The impact of Celebrity Endorsement vs. Online Customer Review on purchase intention:
A study of millennial consumers in the Fashion Clothing Industry in Western Province of Sri Lanka
2.1 Background to the study
2.1.1 An overview of fashion industry
“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” Coco Chanel
According to International Fashion Editor – Cynthia Durcanin, fashion is a state of mind. A spirit, an extension of one’s self. Fashion talks, it can be an understated whisper, a high-energy scream or an all knowing wink and a smile. Most of all fashion is about being comfortable with yourself, translating self-esteem into a personal style.
Fashion is a means of self-expression that allows people to try on many roles in life. Whether you prefer hip-hop or Chanel-chic, fashion accommodates the chameleon in all of us. It is a way of celebrating the diversity and variety of the world in which all of us live. Fashion is about change which is necessary to keep life interesting. It’s also a mirror of sorts on society. It is a way of measuring a mood that can be useful in many aspects, culturally, socially even psychologically. At the same time, fashion should not be taken too seriously or you lose the fun of it.
One certain aspect in the fashion world is change. The society is constantly being bombarded with new fashion ideas from music, videos, books, and television and has influenced what they wear but so have political figures and royalty. Movies too have a big impact on what people wear. Ray-Ban sold more sunglasses after the movie Men in Black. Sometimes a trend is world-wide. Back in the 1950s, teenagers everywhere dressed like Elvis Presley.
Fashion is a language which tells a story about the person who wears it. “Clothes create a wordless means of communication that we all understand,” according to Katherine Hamnett, a top British fashion designer. Hamnett became popular when her t-shirts with large messages like “Choose Life” were worn by several rock bands.
Fashion is a billion-dollar industry employing millions of people around the world, and affects almost all consumers in society today more than ever before as our economy continues to thrive. Salmon and Rabolt (2004) explain that fashion means a style that is adopted by a big group of people in a certain period of time. It requires acceptance from people and results in profit for the industry.
An agile manufacturing process and flexibility are two things that the fashion industry must have well defined, especially in the new era of the fourth industrial revolution. Fashion is a lot more than a designer´s idea or the apparel industry itself, “fashion is a reflection of the social, political, economic, and artistic forces of any given time” (Frings, 2005, p.6).
This means that besides being economically important, fashion also is important to explain and translate society and culture.
2.1.2 Fashion industry in Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has a long history that supports sustainable fashion. With its award-winning fashion manufacturing industry, that pioneered green factories and campaigned under ‘Garments without guilt’ free of child labor and adverse working conditions, Sri Lanka is now poised to become part of the Fashion Revolution Day with its newest fashion industry sector; this is design. Some of the most famous Sri Lankan fashion brands are Arugam – Bay, Avirate, Buddhi Batiks, G Flock, Kelly Felder and Jezza. With the gradual removal of trade barriers on a global scale and growth of the Internet, the fashion industry has become a global business. As a result global fashion brands such as H&M, Zara, Mango, Splash, Super dry, Polo and Levis have made entered Sri Lanka which has given consumers especially the ‘millennial’ with the opportunity of choosing what they prefer. Beside the global character of the contemporary fashion market Okonkwo (2007) points out the technological innovations as one of the key components, shaping the nature of this industry, and claims that Information Communication technology (ICT) has transformed the landscape, altering customer behavior, business conduct and fashion management.
The arrival of the smartphone obviously changed business as we know it, with people shopping, purchasing and reviewing items on the go. Fashion retailers had to think of new and innovative ways to appeal to these mobile customers, and so virtual showrooms, real-time customer service and virtual payments were invented. Today, two of three Millennials prefer to shop online rather than go to a physical store.
2.1.3 Fashion Marketing
As per Kristina Sedeke (2012), fashion marketing can be clarified as a management process concerned with anticipating, identifying and satisfying actual customer needs in order to meet the long-term goals of an organization, and continuously building or maintaining strong corporate image characterizing the brand in the market. In order to reach those goals fashion marketing uses common techniques of advertising and market research with the addition of the tools specialized for fashion industry such as product development, branding, pricing or forecasting (Easey, 2002).
Originally celebrity endorsements were used by companies to grab the attention of their target audience. Kotler (2006) defines celebrity endorsements in very simple terms; ‘a particular strategy used by marketers to advertise a product from such a platform through which consumers can associate themselves with the brand value from the perspective of the celebrity personnel’. In India a celebrity idolizes in the mind of the consumer so large that any activity can be capitalized on their huge fan followers (Erdogan, 1999).
Therefore, the huge and binding relationship between celebrity endorsement and consumer behavior cannot be ignored or undermined in a competing business environment. Using well-known and admired people to promote products is a widespread phenomenon with a long marketing history (McCracken, 1989). The rationale behind these strategies is that a famous person can draw attention to a brand and shape the perceptions of the brand by virtue of the inferences that consumers make based on the knowledge they have about the famous person (Goldsmith et al, 2006)
Consequently, in choosing a celebrity endorser, it is important for the celebrity to be well enough known that the awareness, image, and responses for the brand may be improved (Goldsmith et al, 2006) In particular, a celebrity endorser should have a high level of visibility and a rich set of potentially useful associations, judgments, and feelings. Ideally, a celebrity endorser would be seen as credible in terms of expertise, trustworthiness, and likeability or attractiveness, as well as having specific associations that carry potential product relevance (Goldsmith et al, 2006).
Word of Mouth is recognized as a medium of communication and can be encouraged through different publicity activities set up by companies.
Offline WOM marketing is dispensed through opinion leaders, “individuals who exert an unequal amount of influence on the decisions of others … those individuals from whom others seek advice and information” (Rogers & Cartano, 1962, p. 435). Organizations use word-of-mouth (WOM) marketing online in order to communicate with potential consumers and to attract the audience’s attention through interaction and engagement. The information provided by an opinion leader is considered by audiences to be more trustworthy than mass advertising (Stern ; Gould, 1988) making them more valuable to consumers when making purchasing decisions. This phenomenon continues onto the internet and social media.
Guzelis (2010) expands Okonkwo´s (2007) argument with the claim that because of the nature of the Web 2.0, tools such as social media and fashion blogs have changed the information flow among the fashion industry – fashion trends and news are no longer passively received, they are rather being commented, discussed, exchanged, and ultimately even recreated.
Fashion blogs is something that is upcoming in Sri Lanka. Few of them can be recognized as _abloggerslifestyle, a fashion designer with more than 12k followers on Instagram, queen_bae_1926 with almost 26 k followers on Instagram.
