Subject of the Thesis
The spectacular growth of consumption in the luxury fashion market has become an area of interest for different players in fashion and academics. The high price positioning of the luxury market was the basis of its inability to cater for the interest of mass consumption (Brow & Fiorella, 2013). However, luxury fashion brands are currently in the process of developing strategies aimed at managing broader diversity of consumption preferences with the objective of increasing profits. Luxury fashion brands, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Chanel have employed a number of branding strategies to tackle the challenge of being out of reach for mass consumption (Cakim, 2010). Other than the incorporation of numerous branding strategies, such as strategic pricing and brand extension, advertising has been considered an effective mechanism for luxury fashion brands to ensure the development and maintenance of a huge demand for consumption. In addition to the physical values that define quality of products, luxury fashion brands are involved in the emphasis of symbolic value, which is defined by prestige in their markets. Advertising is therefore perceived as a common tool that can be used by luxury fashion brands in the development of brand resilience (Carr et al., 2014).
The role of advertisement in the European luxury fashion industry is not only to influence immediate purchase of products but also to ensure the development of long-term brand equity of the luxury fashion brand. When integrated with personal experience, advertising presents an undeniable force essential in the creation of brand equity (Brow & Fiorella, 2013). One mechanism of creating brand equity through advertisement is incorporation of online fashion influencers for companies interested in enhancing their brand image (Cakim, 2010).
The decision by a luxury fashion company to incorporate online influencers in advertising is based on the understanding that the purchase of luxurious fashion products is highly influenced by social needs, such as self-image and prestige (Hallam, 2013). In luxury fashion the development of brand equity is influenced by two competing needs, which are the need to enhance countervailing to ensure conformity in purchase and the need to incorporate uniqueness as a distinctive feature (Cakim, 2010). The process of making decision on which online influencers to incorporate as part of the advertising strategy will be influenced by the desire to reconcile the potential tradeoffs between exclusivity and accessibility of target advertising groups (Kautonen, & Karjaluoto, 2008). Exclusivity with regard to the type of online influencers to use in advertising makes a brand out of the ordinary as well as projecting a positive brand association that defines its user profile (Burcz, 2014). With online influencers on different social networking platforms, companies in the luxury fashion market are able to enhance their accessibility hence providing sufficient sales and profits for the products (Vecch & Buckley, 2016).
The decision by companies to incorporate online influencers on Instagram, blogging sites, YouTube, and other social networking sites is based on their ability to recognize the essence of social needs of conformity and uniqueness (Cakim, 2010). This is an implication that in the luxury fashion market there are two types of consumers. These are the elite consumers and majority of the masses. The former is fashion conscious and would purchase products that distinguish him from masses. The masses are often inclined into emulation the choices made by the elites (Burcz, 2014).
Elites from this perspective form an essential part of online influencers whose identification and integration into the advertising strategy of a company in the luxury fashion industry is essential for the development of brand equity and an increase in the possibility that the mass consumers will purchase the product hence improving on the profit margin (Vecch & Buckley, 2016). This is based on the understanding that in the luxury fashion market, the elites play the leadership role while the majority masses are often following the purchase trends of the elites (Burcz, 2014).
Motivation for Subject
The differences in the purchasing attributes of the elite customers and the majority masses makes it essential for companies in the luxury fashion industry to develop strategies that effectively and efficiently target both groups through proper allocation of available resources in ways that will ensure that the company receives the best payoff (Cakim, 2010). For example, the decision by a company to hold fashion shows every year in the European luxury fashion industry to attract elite customers can be considered effective if such a company incorporates online influencers on Instagram, YouTube or any other social networking site to advertise the fashion shows. The incorporation of online influencers as marketing agents for the company not only improves on the brand equity but also strengthens its social interaction levels with the majority mass customers (Vecch & Buckley, 2016). This is because such customers prefer an association with the elite and the use of an online influencer, who is considered as elite, increases traffic to the company’s social sites. A company that uses this approach can be considered as using social influence in the development of its brand hence establishing a leading presence across social networking sites and creating new communities of interest (Sedeke and Arora, 2013).
