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The influence of real women in advertising on mass market fashion brand perception
Högskolan i Halmstad, Centrum för innovations-, entreprenörskaps- och lärandeforskning (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0419-8654
2011 (English)In: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, ISSN 1361-2026, E-ISSN 1758-7433, Vol. 15, no 4, p. 486-502Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate how the weight of ideal users affects the perception of mass market fashion brands. Design/methodology/approach: An experiment was carried out in which 640 university students replied to a web survey, rating the brand personality of jeans and shirts according to Aaker's Big Five construct. The garments were worn by thin, overweight, and obese models. Findings: The findings show that consumers' impressions of mass market fashion brands are significantly affected by the weight of ideal users. Slender models lead to the most positive brand perception followed by obese models. Overweight user imagery is for pure fashion brand building the least attractive kind. Research limitations/implications: A limitation of this study is the use of convenient student samples. Consequently, the generalization of the results beyond this convenience sample may be limited. It is further possible, even probable, that high fashion would suffer more from the negative imagery of overweight and obese users than mass market fashion. It would therefore be interesting to replicate this experiment using clothes of higher fashion grade and price. Practical implications: The demonstrated effects of user imagery support the industry practice of slim ideal female imagery. Social implications: The results inform the debate over skinny models vs real women in advertising. Originality/value: Previous research regarding the effectiveness of real women in advertising has been inconclusive. This paper demonstrates not only that model weight affects consumers' brand perception, but also how.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited , 2011. Vol. 15, no 4, p. 486-502
Keywords [en]
Brand personality, Clothing, Fashion, Individual psychology, User imagery, Women
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-54548DOI: 10.1108/13612021111169960Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-80053065624OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-54548DiVA, id: diva2:1591351
Available from: 2013-05-23 Created: 2021-09-06 Last updated: 2021-09-07Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. It’s Not What You Sell: It’s Whom You Sell it To: How the Customer’s Character Shapes Brands and What Companies Do About it
Open this publication in new window or tab >>It’s Not What You Sell: It’s Whom You Sell it To: How the Customer’s Character Shapes Brands and What Companies Do About it
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this dissertation I investigate the effects of user and usage imagery on brands and how businesses employ user imagery to build brands. Over four articles I present results that suggest that user imagery affects brand personality and that companies under certain conditions adapt their behavior to optimize this effect. Although both mass market fashion and nightclubs are susceptible to the influence of user imagery, out of the two only nightclubs actively reject customers to improve its effect on brand perception. I relate these practices to the practical and financial feasibility of rejecting customers, the character of nightclubs’ brands, and to their inability to differentiate their brands through any other brand personality influencer besides user imagery. In this dissertation, I also discuss the ethical ramifications of user imagery optimization through customer rejection. In one study, the role of conspicuous usage imagery on socially desirable consumer behavior is investigated. It is concluded that conspicuousness increases consumers' propensity to choose environmentally friendly products, and that this tendency is especially pronounced for individuals that are high in attention to social comparison information. The conclusion is that consumers use green products to self-enhance for the purpose of fitting in with the group rather than to stand out from it.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Förlag Göteborgs Universitet, 2015. p. 120
Keywords
brands, self-image congruity, brand personality, user imagery, fashion, nightclubs, green consumer behavior, self-monitoring ability, attention to social comparison information, ATSCI
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-54563 (URN)978-91-7246-341-7 (ISBN)
Available from: 2021-09-07 Created: 2021-09-07 Last updated: 2021-09-07Bibliographically approved

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