Figure 1: Fashion Bloggers
2.1.4 Millennial consumer behavior
Millennial, also known as Generation Y are the generational demographic cohort following Generation X and proceeding Generation Z. There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; demographers and researches typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid – 1990s to early 2000s as ending birth years. Even though their characteristics differ from region to region, depending on economic and social conditions, the generations are generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media and digital technologies.
There is an entire generation who only know a world with social media and what happens in the virtual world has real life consequences in the real one. Over a third of Millennial women say social media is one of the top influencers when making clothing purchases. The influence of social media has also changed how fashion models are chosen, with Kendall Jenner the perfect example. Rather than her looks or talent, she became the face of Estée Lauder because of her 25 million followers on Twitter and an astonishing 95 million on Instagram. Fashion businesses realized how important social media was and jumped on the bandwagon.
2.2 Research problem
Advertising is one of the main modes of communication to create awareness and stimulate demand for any product category (Belch and Belch, 2013). Today, advertising plays a crucial role in the fashion industry as it becomes vital for companies to use all tracts and tools to pursue customers towards their offering by using different type of advertising campaigns (Ohanian 1991). One such way could be the use of celebrities as a communication source. Erdogan (1999) concludes that celebrities are those people who have well known by the large number of people. They have special uniqueness and features like magnetism, unusual standard of living or special skills that are nor commonly experiential in common people.
The ‘Celebrity endorsements’ have long been used and considered as one of the most popular advertising strategies and recognized as ”ubiquitous feature of modern day marketing” (Biswas, Hussain, ; O’Donnell, 2009; White, 2004). Advertisers often employ celebrities to endorse a product to enhance audience attentiveness, add glamour and desirability to the product, and make the advertisement more memorable and credible (Spielman, 1981). The purpose is to promote a brand through the appearance of a well known personality in order to create relationship between this celebrity and the brand.
At the beginning, the celebrity endorsement was used in the luxury campaign, because each luxury brand wanted to differentiate from the competitors and bring value to their brand. Today a lot of brand such as H&M use those celebrities to attract customer. In the case of H&M, the brand is known as a cheap and manufactured clothes brand. By using celebrity endorsement, the brand tries to enhance its image toward customer. The choice of the celebrity is really important because customers will associate the brand with the celebrity who works for it.
1619885106489500For example, David Beckham’s Celebrity Endorsement of H;M. Uber athlete David Beckham has enjoyed a long relationship with Swedish Retailer H;M where he adds his chiseled physique and cheeky style to clothing lines designed for casual sophistication.
Photo credit 1: https://www.telegraph.co.uk
Celebrities, however, are expensive because of their celebrity status and risky because of their potential for gaining negative publicity as the company that chooses to use celebrity has no control over the celebrity’s future behavior. According to Miciak and Shanklin (1994), celebrity endorsement can be a double-edged promotional sword. Recent research has looked at negative events surrounding celebrity endorsers and the consequences of those events (Louie, Kulik, & Johnson, 2001; Louie & Obermiller, 2002; Money, Terence, & Sakano, 2006; Till & Shimp, 1998). Any negative news about a celebrity may reduce the celebrity’s allure and therefore the appeal of the brand the celebrity has endorsed (ibid). One good example is H;M and Kate Moss, that had an endorsement contact but after Daily Mirror printed photos of the British supermodel snorting cocaine in 2005, Fashion lines including Burberry and Chanel all decided to drop or refuse to renew their contracts with Moss, costing the model millions of dollars.
Seller-created advertisements with or without celebrity endorsements can provide information that is objective, presented in a standard form, and focused on product’s attributes and advantages. Wider information of a product is possible through advertisement. Any change in quality or price can be made known by the manufacturers to the customers as and when it is necessary in a quick manner. Through advertising, a company can tactfully hold up the existing market while taking the decision whether to expand the market share or not.
These days, the internet has significantly changed the sources of information delivery and as a result, sellers no longer control the dissemination of product information. An additional marketing communication mix element; ‘digital marketing’ has been on the rise and social media is one aspect of it. There are three main platforms for social media: Online Communities and Forums, Blogs and Social Networks. Online reviews are generated through platforms like blogs and social networks such as Instagram, twitter, Facebook as customers/bloggers that purchase the product share their views and experiences with regards to the good purchased, making consumers aware and also help take the right purchase decision.
An additional marketing communication mix element; ‘digital marketing’ has been on the rise and social media is one aspect of it. There are three main platforms for social media: Online Communities and Forums, Blogs and Social Networks
In the internet generation, in addition to celebrity endorsement, the importance of online customer reviews on consumers’ purchasing behavior should be noted as well. An ‘online customer review’ is defined as a type of product information and evaluation created by users on the basis of their own experiences. The review information is posted on either the websites of the online stores or on third party websites (Chen ; Xie, 2004; Mudambi ; Schuff, 2010). As cited in Sondakh et al; (2016) it is considered as a new form of recommender (Chatterjee, 2001). According to Mudambi and Schuff (2010), online reviews can be defined as peer-generated product evaluations posted on an online retailer’s or a third party’s website. As a result, how online reviews affect consumers’ decision-making has become an increasing crucial research topic (Dellarocas, Zhang, & Awad, 2007; Mudambi & Schuff, 2010).
Figure 2: H&M Online Customer Review
Consumers are digitally empowered and becoming increasingly savvy in their purchasing (Hinshaw, 2012). Likewise, businesses have the ability to operate in a smarter and better informed manner than ever before due to technology (Hinshaw, 2012). With digital empowerment on both sides of the coin, the consumer-seller relationship is continually changing. According to Hinshaw (2012), “This power has also radically changed customer expectations, driving demand for better, more innovative and personalized products, services and experiences.” When shopping online or in brick and mortar stores consumers seek experiences that are tailored to their unique wants and needs. Creating a superior customer experience is a central goal in today’s retailing environments (Verhoef, Lemon, Parasuraman, Roggeveen, Tsiros, ; Schlesinger, 2009). Retailers around the globe are embracing the concept of customer experience and incorporating it into their mission statements (Verhoef et al., 2009).
Corporate fashion brands have discovered that ‘blogs’ are a new marketing power and vehicle in which to extend the customer experience (Hsu ; Tsou, 2011). A ‘blog’ is a type of website, consisting of entries or posts arranged in a chronological order, providing short paragraphs of text with eventual links to other websites, included photos, video, or audio content” (Yang, 2006).
