The $45 trillion-dollar consumer market - 60 percent of global GDP - is the largest driver of human practices impacting sustainability. However, an insignificant number of products offer any insight into product sustainability. Labels like Fair Trade, though useful, have minimal market penetration. In the absence of sustainability information, consumers make purchases based on traditional indicators of product value like price, color, and brand but have no product-specific information on broader human values for issues like child labor, greenhouse gases, worker safety, or endangered species. A straightforward 1-to-5 star sustainability rating (coupled with an in-depth sustainability profile) on each consumer product would harness the power of the market's invisible hand, efficiently steering manufacturing decisions toward sustainability precisely to the degree that global consumers are concerned about social and environmental issues. Sustainability ratings would tweak the global market with every purchase in the tiniest of ways, but multiplied trillions of times over, these small tweaks could transform the marketplace and change the world. Consumers could take sustainability into consideration with every item they purchase. Manufacturers would strive to improve the ratings of the products they make. Store managers could choose to stock only highly-rated products. The world's largest purchasers - entities like Walmart or the U.S. government - have enough market leverage to unilaterally introduce sustainability ratings for the products they procure, setting the stage for a global-scale system. Several different mechanisms can be used to create credible sustainability ratings. This article describes the novel approach of crowd-sourcing consumer preferences to reliably achieve a 1-to-5 star rating for each product.
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Article Full-text available January 2016
Technological advances can significantly alter consumer behavior patterns. The proliferation of the Internet and personal mobile devices has allowed unparalleled access to information and to individuals worldwide sharing common interests or concerns. Many individuals today provide user-generated content online, communicating through technology in a form of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). Often,
... [Show full abstract] eWOM occurs through unsolicited consumer assessments of products, services, brands or companies. These evaluations can be positive or negative and may influence purchasing decisions, content sharing and other consumer behaviors. In the United States, several consumers have had to defend themselves against legal action after posting negative reviews warning others to avoid particular companies. This paper provides an appraisal of key elements in the development of eWOM communication and briefly reviews modern legal cases stemming from consumer online comments. View full-text June 2015 · Global Fashion Management Conference
The fashion industry has been dramatically transformed during the last 20 years with the introduction of fast fashion: a style of instant cutting edge fashion at affordable prices (Sheridan, Moore, & Nobbs, 2006). The term, fast fashion, describes a business model characterized by rapid supply chains, merchandising techniques and retail technology all developed to respond to increasingly fast
... [Show full abstract] changing consumer demands (Kim, Choo, & Yoon, 2013). In contrast to this business format, luxury fashion brands have always held a superior position in the fashion industry through their quality, limited release and pricing policies. The contemporary fashion industry is now highly competitive, with this additional pressure coming from fast fashion companies constantly delivering original and “fresh” products at affordable prices (Cholachatpinyo, Fletcher, Padgett, & Crocker, 2002). Despite the apparent price discrepancy between fast fashion and luxury fashion products, both these two fashion styles appear to cater to a consumer’s need for uniqueness. Through the consumption of fashion this uniqueness factor becomes evident in the way in which consumers convey their individual identity and self-image to society. Intuitively, as the two styles of fashion are distinctive, the type of uniqueness component desired by their consumer will differ. Therefore, we ask: “what aspects of uniqueness are motivating consumers to choose between fast fashion and luxury fashion brands?” The paper answers this important research question through evaluating (1) the predictability of fashion-brand attitude and self-congruency on fashion style preferences and (2) the moderating role of consumers’ need for uniqueness (CNFU) in these direct relationships.
An online survey of 301 U.S. participants was conducted utilizing a quazi-experimental between-subjects design. All participants had experience with purchasing either fast fashion or luxury fashion clothing. Fashion-brand attitude and self-image congruency were treated as independent variable with preference for fashion style as the dependent variable. The three factors that constitute CNFU were treated as moderators. The results suggest that fashion style preference is determined more by the level of self-image congruency than positive attitudes towards fashion brands. More importantly, the different qualities of CNFU are capable of influencing individual consumers’ fashion preference within each fashion style. Collectively, the findings present strong supporting evidence that the differences in consumers’ need for uniqueness are likely to affect some fashion style preferences and not others. In particular, the majority of findings are consistent with the central argument that fashion consumers are uniqueness seekers and have their own ways of portraying their individuality to society (Workman & Caldwell, 2007). There was however inconsistent results obtained by treating CNFU as a single moderating construct, thus adding further support for Tain, Bearden and Hunter’s (2001) proposition that the consumers need for uniqueness consists of three distinct components, each specifying a unique personality trait.