The need to explore the underlying effect of online influencers with regard to optimal pricing and advertising allocation strategies define the relevance of these entities in luxury fashion market (Vecch & Buckley, 2016). This makes it important to engage in the examination of techniques through which companies in the luxury fashion brand allocate limited advertising expenses in ways that ensure profits maximization. The need to ensure profit maximization through online influencers is based on the understanding that these agents have far-reaching impact and viral growth potential with regard to improving on brand equity (Kautonen & Karjaluoto, 2008).
Information on the presence and importance of online fashion influencers in the European luxury fashion industry is based on the understanding that different markets are currently seeking the services of popular online networking and publishing platforms such as YouTube and Snapchat to gain a competitive edge (Vecch & Buckley, 2016). This is because such platform enables these companies to reach millions of potential customers who spend most of their time on these sites seeking information. Social networking sites such as Instagram have been considered highly influential as platform where online influencers interact with customers since it enables photo and video sharing (Sedeke and Arora, 2013). These attributes attract millions of users making it one of the premier platforms for brand in the luxury fashion market to construct relevant and effective online influencer strategies develop creative and highly engaging influence-marketing strategies while executing high reach. The ability of a company to use social network platform such as online influencers to promote brand equity not only enhances the profit levels of the company but also facilitates the creation of long-term collaboration between the organization and its customers.
This study is considered relevant for the social market because it provides the European luxury fashion industry with a platform of assessing the possible ways of expanding their markets, improving on the sales and profits through online fashion influencers.
Online influencers exist in a dynamic and constantly changing state that is tangled with the evolution of different social networking sites and applications. This means that academic initiatives dedicated to the development of an understanding of the relatively recent emergence of online influencers phenomenon are unique considering that incorporate different scientific measures aimed at understanding the developing an in-depth framework of the relationship between company development through effective advertising strategies. For academicians, engaging scientific approaches is considered influential because it ensures an in-depth analysis of the history, implications, and relevance of online influencers.
Through the study of the role of online influencers with regard to their ability to promote growth in the luxury fashion industry, it becomes easier to validate or deny existing literature on the subject matter. This is because the use of scientific approaches in studying such a phenomenon aims at providing insights on online influencer with updated information. The process of engaging in such a study also provides academicians with a platform of assessing the extent to which science can be used in the development of a systematic and improved approach towards company variable that affect growth and development of companies in the luxury market.
Science requires the development of evidence based information in the process of understanding a phenomenon. To prove it scientific relevance, this study will provide essential information on the extent to which online influencers play a role on improving on the competitive levels of companies in the luxury fashion market. This will be based on validated evidence researched and analyzed through scientific procedures. The use of falsifiable evidence will also provide a technique of ensuring that the resulting conclusion is derived from relevant and contemporary data as a way of improving on the validity and authenticity of the conclusion and recommending.
For scientists this study is important because it provides a valid methodology of understanding the techniques that can be used in studying social phenomenon.
Main question and sub-questions
- How can companies best use online fashion influencers to advertise in the luxury fashion industry?
- What are online fashion influencers?
- What is the role of online fashion influencers in advertising in the luxury fashion industry?
- How do online fashion influencers affect advertising in the luxury fashion industry?
- What are best practice cases of using online influencers to advertise by the luxury fashion industry?
This research used a multi-strategy method by combining both qualitative and quantitative research approaches. This allowed for the origination of the research questions for the study prior to the data collection process. This strategy allowed the study to collect quantitative data through questionnaires and the interview process. In addition, both quantitative and qualitative data was also collected from existing books, journals and publications through an in-depth literature review process.