Blogs are effective for searching for information, sharing diaries, completing business deals, and allowing consumers to collectively comment on issues regarding products and services. Firms can learn much through direct interaction with customers on a blogs space (Wright & Hinson, 2008). This has compelled online service providers to designate employees to monitor the blogosphere for what is being written about their services and products (Lululemon, 2014). According to Rosenbloom (2004), companies aggressively exploit blogs to build or maintain relationships with customers because blogs have become a “new form of mainstream communication” and these popular blogs lead to the creation of influential opinion leaders.
The evolution of social media has directed communication experts to a new type of opinion leader called the ‘social media influencer (SMI)’. SMIs are online opinion leaders who use existing social media platforms, such as Instagram, to share posts with their followers about their personal information, products and services that they have used or tried (Freberg, Graham, McGaughey, & Freber, 2011). These third-party endorsers influence audience attitudes through blogs, tweets, and other social media platforms (Freberg et al., 2011).
H&M’s new brand targeted at millennial, Nyden, used Instagram influencers and tools on the platform, such as the photo-sharing app’s polling feature, to come up with the designs for its latest collection, according to a report in Business Insider. Nine influencers worked on the collection, including Alyssa Coscarelli, Refinery 29’s senior editor, and Blonde Collective founder Ashley Guyatt. They used Instagram Stories’ polling to gauge their followers’ preferences for certain designs, such as different patterns or using zippers versus buttons, per Business Insider. The polls attracted more than 425,000 viewers over two weeks and brought in more than 35,000 votes. Nyden plans to use the data to inform the design of two dresses. H&M launched Nyden in April to focus on collaboration with emerging artists, designers and influences.
The above discussion shows that marketing communications environment is changing and therefore marketers should take these changes in to consideration when choosing the communication source and allocating their marketing communications budget to get maximum exposure in a cost effective way. Therefore, fashion marketers should identify which sources of communication, celebrity endorsements or online customer reviews (through blogs, virtual communities and social networking sites) are more relevant in communicating with millennial consumer. Thus this study aims to address the question;
‘Which source of communication, celebrity endorsement or online customer review has the greatest influence on the purchase intention of millennial consumer in the fashion clothing industry?
2.3 Evidence to support the existence of the problem
2.3.1 Fashion retailers’ point of view
The resources are scarce and fashion retailers need to understand the sources of information used by Millennial for making purchase decisions in order to allocate the marketing communications budget more efficiently and effectively to get maximum exposure in a most cost effective way
Similarly, competition is high and if fashion retailers are to be successful in communicating with their customers they need to understand the sources of communication of their target market.
2.3.2 Customer point of view
The millennial consumer is one of the most important target markets for fashion industry. The extensive use of technology by this segment makes them distinctive than others. The millennial consumer is liberal, open minded, highly dynamic individuals and constantly changes their habit of buying products and does the same with their product preferences (Pew Research Center, 2010). However, the capricious nature of millennial creates a challenge for the firms across the world. Millennial have a special connection to their brands as they prefer to buy certain brands that will suit their life style, personality etc. In the books Lovemarks by Robert Kevin (2006) marketers tap this generation of consumers because they have the highest buying power and they create an emotional bonding with the product. The theory further explains that consumers are driven by emotions and not by reason, hence when an emotional bond is created with a particular product there is greater chance of the consumer being faithful for that product. Therefore, this study is vital for fashion retailers to understand the preferred sources of information of this segment.
2.3.3 Previous research point of view
Many studies have examined celebrity, expert, and typical consumer endorsements (Freiden, 1984; Seno & Lukas, 2007). Though there are numerous studies done overseas and studies on this subject is scarce in Sri Lanka and therefore this study is vital.
2.4 Research Objectives
The aim of this study is to identify which source of communication whether ‘celebrity endorsement’ or ‘online customer review’ has the power to influence the purchase intention of Millennial in the fashion clothing industry. The specific objectives addressed in the study are as follows;
To assess the influence of ‘Celebrity Endorsement’ and ‘Online Customer Review’ on the purchase intention of Millennial in the fashion clothing industry in Western Province of Sri Lanka simultaneously
To assess the influence of ‘Celebrity Endorsement’ on the purchase intention of Millennial in the fashion clothing industry in Western Province of Sri Lanka partially
To assess the influence of ‘Online Customer Review’ on the purchase intention of Millennial in the fashion clothing industry in Western Province of Sri Lanka partially
To provide recommendations to fashion retailers in developing their marketing communication strategy for Millennial.
2.5 Significance of the Research
The significance of the research is really important to show that the study will generate new insights to the marketers and the practitioners. With regards to the past research conducted on this subject, it is evident that a significant gap exists in the amount of research done on the subject matter in the Sri Lankan context.
2.5.1 Academic Significance
Celebrity Endorsement is a widely discussed concept among the academics. A large number of researches have been done on the topic celebrity endorsement (Amos, Holmes & Strutton, 2008; Erdogan, 1999). However, researches done on the impact of celebrity endorsement vs. online customer review on purchase intention of Millennial are scarce.
This study will add value to existing literature on social media and its different functions. To make this more specific the main focus lies on celebrity-endorsement vs. online customer review in regard to purchase intention of Millennial with focus on the fashion clothing industry. There already exists literature which describes the power of social media, celebrity endorsement and online customer reviews, however, there are no studies which identify the relationship between the aforementioned elements and the influence on the customers’ purchase intention. The findings of this study would also be useful to future researches of this topic as it is scarce.
The literature review will also provide an extensive understanding on how other scholars have contributed to the knowledge base, while the problem justification will show the impact of the chosen variables in the Sri Lankan context. The research would also allow and help future research that would take place in similar circumstances and industries.
2.5.2 Practical Significance
The findings will provide insights to fashion retailers as to which sources are more influential to communicate with millennial consumer. Accordingly they could develop communication strategies and allocate communication budget in an efficient manner.
2.6 Scope of research
The scope of the study will focus on the following;
Millennial (18 – 38 years) who reside in the the Western Province of Sri Lanka have been selected for this study
The sample of the study will be restricted to 300 responses, both male and female due to time and resource constraints faced by the researcher
The study focuses on quantitative aspects and information has been gathered through the form of a questionnaire
This study focuses on a selected number of fashion brands in the fashion clothing industry?
This chapter focuses on understanding the concept of Celebrity endorsement and Online reviews in reference to previously established literature and empirical research carried out by various authors and scholars to provide a variety of perspectives and a comprehensive literature review for this study. Moreover, theoretical underpinning has been carried out followed by a critical analysis of the constructs and their dimensions.
