongly agree) with higher scores indicating an emphasized agreement on the statements. The key items in the questionnaire are presented in Table 1.

To what degree do you regard each of the following aspects as representing an essential value of a yoga studio?  
The Product* (Service)    
Esthetical PE
The presentation of the yoga studios (promotion and marketing)  
The yoga studio gives the feelings of fantasy  
Self experience, satisfaction on receiving the service  
Functional PF
The core properties of the  yoga studios (i.e. the facility, environment, yoga classes, etc)  
The performance in terms of reliability and quality  
  The Brand B
Personal feeling on the brand  
The image of  the brand  
Reliable and trustworthy of the brand  
The personal experience of the brand  
Services provided by the brand S1
Justness image of the brand/ company  
Professional services given  
Good communication with the staff  
Honesty, friendliness of this brand/ company to the customers  
Competence, easiness of the company/ brand  
Purchase intentions
How likely will you adopt the particular yoga studio service within the next year, assuming that ….
INT
that the yoga studio matches with your personal values of what constitute desirable yoga studio services  
that you have sufficient buying power  

Table 1: The constructs and items.

Backward translation was adopted to prepare the questionnaire. The original questionnaire was designed in English. It was firstly translated to a preliminary Chinese version. A professional translator helped to translate the Chinese version back to English. Comparison between the two English versions was conducted before the first round of modification. It was then translated to the second Chinese version. Pilot study was carried out before the final revision of the questionnaire. Experienced practitioners in the field were invited to comment on the questionnaire developed. To confirm the appropriate categorization of factors, exploratory factor analysis was also carried out.

In order to improve the comprehensibility of the drafted questionnaire, two pilot studies were conducted. In the first pilot study, a group of 11 high-tech electronic gadget users was interviewed to discuss the content and presentation of the questionnaire. Among the eleven (11) pilot participants, eight (8) yogis, one (1) practitioner in the yoga studio business and two (2) university teachers. The second pilot study was a pre-test of the improved questionnaire conducted among thirty-three (33) yogis. Simple statistical analyses were used to test the reliability of the scales and the questionnaire was improved further [20,21]

Data collection

Data collection started in September, 2010 in Hong Kong. Samples are drawn mainly from the database of regular yoga practitioners in the reputed yoga studios in Hong Kong. Each questionnaire was sent together with a cover notice explaining the objective of the study. A total of 302 valid questionnaires from 320 were received by end of October 2010. Table 2 shows the demographic details of respondents.

  Number (N) samples
Number of samples surveyed 320
Valid samples 302
Gender  
Male 121
Female 181
Age Group  
<25 2
25-49 294
>50 6

Table 2: Demographic details of respondents.

Results of the study

This section discusses the measurement of constructs and findings. The accuracy of the measurement was verified by validity and reliability. Factor analysis was used to assess the validity of our constructs. Reliability analysis was conducted to ensure the internal consistency of the scale items. The non-respondent bias and reliability and validity tests are presented in the following sessions.

Non-respondent bias: To detect non-response bias, the average values of the survey instruments in both the 10% of early respondents and 10% of late respondents were compared by the t-test. It was conducted to see if there were differences between early respondents and late respondents in terms of variables relevant to the research hypothesis [22]. The results of the t-test showed no statistical significance between the means for the items across the two groups, indicating that non-bias response might not be a problem in this study.

Reliability and validity: Scale purification was done using reliability test and exploratory factor analysis. Cronbach’s Alpha was used to assess the scale reliability of each construct in our model. Alpha of every factor was more than 0.70, which is a very good statistical result [23]. The high value of reliability coefficients (α) suggests the high level internal consistency of the data. In Table 3, reliability coefficients (α) for the scales are shown in a multi-trait matrix. The diagonal figures of the matrix are the reliability coefficients for each latent variable identified. The remainder of the table is a correlation matrix between the pairs of latent constructs.

  PE PF B2 S1
PE 0.825      
PF .243** 0.825    
B2 .390** .425** 0.884  
S1 .445** .407** .646** 0.858
INT .326** .534** .392** .444**

Table 3: Inter-correlations of the items

Discriminant validity is also checked by referring to the multi-trait matrix. In Table 3, the correlation coefficients within each column are smaller than the Cronbach’s alphas in the diagonal. The value of internal reliability is higher than the inter-item reliability, thus it strongly confirms the discriminant validity [24].

The instruments of the constructs were then validated by exploratory factor analysis (i.e. principal components analysis, with Varimax orthogonal rotation). The result confirmed the structure of the constructs (Table 3a). Construct validation includes content, convergent and discriminant validities. Content validity is a non statistical assessment of validity which is ensured by expert judgment or through an extended literature search and then confirmed by the pilot studies discussed above.