The multi-strategy approach, made it promising for the research to express the essential and significant conceptions in the form of particular variables. Furthermore, through this method, it was also conceivable for data analysis to be through descriptive and analytical approaches. The approach made it possible to include narratives with detailed description of the social context to seize the meaning of the subject in question. The study incorporated the multi-strategy method in assessing data. This made it relatively easier for the researcher to engage in the development of generalizations and develop recommendations on how companies can best use online fashion influencers to advertise in the luxury fashion industry.
Summary of main question, sub-questions, applied research methods, conclusions, and recommendations
Subject of the thesis -This section will focus on providing an overview of the main elements that define the thesis. This will include the thesis statement and the approaches that will be used in accomplishing the mandate of the study
Motivation for subject
Social/market rerelevance– This section will focus on the provision of evidence suggesting the relevance of addressing the role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion industry
Scientific relevance-This section will provide details on the relevance of online influencers in the European luxury fashion industry from a scientific perspective
Main question and sub-questions– this section will provide details on the main area of fouc for thsis tdy with regard to the European luxury fashion industry. Tehsubquations will eb efocused on providning answers to te riginal question
Research methods– this section will provide a summary of the research apaches that the study will use in data collection analysis
Use a detailed literature review in understanding the relevance of social exchange theory with regard to online influencers and the European luxury fashion industry. The literature review process will provide details on the relevance of online fashion influencers from the social and scientific perspectives.
This section will provide details of how the multi-strategy approach will be used in the collection and analysis of data. This section will also provide techniques on the analytical and descriptive approaches in the realization of its objectives.
This section will provide detailed description of the findings of the data collected as factual as possible. The results will be presented through narratives and graphics such as charts, and graphs
This section will provide answers to the sub-questions and the main question with the objective of relating the outcomes to the contemporary European luxury fashion industry
This section will provide recommendation s for the European luxury fashion industry based on the findings.
The section will also provide recommendations for future research for the development of the European luxury fashion industry
This section will provide details on areas of limitation with regard to the scope of the study and data collection approaches.
This section will include all the charts and graphic models used in the thesis.
Social exchange theory and the use of online influencers in luxury fashion
According to Evans (2014), social exchange theory is a sociological school of thought that explores the relationship between different individuals and groups using a cost benefit framework. In the process of accessing the nature of relationships established between different entities in the society, social exchange theory provides a platform of comparing the alternatives essential in explaining how human beings develop relationships as the process of forming communities through communication exchanges (Evans, 2014). According to the school of thought individuals in any social context often engage in behavior that they find rewarding while avoiding behavior that is too costly. This is an indication that all elements of social behavior are based on the subjective assessment of an actor relative to the cost implications. When considering the communication and interaction platform to embrace, social exchange theory asserts that individuals often focused on social rewards, which include opportunity, conformity, acceptance, or prestige (Cox et al, 2009).
The decision by a company in the luxury fashion industry to invest in advertising through the services of online influencers can therefore be explained in terms of the desire to motivate existing and potential customers. This helps in the development of behavior that is most beneficial for the wellbeing of the company in terms of sales and generation of profits (Friedman et al 2011). The audience may consider purchasing a product from a luxury fashion company that uses online influencers in situations where the advertising message convinces the customer in terms of the expected benefits (Hallam, 2013).
Customer behavior from this perspective is an element of social behavior characterized by the exchange of material and non-material goods such as prestige, approval, or conformity (Sedeke and Arora, 2013). This is a process of influence where an entity such as a company in the luxury fashion industry, gives information and offers to the family of customers with the expectation that they will gain in terms of profits. The decision by the customer following the influence is based on the desire to gain materially or immaterially from the company (Dickinson, 2014). For an entity in an exchange, what it gives may be costly to him, just as what he gets may be rewarding. From this theoretical approach, the decision by individual to engage in social exchange is often based on an expected gain and level of influence over others, direct reward, and an anticipated reciprocity on the part of other individuals (Sedeke and Arora, 2013).