Marketing, Marketing mix and Related concepts
Marketing is the activity, set of institutions and processes for creating, communicating, delivering and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners and society at large American Marketing Association (2013)
3.1.2 Marketing Mix
“Marketing mix” is a framework for the tactical management of the customer relationship, including product, place price, and promotion (the 4–Ps); in the case of services three other elements to be taken in to account are process, people and physical evidence.
(Jobber and Ellis-Chadwick 2013, p.862)
“Philip Kotler (1960) defines a product as more than a tangible ‘thing’. A product meets the needs of a consumer and in addition to a tangible value this product also has an abstract value”. In addition, a product could also be identified as anything which can be offered to the market for attention, acquisition, use or consumption and that might satisfy a want or need.
`Price differs from the rest of the marketing mix, that the other mix elements involve expenditure, while price is concerned with the revenue. Simply price could be understood as the only factor that is directly affecting the revenue.
It’s critical to evaluate what the ideal locations are to convert potential clients into actual clients. Today, even in situations where the actual transaction doesn’t happen on the web, the initial place potential clients are engaged and converted is online.
Promotion or marketing communications (MC) are the means by which firms attempt to inform, persuade, and remind consumers – directly or indirectly – about the products and brands they sell (Kotler et al; 2018, p. 536)
Promotion mix’ or ‘marketing communication mix
In order to communicate with customers, marketers use various tools known as promotion mix’ or ‘marketing communication mix’. As cited in Kotler (2018), the ‘promotion mix’ or ‘marketing communication mix’ consists of eight major modes of communication as cited in Figure 1 below;
291145017429500The Promotional Mix
16383033401000969645498475Events & Experiences
00Events & Experiences
965835334010001764665503555Public Relations & Publicity
00Public Relations & Publicity
2561590334010004965700731520Direct & database
00Direct & database
4166235334010003365500391160Online & Social – Media
00Online & Social – Media
Figure 3: Promotion mix (Marketing communication mix)
Source: Developed by researcher
As cited in Figure 1 above, Advertising is one of the traditional elements of the marketing communication mix and it is defined as ‘any paid form of non- personal communication about an organization, product, service or idea by an identified sponsor’ (Belch and Belch 2013, p.21).
Advertising is the best known and most widely discussed form of promotion, may be due to its pervasiveness. There are several advertising mediums namely; print media (newspapers and magazines), broadcast media (radio and television), network media (telephone, cable, satellite, wireless), electronic media (audiotape, videotape, videodisk, CD-ROM, Web page) and display media (billboards, signs, posters).
According to Prister and Petty (2003), the goal of advertising is to present information to potential customers. This information, it is hoped, will result in customer adopting more favorable attitudes toward the advertised product or service. These attitudes, in return should result in a greater probability of the customer purchasing the advertised product or using the service than if customers had not been exposed to the advertisement (ibid.).
3.1.4 Promotional planning through Persuasion Matrix
One way of developing an effective advertising and promotional campaign is by using ‘Persuasion Matrix’ and it addresses the following promotional planning elements namely; Receiver/ Comprehension, Channel/ Presentation, Message /Yielding and Source /Attention (Belch and Belch , 2013).
Figure 4: Promotional planning elements
Source: www.slideserve.com/shawna/source-message-and-channel factors
184.108.40.206 Source /Attention
The Source /Attention planning element is of interest as this study is on source factors. This element addresses ‘who will be effective in getting consumers’ attention’? Marketers deal with this issue by using sources that can attract target audience’s attention – actors, athletes, attractive models, or attractive models
Source is a person involved in communicating a marketing message either directly or indirectly (Belch and Belch, 2013, p.219). A direct source is the spokesperson delivering the message and/or demonstrating a product or service e.g. Kumar Sangakkakra in Keels Super advertisement (Image credit 1). An indirect source is a model, does not actually deliver a message, but draws attention to and/or enhances the appearance of the ad. Some ads do not use either direct or indirect source; the organization is the source communicating the message.
Image credit 1: http://www.promopage.lk/keellssuper/
Herbert Kelmen developed three basic categories of source attributes namely, credibility, attractiveness, power, and these attributes are discussed in detail under ‘Source credibility model’ and ‘Source-attractiveness model’. The most credible source will score high on all three.
220.127.116.11 Use of celebrity as spokespeople
A ‘celebrity’ is someone who is famous, especially in areas of entertainment such as films, music, writing or sport (www.collinsdictionary.com)
Advertisers recognize the value of using celebrities who are admired such as Movie stars, athletes, musicians and other popular public figures. According to a content analysis study of advertising appearing in 38 different magazines found that the use of celebrities was one of the highest in fashion, sports and teen magazines while lowest in business publications. With regard to product category, the use of celebrities was highest for fashion/apparel and cosmetics. Below mentioned are few examples of famous celebrities and the brands they have endorsed.
Scarlett Johansson – Mango
Justin Beiber – Calvin Klein
David Beckham – H&M
Idris Elba – Superdry
Kamins et al (1989) refers to Atkins & Block (1983) and states that one way to reach the consumers with the information is to use celebrity endorsers and by this attract attention to their communication and to distinguish their product from competing products. In addition, celebrities are conventionally observed as being greatly active individuals with eye-catching and likeable traits.
The reason why companies should use celebrity endorsers according to Assael (1998) is that celebrities are effective endorsers because of their symbolic aspirational reference group association. Reference groups provide points of comparisons through which the consumer may evaluate attitudes and behavior. This makes the consumer symbolically aspire to identify with this group by purchasing the product recommended by the celebrity (ibid.). Erdogan (1999) refers to Atkins & Block (1983) who states that one reason why companies should choose celebrity endorsement is that celebrity endorsers are traditionally viewed as being highly dynamic, with both attractive and likeable qualities. In addition, their fame is thought to attract attention to the product or brand. According to Tellis (1998), one of the reasons for using celebrity endorsement depends on the characteristics of the audience. The use of celebrity is probably more effective in low – involvement conditions, such as buying cologne. When buying a product with high involvement conditions celebrity endorsement would not be that effective. When buying high involvement products, the customer often wants information about the product instead of famous people that endorse it (ibid.).
Celebrity endorsement is a good way to enter foreign markets, because celebrities with global popularity can help a company to reach out with a message over the whole world. This is because celebrities often have the same image over the whole world and by that they can help companies break through the barriers when it comes to cultural roadblocks such as time, space, language, relationships, power, risk, masculinity, femininity (Mooij 1994; Hofstede, 1984).