References available on request. Read more Article Full-text available
SESSION SUMMARY The objective of the proposed session was to stimulate discus-sion and encourage research on the dynamic relationship between the self and consumer contexts. Researchers have argued that consumers evaluate and choose brands on the basis of whether they express aspects of the self to others, or fulfill some self-enhance-ment or self-verification goal. Although research has clearly
... [Show full abstract] shown that consumers evaluate and choose brands based on these self-related motivations (thereby forming self-brand connections (SBC), several research questions remain unanswered—Are there impor-tant moderators to consider that would further illuminate the relationship between the self and consumption? Additionally, re-search has explored the influence of brand evaluations on SBC, but to what extent might SBC affect brand evaluations? Finally, a major assumption is that consumers bring salient and relevant self con-cepts to the brand consumption context, however to what extent might the consumption context influence consumers' self con-cepts? The aim of this session was to shed some light on these research questions. Paper #1, by Escalas and Bettman, questioned the simple manner in which researchers currently view how consumers' views of the self drive consumption and present findings on how self-enhancement goals and brand symbolism moderate the influence of brand meaning on self-brand connections. Paper #2, by Cheng, White and Chaplin, challenged the unidirectional assumption that brand evaluations/attitudes determine SBC, and presented results that suggested a feedback effect. Specifically, the authors sug-gested that when consumers make a SBC, brand-evaluation will become an important component of self-evaluation, and therefore, is likely to be affected by whether consumers make SBC. Paper #3, by Forehand, Perkins, and Reed II, added another dimension of complexity to the relationship between the self-concept and con-sumer contexts by questioning whether consumers always bring their identities to the context. The authors presented evidence to show that social identities are automatically influenced by contex-tual information about others. Each paper moved away from the simple way in which researchers currently view the role of the self-concept in consumer contexts and provided empirical evidence to shed some light on the dynamic nature of this relationship (e.g., introduced moderators and challenged assumptions). Together, these three papers provided a fresh perspective to study the relationship between the self and consumer contexts. The current view is that individuals' self-concepts shape their consumer behavior. The emerging view from these papers is that while the self certainly drives consumption, it is more complicated than we think (as paper #1 suggests). Moreover, the directional relationship between the self and consumption may also be more complicated than we think (as paper #2 suggests). Finally, the self may not always drive consumption, but rather be driven by consumption (as paper #3 suggests). Each paper makes additional contributions. First, Escalas and Bettman provide an empirical demonstration of the ideas in McCracken's (1989) theory of meaning movement by demonstrating that brands endorsed by celebrities are a source of symbolic brand meaning. In doing so, they provide additional evidence that consumers use brands to communicate their self-concept. Cheng et al., merged the brand extension/dilution and the self-concept literatures to show how SBC can have a feedback effect and influence brand evaluations. Forehand et al., contributed to the advertising literature by showing that ad exposure has a profound effect on not just changes in brand attitude or purchase intentions, but also social identities. In summary, this session presented a dynamic view of the relationship between consumers' self-concepts and consumption activities. That is, while consumers' views of the self drive con-sumption, these views are also constantly being shaped by the consumption context itself. This perspective paves new avenues for research, such as the potential for consumption activities to trans-form consumers (via transformation of self-concept) and for con-textual factors to determine the self-consumption relationship. View full-text
This year we focused on identifying the imapct of tangible performance attributes; intangible image attributes and price on overall perception of value and intention-to-buy US branded apparel products. We developed a conceptual framework for understanding the impact of apparel attributes on consumers' value perceptios and intentions-to-buy and examined the effectiveness of the developed model in
... [Show full abstract] forcasting brand loyalty and purchase behavior. RELEVANCE TO NTC MISSION: This research is intended to provide enhance industry responsiveness to consumer demand in the global marketplace by providing a framework that will result in a better understanding of online consumer behavior and thus more effective use of the Internet as a marketing tool. Due to the unique ability of the Internet to attract worldwide consumers in an efficient and timely manner, online marketing -- if properly developed and implemented -- has tremendous potential as a strategy to enhance the image of U.S. textile and apparel products among rapidly growing online consumer markets worldwide. Effective marketing, via the Internet, could enhance consumer preference for (and purchase of) U.S. textile and apparel products, thereby allowing U.S. firms to capitalize on global market opportunitities and providing a sustainable non-price advantage to U.S. firms. OBJECTIVES: 1. To provide a conceptual and emperical framework for understanding the impact of apparel attributes on consumers' value perceptios and intentions-to-buy. 2. To examine the effectiveness of the developed model in forcasting brand loyalty and purchase behavior. Read more July 2016
The Indian retail industry is the fifth largest in the world in terms of GDP, which is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and by 2030. But organized retailers are very less penetrated in India when compared to the unorganized sector and the present study mainly attempts to understand the consumer buying behavior of consumers towards apparel sector of organized retail sector and
... [Show full abstract] also the study is specific only towards the private label apparel brands or store brands manufactured and sold by the retailers. Many of the consumers are now-a-days preferring private label brands over national or manufactured brands especially in apparel because of many reasons and the present study is aimed at understanding clearly whether why exactly the consumers prefer the private label apparel brands and other related decisions. The study is conducted empirically using conjoint analysis. Conjoint analysis is a technique for analyzing consumer utility levels for specific product attributes. It is used to determine how important each attributes for the consumers while making purchase decisions. This is the second part of the study which gives the empirical analysis of the study. Dr.C.V.Krishna is currently working for View full-text Last Updated: 05 Jul 2022
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