Kietzmann et al (2011) argue that since the arrival of online influencers in the market about a decade ago, they have gained reputation and influence which has enabled their growth as leaders in the advertising and luxury fashion industry. As the online influencers gained audience, different luxury fashion brands began developing partnerships with them with the objective of promoting their events, advertising campaigns and other marketing efforts. The decision by companies to collaborate with online influencers such as bloggers in the promotion of their products and events is based on the understanding that these entities have a large following within the social networking sites capable of rivaling magazines. This helps in the creation of opportunities for luxury fashion brands to reach a large population of audience in different parts of the world using digital communication platforms (Halvorsen et al, 2013).
The relevance and popularity of online influencers such as blogger is based on their newly gained celebrity status that makes them essential elites with regard to the promotion of luxury fashion products (Halvorsen et al., 2013). Celebrity status is considered an essential asset because such online influencers have the ability of manipulating consumer purchasing decisions hence boosting the brand image and the sales of the companies that partner with such celebrities (Halvorsen et al., 2013). By gaining celebrity status, it becomes possible for companies in the luxury fashion industry to incorporate them as brand ambassadors whose opinion about products or events is considered influential in the decisions of customers (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010).
The power of online influencers in the luxury fashion industry
According to McKelvey and Munslow (2008), in early 2000, online influencers made their debut in the luxury fashion industry as important advertising and marketing agents. Prior to their entry into the market, the fashion industry was limited to journalists, retailers and labels that needed to develop their career and position in the fashion world over time (Sedeke and Arora, 2013). In the traditional world, players were careful in their marketing efforts because they dependent on the development of a mutually beneficial relationship with the customers. Online influencers however, played by their own rules of engagement considering that they had power over their audience hence they had very little to lose. Their power was based on their ability to convince more consumers to listen to them hence making it important for luxury fashion brands to accept them into their businesses, seating them in the front row and inviting them into their shows and events (McKelvey and Munslow, 2008).
The essence of online influencers in the development of brand equity and dominance in the fashion market was based on the understanding that they were faces that consumers could related to. Brands used social influencers as models in their campaigns by making them do videos and voice records for co-design or product promotion (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010). In other situations, brands were expected to record videos on how the products of luxury fashion companies fit in their lives while there were some situations where brands such as Louis Vuitton invited online influencers to host their events (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010).
A company in the luxury fashion industry is considered successful when it has the ability of establishing an effective connection with its consumers. This is because the establishment of such a relationship ensures the development of brand and consumer loyalty. The role of online influencers is to facilitate the development of the relationship enabling the company to attract and retain more customers (Sedeke & Arora, 2013).
The European luxury fashion industry is currently experiencing exponential growth in terms of the proliferation of online influences into the industry. Celebrities, socialites, key opinion leaders and experts in the field of fashion, there is also an increase in band of bloggers who have takeover the unequivocal voice for the next generation (Saviolo & Marazza, 2013). The success of online influencers concerning advertising in the European luxury fashion industry is based on their social media well informed, critical opinions, purchasing power, and swathes of their followers on social networking sites (Chow, 2015). They are quickly introducing changes to advertisement with have succeeded in pushing marketers and brands into strategizing on how to communicate their message to their customers as a technique of improving on their market share, customer base and profit margins (Chow, 2015) . In addition, through shifts in their practice, marketers, and brands have been able to align their efforts with the demands of online influencers as a technique of ensuring g that their products are relevant to the targeted market (Gillin, 2009).
According to Bowen and Ozuem (2015), the growth and development of online influencers has resulted into the development of influencer companies whose responsbility is to create and cast influencer campaigns. This requires pooling of talents which includes beauty, men’s and lifestyle influencers, international fashion, photographers, starts on Instagram, Snapchat personalities, YouTube celebrities, musicians and creative directors among others (Aiello, 2014). Socialite, an influencer-casting agency, can exemplify the success of influencer companies in brand promotion in the luxury fashion industry. The company posted a 99.9% success rate as an assurance that it has the ability of attracting the right influencers for advertisement (Aiello, 2014). In addition, the company guarantees that all the marketing campaigns will realize the predicted results. This is based on expertise, skills, and the level of expertise that the company employs in every influencer program that it develops and oversees (Bowen & Ozuem, 2015).
