Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumption of Branded Fashion Apparel: Gender Differences in Behavior

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Consumption of Branded Fashion Apparel: Gender Differences in Behavior

Article excerpt

Technological innovation has created what is considered a global village of the world market, whereby brand names of all consumer goods play a more prominent role in consumers' purchase decisions and named brands are no longer difficult to obtain (Kaya & Ayman, 2012). Consumers can make purchases either nationally or internationally through numerous avenues. Hence companies try to maintain a market share for their brands composed not only of consumers in their home country but also of consumers from all parts of the world. This makes targeted consumer research crucial for businesses producing goods in both developing and developed countries. As a result, companies have begun to design and position the brand personality of their product according to target market analysis. According to Hsu and Burns (2012), awareness of the values that consumers possess could assist marketers and retailers with the integration of their products' characteristics with consumer needs and wants. Hence, brand personality plays a role in the consumer's self-expression and is considered one of the types of marketing communication.

Marketers use certain brand personalities that reflect a lifestyle and that are compatible with an individual's personality. Brand personality has been explained as "the set of human personality traits, associated with, applicable and relevant to brands" (Aaker, 1997; Azoulay & Kapferer, 2003). According to Aaker (1997) there are five types of brand personality:

a. Sincerity = honest, cheerful, wholesome, and friendly

b. Excitement = daring, spirited, up-to-date, young, and cool

c. Competence = reliable, intelligent, successful, and confident

d. Sophistication = upper class, charming, and feminine

e. Ruggedness = outdoorsy, masculine, and western

In accordance with the above brand personality traits, companies develop positioning themes for their brands, such as functional, symbolic, and experiential benefits directed at fulfilling the desired needs of the consumer regarding the brand (Keller, 1993). The functional benefits feature rational attachment to the brand to fulfill the need of functionality. Symbolic benefits involve status and prestige to fulfill the need for self-esteem. Finally, experiential benefits provide experiences and create usage imagery designed to enrich the consumer's life (Shimp, 2003).

Given that most products have a lifecycle, the adoption stage for new brands is also related to the product lifecycle. Product lifecycle and the rate of brand and product adoption take into consideration the following five adopters' categories (Etzel, Walker, & Stanton, 2001; Lamb, Hair, & McDaniel, 2004):

a. Innovators represent about 3% of the market. They are the individuals who are the first to adopt new items and brands at the introduction stage of the product's life cycle.

b. Early adopters represent about 13% of the market. These individuals will adopt new items after the innovators and after the brand's growth stage.

c. The early majority represents 34% of the market. These consumers rely more on advertisement and sales. This demographic is slightly above average in social and economic measurements and tend to adopt new brands in the early maturation stage.

d. The late majority also represents 34% of the market. These consumers tend to be skeptical individuals who adopt new items or brands either to save money or by pressure from the influencers and during the brand's late maturation stage.

e. Laggards represent 16% of the market. They are the group of people who are last to adopt new items or brands or refuse to use them. If they purchase, it is during the brand's decline stage (Etzel et al., 2001).

We formed the following hypotheses regarding the adoption and consumption of branded fashion, based on the previous research on brand personality and gender. …

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