    Standardized Factor loadings
The Product* (Service)      
Esthetical(α=0.825) PE  
The presentation of the yoga studios (promotion and marketing) E1 0.687
The yoga studio gives the feelings of fantasy E3 0.636
Self experience, satisfaction on receiving the service E5 0.651
Functional (α=0.823) PF  
The core properties of the  yoga studios (i.e. the facility, environment, yoga classes, etc) F1 0.823
The performance in terms of reliability and quality F2 0.833
The Brand(α=0.884) B  
Personal feeling on the brand RE2 0.793
The image of  the brand RE3 0.704
Reliable and trustworthy of the brand RF1 0.806
The personal experience of the brand RF2 0.822
Services provided by the brand (α=0.858) S  
Justness image of the brand/ company IE2 0.721
Professional services given IS1 0.750
Good communication with the staff IS2 0.733
Honesty, friendliness of this brand/ company to the customers IS3 0.800
Competence, easiness of the company/ brand IF1 0.784
Purchase Intentions(α=0.825) INT  
that the yoga studio matches with your personal values of what constitute desirable yoga studio services CE1 0.819
that you have sufficient buying power CEC 0.779

Table 3a: Factors loadings from the confirmatory Factor analysis

Findings

Summary of findings

Table 3 shows the inter-correlations of variables and Table 4 presents the summary of mean scores obtained from the study and of the key measures respectively. It is shown that core function of yoga studios and the branding effect are of the highest values. This can be interpreted as consumers perceived they are expecting the quality values regarding the core business of yoga studio, while they cater for a reliable and trustworthy brand. It is also noted that the ‘esthetical factors of yoga studios’ is scored the lowest.

Items   Reliability Mean
The Product
To what degree do you regard each of the following aspects as representing an essential value of a yoga studio?  
     
Esthetical PE 0.825  
Esthetical and artistic design E1   0.687
The product gives the feelings of fantasy E3   0.636
Self experience, satisfaction on the product E5   0.651
Functional PF 0.825  
The core properties of the product F1   0.823
The product performance in terms of reliability and quality F2   0.833
The Brand   0.884  
Personal feeling on the brand RE2   0.793
The image of  the brand RE3   0.704
Reliable and trustworthy of the brand RF1   0.806
The personal experience of the brand RF2   0.822
Services provided by the brand   0.858  
Justness image of the brand/ company IE2   0.721
Professional services given IS1   0.750
Good communication with the staff IS2   0.733
Honesty, friendliness of this brand/ company to the customers IS3   0.800
Competence, easiness of the company/ brand IF1   0.784
Purchase intentions
How likely you will adopt the particular yoga studio service within the next year, assuming that ….
INT 0.825  
that the yoga studio matches with your personal values of what constitute desirable yoga studio services CE1   0.819
that you have sufficient buying power CEC   0.779

Table 4: Summary of mean scores of the key measures.

Hypotheses testing

To justify the model developed, structural equation modelling is the proper technique to use [24]. AMOS (by SPSS) is used for the statistical analysis in this study. The most widely used fitting function maximum likelihood method was employed [25]. Fit measures were carried out to justify the fitness of the model: the (χ2/df = 2.5 chi-square to degrees of freedom ratio), the CFI (Comparative Fit Index) is 0.997 and RMSEA = 0.07. The χ2/df less than 3, the CFI close to 1[24,26]. The research hypotheses were validated with the significance of t-test in each path with parameter estimates (p<0.1) in the structural equation modeling.

Figure 2 presents the structure equation model of the hypothesized research model. Simply put, the one-way arrow represents the regression coefficients. The standardized path coefficients with significance of the t-test are displayed to represent the significance of the correlation or regression coefficients respectively [27]. The results generally support the conceptual ideas of this study.

yoga-physical-therapy-Structural-Equation

Figure 2: Structural Equation Model

Purchase intention

It is interesting to note that ‘purchase intention’ is found to have significant correlations with ‘product’ and ‘customer services’ (Table 3 and Figure 2). Table 3 shows there are significant interrelationships between purchase intentions and all other consumer factors in the model, in which ‘product (core function)’ and ‘customer services’ have higher coefficient of correlations.

The results primarily support Hypotheses H1a and H1d. The justification primarily suggests the significant influence by the core yoga studio services (product) and the customer services.

The mild but positive linkage between ‘esthetical factors and ‘brand’ is a bit concerning. This may imply these two factors are not directly influencing the purchase intentions but there may have indirect impacts.

Branding effect

To further determine the effect of branding on other factors, hypothesis 2 was justified. It is noticed that ‘branding’ has shown significant correlations with ‘product’ (functional and esthetical factors) and ‘customer services’ (Table 4) and its direct effects on the said factors is further justified by the SEM (Figure 2, Table 5 and 6).