Companies in the European luxury fashion industry have the responsbility of advertising through online influencers, because the new generation of customers neither trusts traditional methods of advertising or traditional celebrities (Bowen & Ozuem, 2015). The loss of truth can be attributed to too much glamour, unattainable promises that seem to be coming from an inauthentic individual (Schaefer, 2012). In addition, loss in faith can also be attributed to the realization that some of the traditional celebrities were paid endorsers trying to convince the new generation of consumers to spend money on products. In other situations, perfectly photo-shopped adverts often feature impossible to achieve standards of beauty (Schaefer, 2012).
The use of online influencers such as lifestyle bloggers, YouTube celebrities and stars on Instagram facilitate the development of relevant marketing strategies because most of the largest group of spenders for luxurious fashion products are found on social networking sites (Nahai & Pearson, 2012). Lifestyle bloggers are considered as one of the most influential group in online fashion industry because they provide the consumers with timely and relevant information on the products available in the market. In addition, they also provide information on negative aspects about a fashion products leading to the development of an informed group of consumers (Ayanso & Lertwachara, 2014). For luxury fashion brands, influencers present a unique opportunity of marketing their brand image while cutting through the noise in the social networking sites using curated and engaging content (Chow, 2015). This plays the role of fueling the luxury dream, which is critical for continued survival of the brand. The internet, which tis the platform of interaction between online influencers and the consumers provides an opportunity for European luxury fashion industry to create and maintain the dream value of their brands through the creation of content relevant to the consumer (Ayanso & Lertwachara, 2014).
According to (Kapferer & Bastien, 2012), online influencers hold the key to persuading an ever increasing set of consumers, the, millennials and acceleration the path towards purchase of fashion products. According to the 2014 research by Forbes magazine, 1% of the interviewed millennials asserted that a compelling advertisement would make them develop high trust levels for a brand, 33% said that they were heavily dependent on blogs for information and making purchases of luxury fashion products (Vecchi & Buckley, 2016). In this research, less than 3% preferred television, books, and magazines as their source of information on making purchases for luxurious fashion products (Vecchi & Buckley, 2016).
Saviolo and Marazza (2013) assert that older generations are largely dependent on traditional modes of advertisements while the millennial generation seeks the services of social media for an authentic understanding of the luxury fashion industry drama global perspective. Much of the information they receive about the fashion industry is often derived from friends within the social networking suites whom they trust. This is an indication that brands that have the ability of successfully leveraging online influencers have a high probability of establishing a positive connection with millennials and their path to purchase (Saviolo & Marazza, 2013). This is because in the European luxury fashion industry, millennials are considered as the largest purchasers of branded and original content (Stuard, 2010). Through online influencers, it makes it possible for these groups of consumers to not only post their own content and perceptions about a brand but also increases the probability that they will be included by the content posted by others. Their peers using user-generated content than branded content base incorporating online influencers into advertisements on the understanding that the millennial population is more likely to trust the postings. This is enhanced by encouraging more user participation as a marketing technique (Stuard, 2010).
In the European luxury fashion industry, there are brands whose products are highly priced hence representing a more significant investment while attracting scrutiny among target customers before purchase. Such brands have the ability of enhancing their sales through online influencers by attracting the high-end markets populated by elites of the fashion world (Saviolo and Marazza, 2013).