Madonna, Bill Cosby, Michael Jordan, these names have become symbols of the role of endorsers in advertising. Firms spend millions of dollars to sign up celebrities to endorse their products (Tellis, 1998). According to Erdogan (1999) this is not a recent phenomenon and goes way back in time to the late nineteenth century and these general promotional practices have revealed a large quantity of intellectual as well as realistic considerations. Mainly academic analysis of celebrity support encompasses the sphere of spokesperson credibility and charismatic representatives, and recommends that famous persons exercise their impact on customers through apparent traits (Ahmed 2012; Ohanian 1990, 1991).
According to Croft, Dean, Kitchen, (1996) referred by Erdogan (1999) the increasing competition for consumer consciousness and new product proliferation has encouraged marketers to use attention–using media stars to assist product marketing. Recent technological innovations within television have increased consumer power over programmed advertisements (ibid.). Celebrities have the potential to hold viewers’ attention and penetrate the clutter of brief and numerous advertising spots that compete for the audience attention. Dickenson (1996) adds that celebrities be chosen to endorse a new product since this strategy can pay huge dividends by giving products instant personality and appeal. This is because the use of a famous person makes it easier to reach consumers’ attention (ibid.). Erdogan (1999) continues to say that celebrities can be hired when positioning strategies has failed to reach interest from consumers. Hiring a celebrity endorser can give the product the new desired position on the market.
From a marketing communication perspective, it is important that companies design strategies to create competitive differential advantages for the company’s products or services. Marketing activities back up other elements in the marketing mix such as product design, branding, packaging, place and pricing in order to create positive awareness in the minds of the consumers. To achieve this, the use of celebrity endorsers is widely used as a marketing communication strategy (ibid.).
3.1.5 Online and social media marketing
The most dynamic and revolutionary changes have taken place over the past decade in the history of marketing, advertising as well as promotion. The dramatic growth of communication through online media especially the internet is a result of advanced technology developments
. Accordingly, ‘online and social media marketing has become a powerful element of marketing communication mix as cited in Figure 2.
The dramatic growth of communication through online media especially the internet is a result of advanced technology developments
18.104.22.168 Online marketing
Online marketing refers to online activities and programs designed to engage customers or prospects and directly or indirectly raise awareness, improve image, or elicit sales of products and services. (Kotelr 2018, p.539)
Online marketing communications allow for back and forth flow of information whereby users can participate in and modify the form and content of the information they receive in real time. Unlike traditional forms of marketing communications such as advertising which are one way in nature, the new media allow users to perform a variety of functions such as receive and alter information and images, make inquiries, respond to questions and of course make purchases. In addition to the internet, other forms of interactive media include kiosks, interactive television and mobile phones.
The growing popularity of mobile devices such as smartphones along with the decisions of carriers such as Sprint Nexel, Verizn Wireless and T mobile to open their mobile phone services to advertising and other forms of promotion has opened up a new way for marketing to connect with consumers.
22.214.171.124 Online marketing communications options
There is effectively a change in the ways people communicate and interact online with the internet an increasingly dynamic and social tool (Amaral, 2012). Several communication platforms cited under the umbrella of online marketing are namely;
Owned media: websites and microsites, search ads, display ads and email
Social Media: are a means for consumers to share text, images, audio, and video information with each other and with companies, and vice versa. Three main platforms for social media are;
(1) Online communities and forums
– Customer created: many are created by consumers or groups of consumers with no commercial interests or company affiliations
– Company sponsored: companies’ members communicate with the company and with each other through postings, text messaging, and chat discussions about special interests related to the company’s products and brands
(2) Blogs are regularly updated online journals or diaries, have become an important outlet for word of mouth (WOM). There are different categories of blogs namely;
– Personal blogs: for close friends and families
– Other blogs: reach and influence a vast audience
– Own blogs: corporations are creating their own blogs and carefully monitoring those of others
(3) Social Networks (SN) have become an important force in both B2C and B2B marketing.
The internet has experienced a variety of changes throughout the last years. Important factors, which have played a significant role during this development, are, among others, the increasing globalized world and the emergence of the Web 2.0., which enables the consumer to use social media platforms, such as Facebook or Twitter, on a frequent basis (Hanna, Rohm & Crittenden, 2011). With these developments and the newly available communication channels, people are spending a lot of time online in order to, for example, purchase new products, socialize with friends or gather information on products and services. Social networking and communicating has thus emerged as a global movement (Hutton & Fosdick, 2011). Users are highly interested in how they appear on social media platforms but are also paying a lot of attention to other users’ activity and their experiences. Applications and platforms that are used the most are, among others, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
126.96.36.199 Electronic word of mouth (eWOM)
Electronic word of mouth (eWOM) has become topic of constant interest for marketing scholars. Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, and Walsh (2004) defined eWOM as “phrases or comments (positive or negative) launched on the internet by potential, current, or old consumers on a product or company”. Some of the communication platforms cited under 188.8.131.52 above are facilitating eWOM.
Social media are one example of online word of mouth. ‘Viral marketing’ is a form of online word of mouth, or “word of mouse,” that encourages consumers to pass along company-developed products and services or audio, video, or written information to others. Social media platform enable users to “create, modify, share and discuss internet content” (Kietzman et al., 2011), is part of the Web 2.0 which thus shows that the Web 2.0 is the name for a world with different internet based applications (Laroche, Habibi & Richard, 2012). Laroche et al. (2012) analyzed those consumers spent 1/3 of their time online, which is a great amount and emphasizes the great importance of the World Wide Web in today’s world. Social media provides a wide range of new online information sources created, initiated, circulated and used by consumers. With this information, consumers can educate each other about products, brands and services.
The emergence of the Web 2.0, first introduced in 2004, makes it possible for online customers to share their opinions and experiences about goods and services with other users (Wei & Lu, 2012). The web is no longer a world in which only professionals post information and news, it became a personal world in which content created by every kind of person who has access to the World Wide Web (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). It thus works as a people’s mind, in which the interaction between several users is facilitated.
Such channels and online platforms are also used to share positive and negative experiences about a product or brand with other users, which leads to a significant growth of electronic Word of Mouth (Wang, Jiang, Guo, 2012), representing the most influential factor when it comes to online purchases (Wei & Lu, 2012).