Hypothesis testing r p- value Results
Product (core) =>Purchase Intention 0.40 *** Accepted
Product (esthetical) =>Purchase Intention 0.13 n.s. Rejected
Brand =>Purchase Intention 0.05 n.s. Rejected
Services =>Purchase Intention 0.20 ** Accepted
Brand =>Services 0.52 *** Accepted
Brand => Product (core) 0.47 *** Accepted
Brand => Product (esthetical) 0.39 *** Accepted

Table 5: Hypothesis testing and results.

Hypotheses  
H1: The purchase intention of a consumer is directly influenced by how strongly he/she identifies the core product, the branding, and the customer service received as essential values of a yoga studio services
H1a: How strongly a consumer identifies the functional factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.
H1b: How strongly a consumer identifies the aesthetical factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.
H1c: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.
H1d: How strongly a consumer identifies the customer service received as an essential product value positively and directly influences his/her purchase intention.
H1a and H1d  are justified in the structural equation model
H2:  How strongly a consumer identifies the perceived qualities of the core (service) product and the customer service received as essential values of yoga studio services directly implies how strongly he/she identifies branding as an essential value of yoga studio services.
H2a: How strongly a consumer identifies the aesthetical factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly implies his/her regard of branding as an essential product value.
H2b: How strongly a consumer identifies the functional factor of the product as an essential product value positively and directly implies his/her regard of branding as an essential product value.
H2c: How strongly a consumer identifies the customer service received as an essential product value positively and directly implies his/her regard of branding as an essential product value.
H2’:  How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential value of yoga studio services directly implies how strongly he/she identifies the perceived qualities of the core product and the customer service received as essential values of yoga studio services.
H2a’: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the aesthetical factor of the product as an essential product value.
H2b’: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the functional factor of the product as an essential product value.
H2c’: How strongly a consumer identifies branding as an essential product value directly implies his/her regard of the customer service received as an essential product value.
Justified in the structural equation model

Table 6: Summary of hypothesis testing.

Customer services

While yoga studio business is typically in the service industry, the core product it offers is typical a kind of service. It is not surprising to have results showing the significant correlation between the ‘product’ and ‘customer services’ (Table 3) while SEM confirms the justification of the hypothesized model (Figure 2).

Discussion

Table 6 summarizes the results of the study based on the hypotheses proposed. Our results indicate purchase intention is significantly correlated and directly influenced by the core product offered and the customer serviced received (H1a and H1d). Meanwhile, branding effect has put direct impact on the all the consumer factors (H2) and this implies the indirect impact of branding effects towards the purchase intention.

Unlike other industries, service industry has its own specific features while the perceived core product (service) offered is correlated with the customer service received. From consumers’ perspective, these two factors are not stand alone, while the customer services received along with the core yoga studio services are perceived as an integral part of the core function which is highly expected.

The confirmations of Hypotheses H1a and H1d indicate that the purchase intention of yoga studio service is directly influenced by how strongly the consumer identifies both the functional factors of the product, as well as by the customer service provided, as representing the essential values of the services received. The rejection of Hypothesis H1b and H1c suggests that the esthetical factors and branding of yoga studio business does not directly influence their purchase intention.

Furthermore, branding effects on purchase intention cannot be ignored [28]. Results show the significant correlations between branding effect and the other consumer factors but not the purchase intentions. This further implies the indirect effect of the brands of the yoga studios towards the purchase intention. Consumers may well perceive the brands of the yoga studios as an embedded part of the core service provided. Thus, our targeted group is in this sense one of quite highly sophisticated consumers: their perception of branding as an essential product value is tightly coupled with their perception of practical qualities of the product (i.e. functional and aesthetical utilities as well as customer service) as essential product values.

Therefore, the results suggest that in a sound marketing campaign of yoga studio business, it can be of practical importance that branding be seamlessly showcased with the core product’s functional factors and the effort that the company is devoted to servicing their customers and enhancing their experiences as consumers of the services, in order to take full advantage of the tight coupling between branding and product qualities [29].

Our findings raise interesting points to future research directions. First, why consumers perceive the indirect impact of branding effect on purchase intention? Second, we have learnt that the various factors (product, branding and customer service) affect the purchase intention, but how? To find out the reason may require further investigations. Lastly, the sample size in this study may affect the generalization of the findings. The comparatively small sample size is due to the focused sample population (the regular yogis from the biggest yoga studio in Hong Kong). To further improve the accuracy of the results, the authors will further extend the study to make it with a bigger sample size.

Conclusions

In this paper, we have investigated the relationship between the major determinants (product, branding and customer services) on the purchase intention of yoga studios consumers in Hong Kong. We developed a research framework highlighting the interrelationships among the said factors and purchase intention towards yoga studio services. This framework has been validated with the help of empirical data collected from Hong Kong.

The findings of this research show that the significance of core service offered by yoga studios and the customer services on the consumer purchase intention. The study also fortifies the significant correlation between branding effect and the other consumer factors, which affect the consumer intention subsequently. This is definitely useful for the development of appropriate business strategy.

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