The understanding of these factors in relation to the prevailing market conditions made several companies in the European luxury fashion industry to develop polies that allow joining of forces with online influencers as a way of boosting their brand and engaging the millennial consumers (Saviolo & Marazza, 2013). For instance, in an attempt to stretch its social media popularity, one of the Italian luxury fashion houses, Ermenegildo Zegna entered into a promotional deal with renowned street style blogger, Scott Schuman. The blogger was to shoot looks from the company’s spring 2014 culture collection, which was part of the latest stock opening of the brand (Hoffmann & Coste-Manière, 2015). This was considered as an endorsement of more than just a brand because through the promotion of the initiative of Schuman’s blog. It became easier for the company to attract more customers while at the same time it provided an opportunity for the introduction of menswear brands to the fashion followers who were previously unaware of the existence of the menswear label (Hoffmann & Coste-Manière, 2015).
Another Italian luxury fashion brand, Swarovski, collaborated with four international fashion bloggers as a technique of expanding its global presence and growing its global appeal (Oatway, 2014). The partnership dubbed #SwarovskiLook initiative was inclusive of tutoralized videos developed brand produced by the fashion bloggers, user- generated content on Instagram, and a contest, which was conducted in a period of four weeks with each week assigned to be curated by an individual fashion blogger (Oatway, 2014).
Another European luxury fashion brand Harrods, collaborated with eight fashions taste marketers for a photo shoot in London. This was considered part of the company’s first Digital Fashion Summit. The marketing strategy was facilitated by the development of top five list of must have spring items from Harrods. In June 2015, Hugo Boss, a German fashion label launched its latest eyewear designs through the #MastertheLight initiative. This was facilitated by collaboration with fashion bloggers (Chow, 2015).
According to (Chow, 2015), the success of online influencers in marketing can be associated with the emotional connection they develop with the target consumers. In the contemporary digital society, people relate to influencers more than any other entity in advertising. The initial impulse that facilitates the development of this connection is that if an influencer looks beautiful in a dress then it is possible for the social media users to look amazing (Fahy & Jobber, 2015). The use of influencer can also be perceived as a technique of including a luxury fashion brand into a selected lifestyle and making the consumer to purchase the brand and play a role in the entire brand sphere (Fromm & Garton, 2013).
While the trend of leveraging online influencers is experiencing an expositional growth, prior to adequate sensitization, the luxury fashion industry was relatively slower in the adoption of this approach to marketing (Fahy & Jobber, 2015). Initially the luxury brand market was characterized by a shift from traditional marketing approaches to digital. There was however low levels of trust by luxury brands on the relevance of the digital platform in marketing especially bloggers (Jenkins et al., 2013). This is because most of the target customers were accustomed to print media, which was verified and controlled. In the contemporary society, the technical abilities characterized by technological improvements and availability of the internet supports a high quality online presence (Jenkins et al., 2013). Part of the reason for relatively slow growth in the ability of luxury fashion brands to engage in influencer leveraging can be attributed to the difficulty in choosing the right influencer and the development of the best strategy for collaboration (Fahy & Jobber, 2015). This was based on the understanding choosing a wrong influencer has the possibility of weakening the brand and damaging its reputation in the market. This makes the process of integrating influencers into the advertising process a two way conversation characterized by the development of questions that luxury brands must ask themselves before launching such an initiative (Kotler & Armstrong, 2015). These will involve questions such as what is our ambition. What does that influencer intend to create? Through these questions, a brand will develop a technique of aligning company objectives with the objectives of the influencers to ensure that they are working towards the realization of a common goal (Khanna et al., 2010). One technique would be to ensure that the brand in question is at the center of culture. An indispensable advantage of working with online influencers is that the brand creates its own culture, which is essential in making it relevant to the target customers. The role of the influencer is to promote the culture of the brand as developed by the company (Fahy & Jobber, 2015).
The main objective of social exchange theory is to provide a platform of comparing the alternatives essential in explaining how human beings develop relationships as the process of forming communities through communication exchanges (Evans, 2014). From this perspective, whatever the choice of the type of online influencers that a company chooses, it has to operate on the certainty that online influencers provide the best alternative of tapping into the rising generation of affluence and a tool that luxury brands in the European fashion industry must leverage (Chow, 2015). Social exchange theory emphasizes on communication between people. This makes it important for a company in the European luxury fashion industry to choose on the best communication strategy that it can use in the promotion of its brand. Operating as a brand without a visible staff, influencers, models, or designers is considered a failed brand since it has nothing to relate to (Chow, 2015).