To first make clear what actually stands behind user generated content (UGC), first used in 2005, the following definition is used: “User Generated Content can be seen as the sum of all ways in which people make use of Social Media” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010). Due to UGC a tribal community with different kind of people is developed (O’Brien, 2011). Consumers get the chance to learn something about a brand, product or service with the help of experiences shared by more than 10 million people online (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). This content is shared variously which is however publicly available. The most obvious character of UGC is the high level of creativity and the fact that it is created by an individual and not by professionals (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009). This shifts the consumer from a passive observer to a more active user, who not only buys products online but also shares its own experiences with a good or service (electronic word-of-mouth)
According to Kulmala (2011) and Gruen et al. (2006), eWOM holds influence over consumers and steadily gaining an increasing level of recognition as a relevant and reliable channel of communication to the consumer. The growth of eWOM has gained in relevance in conjunction with the proliferation of User Generated Content (UGC) created by individuals and disseminated immediately across various Internet platforms both easily and effectively (Christodoulides et al., 2012).
The internet offers many platforms where eWOM can take place, such as blogs, consumer product rating sites, and forums (Mangold & Faulds, 2009). These media have become an important factor in influencing consumer behavior including information seeking, opinion formation attitude formation, purchase behavior and evaluation. According to Chan and Misra (1990), consumers often regard eWOM communications as more valuable and credible than simple advertising messages as people who are more similar to themselves generate them .
Reviews published on different kinds of websites are created by other individuals users personally and not published by a professional institution.(Gaines-Ross, 2010). This makes the reviews more reliable and plays a huge role when choosing a brand. These reviews can be published on the website itself or on third party websites (Weo & Lu, 2012). The published reviews mostly include information and opinions of others, which leads to an advice for the costumer who is interested in the brand or product (Goldsmith, 2008).
Those comments and reviews educate other consumers about the product or service they are interested in. Recent studies have shown that 70% of global consumers trust other buyers’ reviews more than marketer-generated information (Vázquez, Munoz-García, Campanella, Poch, Fisas, Bel & Andreu, 2014).
The different reviews can be good or bad, which thus leads to positive or negative eWOM and since companies do not always have, the ability to control the comments by users it is all trustworthy (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2009). Based on a study by Wang et al. (2012), 82% of online reviews have a direct influence on purchasing decisions, which also states that not only one review is taken into account, but that people are influenced by a group of consumers. The former opinions about products are not shared between friends only anymore, those private conversations are now published online (Wang et al, 2012).
Customer reviews can be especially influential. As per Nielsen survey, online customer reviews were the second-most trusted source of brand information (after recommendations from friends and family)
“A Blog is a type of website, consisting of entries or posts arranged in a chronological order, providing short paragraphs of text with eventual links to other websites, included photos, video, or audio content” Yang (2006)
Dwyer, (2007) defined as a website on which one or more authors regularly initiate and engage in discussion on a theme of their choice. A blog is a website that can be compared to an online journal and one obvious appeal of blogs is that they bring together people with common interests. There are different categories of blogs namely; personal blogs for close friends and families, other blogs that reaches and influences a vast audience and ‘self-created’ company blogs.
In these online journals, bloggers share their opinions, information and knowledge about topics that hold their interest. Bloggers already have an audience that is interested in specific topics, so companies are sure that their message reaches their targeted niche market. Moreover, bloggers encourage interactions with consumers through comments and feedback, which can be just as important as the blog post itself. That is, blogs are a valuable tool for companies to have immediate access to comments and feedback of consumers on their products and services (Mendoza, 2010). Popular blogs are creating influential ‘opinion leaders’ such as TreeHugger site driving sustainability – team of bloggers tracks green consumer products. Herring et al. (2004) characterize the blogs as frequently modified and updated web pages in which their entrances follow a reverse chronological sequence. Furthermore, these authors also point to how these blogs enable commentaries on already published content as regards the topic under discussion, thereby enabling conversations between the authors and their readers as well as interactions among the readers themselves.
Of all active internet users, 77% reads blogs (Mendoza, 2010). The popularity of blogs are still recognized by companies. That is why they have started to use bloggers as endorsers in their campaigns (Grafingholt, 2015). Customers use blogs for numerous purposes; to examine product information and reviews contained in blogs, means of getting retribution for a company’s bad service or faulty products.
Web 2.0, tools such as social media and fashion blogs have changed the information flow among the fashion industry – fashion trends and news are no longer passively received, they are rather being commented, discussed, exchanged, and ultimately even recreated. Such an information flow where users are in an empowered position has a natural impact on the entire industry, which needs to learn how to operate in this new environment, and more over how to start profiting from its newly transformed character. It is assumed that in order to reach those goals the biggest adjustment would involve fashion public relations as it is the area directly relating with corporate communication and publicity (O’Brien, 2011).
Social Networks can be identified as the use of dedicated websites and applications to interact with other users, or to find people with similar interests to one’s own.
As per research by DDB brands and products vary widely in how social they are online. Consumers are most likely to engage with media, charities, and fashion and least likely to engage with consumer goods. Embracing social media, harnessing word of mouth, and creating buzz also require companies to take the good with the bad.
In summary, these platforms represent a means of online and social interaction in which the users unite in order to share information and opinions about the most diverse subjects (Kaye, 2005).
4. Theories and Theoretical Models underpinning the study
4.1 Macro Model of the communications process
Figure 5: Macro Model of the communications process
As shown in Figure 5, this model has evolved over the years. Two elements represent the major participants in the communication process, the sender and the receiver. Message and channel are the major communication tools whereas the major communication functions are encoding, decoding, response and feedback.
The source of a communication is the person or organization that has information to share with another person or group of people. The source may be an individual such as a salesperson or even a hired spokesperson – a celebrity, who appears in a company’s advertisements or a non- personal entity such as the organizational itself. Many companies use a spokesperson to appear in their ads and to deliver their advertising messages. The spokesperson can play a very important role in attracting attention to a company’s advertising such and delivering the message, as well as influencing how well it is received by the target audience.
Since the receiver’s perceptions of the source influence how the communication is received, Marketers must be careful to select a communicator the receiver believes is knowledgeable and trustworthy with whom the receiver can identify or relate in some manner.
For a sender to transfer a message, they must first translate the message into symbols for the receiver. This means taking thoughts, emotions and images and translating them into something the receiver can understand. The process of translating these messages into symbols is called encoding.
The encoding process leads to the development of a message that contains the information or meaning the source hopes to convey. Messages must be put into a transmittable form that is appropriate for the channel of communication being used. In advertising, what determines a product’s communication effectiveness is the impression the ad or image creates rather than the actual words of the message.
The channel is the method by which the communication travels from the source or sender to the receiver. Channels of communication can are of two types, namely personal and non-personal. Personal channels of communication are direct interpersonal (face to face) contact with target individuals or groups. Salespeople serve as personal channels of communication when they deliver their sales message to a potential customer. Social channels of communication such as friends, neighbors, associates, co-workers or family members are also personal channels. They often represent word of mouth communications, a powerful source of information for consumers.
