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There was one famous relationship which John Hargreaves, one of David's backers, used to quote at him. "Fashion" he would say 'is about understanding customers' constantly changing needs and then modifying the form of your products to meet them" In simple words, fashion is a FORM over FUNCTION while clothing is primary on its function, function remains constant and form changed constantly.
It was a simple philosophy of the fashion industry. Smartly identify the dynamically changing customer needs and match products to these changes. The survival of the business, or become the star, is mainly depends on whether you can ride freely on the trend.
Other than clothing, some electronic devices also demonstrating the success is not only by performing its function, but also refer to the form it present. A very good example is iPhone, the product is "in tune" with all the dynamic changes happening in the market and then translating those into products. The success is demonstrated by its excellent global marketing feedback.
What are the consumer motivations for being and staying in fashion?
Motivation is described as the driving force within individuals that impels them to action. This driving force is produced by a state of tension that exists as the result of an unfulfilled need. Individuals strive, both consciously and subconsciously, to reduce this tension through behavior that they anticipate will fulfill their needs and thus relieve them of the stress they feel. Motive is classified into three categories; conventional motive (described as primary, secondary, rational and emotional), conscious motive and dormant motive.
The impact of reference power leads the concern of identification of an individual within the group. Marketers use this power in promotion encouraging consumers to be like to do the same things as the individual in the advertisement. The greater the similarity of the individual's beliefs to those of group members, the greater the reference power of the group. Celebrity gives significant contribution in this aspect.
Furthermore, people are significantly influenced by the reference groups. Reference groups expose an individual to new lifestyles and behaviors, it influences attitudes and self-concept; they give pressures for conformity that will affect actual product and brand choices. Consumers are also influenced by groups to which they do not belong. Aspirational groups are hose a person hopes to join while dissociative groups refer to those whose values or behavior an individual rejects.
Why is fashion important in people's lives?
Self-Concept (image) is a key factor to tell why fashion is so important to people's lives. The self-image present via trait, habits and the way of behaving; typically the innovators and early adopters eager to show their foresight identity explicitly with fashionable products, purchase will be stimulated once the product or brand that can match their initiative.
Besides, consumers' preferences might develop for certain brands because they perceive them as reflecting his own self-image or desired self-image.
Seeking social acceptance will persuade an individual to conform to the group's norms. That is the tendency for people to like others they perceive to be similar to themselves. The rules and standards of conduct by which members of group are expected by abide.
This is the socialization process that a new member need learns the system of values, norms, and expected behavior patterns of the group being entered. Moreover, the symbol of dress or ownership are usually frequently associated with both high and low status, fashion are purchased to demonstrate status in a broader societal sense and even it represents the message of one's wealth and implied superiority.
Level of aspiration driving the imitation of the group's behavior and buy the brands and product categories of the group leader or opinion leader as. Marketers are interested in such imitative behavior because it implies a snowball effect once products are accepted by the most influential member of the group. (166+198+236)
What is the role of celebrity and peer pressure in the adoption of fashion clothing?
Celebrities and other similar reference group appeals are used very effectively by advertisers to communicate with their markets.
Celebrities, particularly movie stars, TV personalities, popular entertainers and sports icons, provide a common type of reference group appeal. To their loyal followers and too much of the general public, celebrities represent an idealization of life that most people imagine that they would love to live. Advertisers spend enormous sums of money to have celebrities promote their products, with the expectation that the reading or viewing audience will react positively to the celebrity's association with their products.
A firm that decides to employ a celebrity to promote its product is expecting the celebrity to give a testimonial, to give an endorsement, to feature as an actor in a commercial, or to act as a company spokesperson. The importance of certain celebrity characteristics varies depending on whether the product being promoted.
Celebrity shall contribute to a firm's advertising program with fame, talent, credibility or charisma. Credibility is the most important factor among all. The expectation is on both their expertise and trustworthiness.
Anticipatory aspiration group as higher group in organizational hierarchy that an individual whishes to join. Marketers will appeal to the desire to enhance one's position by climbing to a higher aspiration group, e.g. Johnnie Walker Black Label. Furthermore, fashion and cosmetics are frequently advertised with the context of business success and prestige. Celebrities also influence consumer with symbolic aspiration, e.g. Tiger Woods endorsed Gillette. (242)
What are the stimuli for purchase? What is the role played by the mass media?
Personality influences consumer behavior in great extent which is the key purchase enabler. There are four personality theories as the following.
Psychoanalytical or Freudian Theory
Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality is the cornerstone of modern psychology. This theory was built on the premise that unconscious needs or drives, especially sexual and other biological drives, and at the heart of human motivation and personality.
Freud proposed that the human personality consists of three interacting systems - the id, the superego and the ego.
The id was conceptualized as 'warehouse' of primitive and impulse drives - basic physiological needs such as thirst, hunger and sex - for which the individual seeks immediate satisfaction without concern for the specific means of satisfaction. In contrast, the superego is conceptualized as the individual's internal expression of society's moral and ethical codes of conduct, is a kind of 'brake' that restrains or inhibits the impulsive forces of the id. Finally, the ego is the individual's conscious control. It functions as an internal monitor that attempts to balance the impulsive demands of the id and the socio-cultural constraints of the superego.
Freudian theory applied by using the belief that buyers are not consciously aware of their motives.
Neo-Freudian or Social Theory
Neo-Freudians believed that social relationships are fundamental of the formative and development of personality. It emphasized on the individual's efforts to overcome feelings of inferiority.
Karen Horney, a neo-Freudian, had grouped personality into three categories.
Compliant - move towards others (they desire to be loved, wanted and appreciated).
Aggressive individual - move against people (they desire to excel and win admiration).
Detached individual - who move away from people (they desire independence, self-reliance, individualism or freedom from obligations).
A trait described as a tendency to respond (either in thought or action) in a similar fashion over time and situations. Trait theorists believe that a personality can be understood by studying the pattern of traits within an individual. They attempt to describe individuals in terms of their predispositions on a bank of adjectives.
Self-Concept (Image) Theory
The definition is 'The totality of the individual's thoughts and feelings having reference to himself as an object'
It is one's view of the self in relation to others. Several related elements include the following;
Self-concept - The way an individual perceives himself.
Real-self - The individual as an object entity. Ideal-self - What the individual would like to.
Apparent-self - The self that outsiders see.
The theory is important for marketing because consumers' concept of themselves influences their buyer behaviors.
Psychologists agree that a person's conception of self displays a high degree of consistency, particularly in the short run, because the self resists change and selectively perceives environmental information. Consumers' preferences might develop for certain brands because they perceive them as reflecting his own self-image or desired self-image.
In conclusion, the Self Concept Theory is the most relevant theory to describe as the stimuli in purchase of the fashion.
Furthermore, mass media is in significant role to foster the fashion trend, let consumer understand what product is available in market, how to mix and match, where to get the desired style. The media would be the TV commercial, magazine, internet promotion, etc; celebrities are endorsed to telling the message. (538)