This section will involve an in-depth and methodical analysis of the techniques applied in the study. This comprises a critical analysis of the approaches and values associated with the process of data collection and analysis. Through research methodology, the study will provide a platform through which varieties of approaches will be integrated in a coherent and consistent method to verify that the research questions are addressed effectively. The topic of this study was significant in the determination of the method that will be used in data collection and analysis
3.2 Research Philosophy
The study embraced the epistemological interpretivist approach considering the results will be based on the relationship between online influencers and the profit margins of brands in the European luxury fashion industry. An essential objective of this study was the recognition and differentiation of various variables in relation to their relationship with the role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion industry,
3.3 Research Approach
The study will use both adductive approaches in the collection, analysis interpretation of data. This approach incorporates both deductive and inductive approaches. Through this approach it will be easier to data examine phenomenon and identify themes, describe configurations, and develop ways of adaptation of prevailing theory..
3.4 Research Strategy
The study will embrace multi-strategy approach. This strategy combines both qualitative and the quantitative research approaches. Through the adductive method and the multi-strategy approach, it will be possible to formulate research questions before the data collection process. The multi-strategy approach makes it possible for the study to express the essential and defining concepts in the form of distinctive variables. Furthermore, it facilitates data quantification and data analysis for elaboration through tables, charts, and statistics. Through this approach it will be easier to develop generalizations on the relationship between online influencers and the growth of the European luxury fashion industry..
3.5 Research Design
The analytical research design was used in the development of summaries and organization of operative data. Through the analytical research design the study was able to advance assessments essential in data collecting from the sample. This was the only way of determining different the contributory role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion market.
3.6 Data Sources and Collection Methods
The study will collect primary data as stipulated in table1below. This will be through an structured researcher-administered questionnaire. The questions in the questionnaire were predetermined as a technique of ensuring dependability and coherence when collecting data. The design of the questions was to ensure that data collected was valid in relation to the main question of the study.
Table 1: Data Sources and Collection Methods
Researcher administered questionnaire
- Randomly selected Dutch fashion influencers
To measure their understanding of the role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion market
3.6.1 Study Sample and Sampling Techniques
The target population for this research was the randomly selected Dutch fashion influencers. Their role was to provide their understanding of the role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion industry. The study embraced purposive sampling technique in developing the sample population. Through purposive sampling was operational in identifying the specific Dutch online influencers since they possess crucial knowledge on the existing scientific explanations on the role of online influencers in the European luxury fashion industry.
3.7 Data Analysis Techniques
Data will be assessed for completion and the level of precision in recording responses. Data analysis ensures the reduction and editing of accrued data to an appropriate size through developing summaries, identifying configurations and statistical techniques. Descriptive statistics will be used in the analysis of data collected. Frequency tables, charts and column graphs will characterize this process. Frequency tables offer a platform of data quantification in the form of the numbers and percentages while graphs assess frequency distribution.
3.8 Research Ethics
Prior to commencing the research process, it was necessary to acquire a letter of authorization from the Dutch government. This was preceded by explaining to the government the objectives of the research in relation to the society.
The researcher, using consent forms, the rescuer explained to the respondents the expectations of the study and their rights throughout the interview process. This was aimed at acquiring their consent to participate in the study.
In ethics test of thesis study the researcher recorded 100%.
3.9 Research Limitation
The study sampled Dutch online influencers for the interviews; this cannot be said to be representative of the entire European luxury fashion industry considering that there are different prevailing conditions in countries that determine market forces.
There is a likelihood that the questions in the questionnaire were biased towards a definite approach, hence, limiting the objectivity of the study.
Figure 1: The association existing between the research question, research objectives, and the questionnaire
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