Many marketers are focusing on creating viral buzz to spread the word about their brands by using online techniques such as email, text messaging, blogging and promoting them on social network sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube.
Once someone receives the message, it is time for the decoding process. Just like a sender must encode messages to communicate, receivers must sense and interpret the symbols to fully understand the message. They then decode the symbols back into images, emotions and thoughts to make sense of them.
The receiver is the person who receives the message.
4.2 Persuasion Matrix
Figure 6: Persuasion Matrix Source: https://www.slideshare.ne
Persuasion matrix helps marketers see how each controllable element interacts with consumer’s response process. Persuasion matrix has two variables namely;
(1) Independent variables – These are controllable components of the communications process and permit marketers can choose the following;
Source – person who delivers the message
Message – type of message appeal
Channel -medium use to deliver the message
Receiver: though the receiver cannot be controlled, target audience can be selected
Destination: recipient may pass initial message to others through WOM communication
(2) Dependent variable is not controllable components as it involves steps a receiver goes through in being persuaded
The persuasion matrix helps marketers see how each controllable element interacts with the consumer’s response process. As seen in the Figure 2, the independent variables are the controllable components of the communication process whereas the dependent variables are the steps a receiver goes through in being persuaded. Promotional planners need to know how decisions about each independent variable influence the stages of the response hierarchy so that they don’t enhance one stage at the expense of another.
A decision that can be evaluated from the persuasion matrix is to decide who will be effective in getting consumer’s attention. The large number of ads people are bombarded with every day makes it difficult for advertisers to break through the clutter. Marketers deal with this problem by using sources who will attract the target audience’s attention – actors, athletes, rock stars or attractive models.
Source Model Theories
The terms source means the person involved in communicating a marketing message, either directly or indirectly. There are different types of sources namely;
Direct source: the spokesperson/celebrity delivering a message or demonstrating a product or service. For example, cricketer MS Dhoni saying to kids, ‘Boost is the secret of my energy’ to endorse /promote the health drink Boost
Indirect source: a model doesn’t actually deliver a message but draws attention to enhances the appearance of the ad
No source: Some ads do not have a source and the organization is the source communicating the message
Marketers try to select individuals whose traits will maximize message influence. The source maybe knowledgeable, popular, and/or physically attractive; typify the target audience; or have the power to reward or punish the receiver in some manner. Herbert Kelmen developed three basic categories of source attributes: Credibility, Attractiveness and Power. Each influences a recipient’s attitude or behavior through a different process.
The literature exploring celebrity endorsements has generally employed one of two foundational source models: (1) the source-credibility model, and (2) the source-attractiveness model (Erdogan 1999).
4.3.1 Source credibility model
Source credibility is defined as ‘a communicator’s positive characteristics that affect the receiver’s acceptance of a message’ (Ohanian 1990). The source-credibility model analyses the factors leading to the perceived credibility of the communicator (Hovland et al. 1953). The model contends that the effectiveness of a message depends upon the perceived level of expertise and trustworthiness associated with an endorser or communicator (Erdogan 1999). Information from a credible source, for example a celebrity, can influence beliefs, opinions, attitudes and/or behavior through a process called internalization, which occurs when receivers accept a source influence in terms of their personal attitude and value structures.
Erdogan (1999) defines celebrity endorsers’ expertise as ‘the extent to which a communicator is perceived to be a source of valid assertions’. The literature investigating source credibility in settings involving persuasive communication generally indicates that a receiver’s perception of the source’s expertise positively influences source effectiveness (Ohanian 1990). Respondents’ actions in response to the source’s recommendations seem to vary directly with the source’s perceived level of expertise and the target person’s level of agreement with those recommendations. Subjects exposed to a source perceived as highly expert exhibit more agreement with the source’s recommendation than did those exposed to a source with low expertise (Ohanian 1990). The level of perceived celebrity expertise should predict celebrity endorser effectiveness.
Trustworthiness is the degree of confidence consumers place in a communicator’s intent to convey the assertions s/he considers most valid (Ohanian 1990). Giffin (1967) describes favorable disposition, acceptance, psychological safety, and perceived supportive climate as favorable consequences of trust. Much of the literature supports the positive effect of trustworthiness on effectiveness (Chao et al. 2005). Miller and Baseheart (1969) found that a highly opinionated message from a highly trustworthy communicator produces an effective attitude change, while non-trusted communicators’ impact proved immaterial. Perceived communicator trustworthiness has also been shown to produce a greater attitude change than perceived expertise (McGinnies & Ward 1980). The extant literature on celebrity endorsers suggests that trustworthiness is an important predictor of celebrity endorsement effectiveness.
4.3.2 Source-attractiveness model
The source attractiveness model suggests that the effectiveness of a message depends on four dimensions, ‘familiarity’, ‘likeability’, ‘similarity’ and ‘attractiveness’ (McGuire, 1985; Ohanian, 1990. Biswas et al, 2006). Attractiveness is anticipated as an imperative cue in an individual’s preliminary judgment of another individual (Debevec and Kernan, 1984). Furthermore, attractiveness is not solely referred to as physical attraction, but comprises of numerous other attributes of the celebrity endorser, such as intellectual skills, personality properties, lifestyles or athletic process (Erdogan, 1999). Essentially, if consumers perceive a celebrity endorser as similar to them and they are familiar with and like the celebrity, they will tend to find the celebrity more attractive.
In some studies, celebrity familiarity and likeability are treated as if each were analogous to attractiveness (Kahle & Homer 1985). Each celebrity attribute may, in fact, be subsumed within the attractiveness construct. But other studies address familiarity and likeability separately, investigating each construct’s effect on effectiveness as if each were distinct from endorser attractiveness (O’Mahoney & Meenaghan 1998).
According to McGuire (1985), the effectiveness of a message is influenced by perceived resemblance between the endorser and the receiver of the message.
In the celebrity endorsement context, familiarity has been defined as ‘knowledge of the source through exposure’ (Erdogan 1999, p. 299)
Likeability is defined as ‘affection for the source as a result of the source’s physical appearance and behavior’ (Erdogan 1999, p. 299). On this basis, in this study the two constructs are treated as if each were distinct from attractiveness. This path was followed in an attempt to determine each construct’s value as a possible predictor of celebrity endorsement effectiveness.
The final characteristic in Kelman’s classification scheme is source power. A source has power when he or she can actually administer rewards and punishments to the receiver. As a result of this power, the source may be able to induce another person(s) to respond to the request or position he/she is advocating. The power of the source depends on several factors. The source must be perceived as being able to administer positive or negative sanctions to the receiver (perceived control) and the receiver must think the source cares about whether or not the receiver conforms (perceived concern). The receiver’s estimate of the source’s ability to observe conformity is also important (perceived scrutiny).
Meaning Transfer Model
McCracken (1989) has developed the meaning transfer model, which is a rich and comprehensive description of the meaning movement and the endorsement process as cited in Figure 7.
Figure 7: The Meaning Transfer Model Source: McCracken, 1989, p. 315
The central premise of the meaning transfer model is celebrity’s effectiveness as an endorser depends on the culturally acquired meanings he or she brings to the endorsement process. The meaning transfer model comprises of three stages and in the first stage” culture”, the meaning exist in the celebrities themselves. In stage two” endorsement”, the meaning is transferred when the celebrity enters into an advertisement with a product. Some of the meanings of the celebrity are now also meanings of the product. In the third and final stage” consumption”, the meaning moves from the product to the consumer (McCracken, 1989).
Product Match – Up Hypothesis
The celebrity/product fit, also called the ‘match-up hypothesis’, refers to the harmony of the match between the celebrity endorser and the product being endorsed (Till & Busler 2000). Celebrity/product fit is thought to function as a key determinant of endorsement effectiveness (e.g. Friedman et al. 1978; Friedman & Friedman 1979; Kahle & Homer 1985; Kamins 1989, 1990; Kamins & Gupta 1994; Erdogan & Baker 2000; Till & Busler 2000; Erdogan et al. 2001; Batra & Homer 2004). Celebrity effectiveness does vary across different product types. Friedman and Friedman (1979) concluded that the better the celebrity/product fit, as perceived by consumers, the higher the level of endorsement effectiveness. Till and Busler (2000) found that celebrity/product fit was effective for only certain measures of effectiveness such as brand attitude, but not for other measures such as purchase intention. Regardless of the impact celebrity/product fit has on effectiveness, the absolute weight of the existing literature suggests that the phenomenon should play an important role in celebrity endorser effectiveness (Till & Busler 2000)
Five stage model of consumer decision-making process
Figure 8: Stages in the Consumer Decision making process
As shown in figure 8, the consumer’s purchasing decision process is generally viewed as consisting of stages through which the buyer passes in purchasing product or service.
This occurs when the consumer perceives a need and becomes motivated to solve the problem. One approach in understanding consumer motivations is based on Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory that consists of five levels; psychological needs, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and self actualization needs. Clothing is considered as a basic need required to sustain life for but Fashion provides a sense of accomplishment, gain recognition, status and respect to humans.
The initial search effort consists of repetitive purchases and previously acquired information stored in memory such as past outcomes using a brand is sufficient for comparing alternatives and making a choice. This information retrieval is referred to as Internal search. Consumers can seek additional information by engaging in external search if the internal search does not yield enough information. External source of information includes:
Commercial sources: information from advertising and the Internet such as websites blogs and reviews.
Public sources: Articles in magazines and reports on TV.
Perception is an individual process; it depends on internal factors such as a person’s beliefs, experiences, needs and expectations. Fashion brands should use celebrities that would attract consumer’s favorable attention.
The evoked set is a subset of all the brands of which the consumer is aware. The goal of most promotional and advertising strategies such as celebrity endorsement; is to increase the likelihood that a brand will be considered during an alternative evaluation and included in the consumer’s evoked set. Attitudes summarizes a consumer’s evaluation of an object or brand and represent positive or negative feelings and behavioral tendencies. Consumers tend to hold attitudes towards individuals including celebrity endorsers such as Tiger Woods.
This is the point where the consumer must stop searching for and evaluating information about alternative brands in the evoked set and make a purchase decision. As an outcome of the alternative stage, the consumer may develop a purchase intention to buy a certain brand.
Post Purchase Evaluation
The consumer decision process does not end with the purchase. The consumer compares the level of performance with expectations and is either satisfied or dissatisfied using the product.
5. Empirical research underpinning study
Write all the empirical studies you found here as follows; For each study emphasize the variable used. – e.g. Celebrity, OLR etc..
See example below;
Neulinger et al. (2011), in a study conducted on ‘Food consumption patterns and healthy eating’ reveals that patterns and healthy eating was measured by understanding choice of fast food restaurants, the characteristics of a meal consumed and understanding the frequency of cooking from fresh ingredients. The findings of the study reveal that there was a higher preference for convenience foods by young singles and young couples.
“Impact of celebrity endorsement on consumer buying behavior” This research concluded that the Celebrity endorsed advertisements are more attractive than the non- celebrity endorsed advertisements. Respondents also voted that the best medium for watching the advertisements is TV and then Internet. It is further concluded that the highest relationship existed between the perception and the buying behavior. The lowest relationship is, between celebrity attractiveness and the perception. There is a significant relationship among all attributes of the celebrity. It is finally concluded that there is a significant relationship between celebrity endorsement and buying behavior. Respondents clearly conveyed that they do purchase those products and services, which are endorsed by the celebrities.
Results show that the celebrity endorsement has reasonable impact on customers as per their attitude and buying intention. Physical attractiveness, credibility and congruence of the celebrity with the reference to endorsed advertisement all have impact on customer perception about the advertised product. It has also been highlighted that celebrity endorsement advertisements boosting up the sales and purchase of product, people like to buy the products more if endorsed by the celebrity and it shows that today’s customer is aware and influenced by media.
Pei-Shan Wei , Hsi-Peng Lu
In a study conducted on “Celebrity endorsements and Online reviews influence female consumers’ shopping behavior” found that search goods endorsed by a celebrity in an advertisement evoked significantly more attention, desire, and action from the consumer than did an online customer review. This is consistent with previous research; both Petroshius and Crocker (1989) and Patzer (1983) studies found that physically attractive models used in advertising led to more favorable attitudes toward the advertisement and stronger purchase intentions. It also supports research evidence showing that the perceived image of the celebrity endorser had a positive impact on product buying behavior (Goldsmith et al., 2000; Ohanian, 1990) and attractive celebrities are more effective when endorsing products used to enhance one’s attractiveness.
Second, consumer recommendations emerged higher than the celebrity endorsement on the scale of participants’ memory, search, and share attitudes toward the experience good. When shopping for experience goods, female consumers will read more reviews to verify the quality of the products being considered. This is supported by Park, Yoon, and Lee (2009), who found that females tend to search for significantly more kinds of information, including both product and customer reviews, when shopping for experience goods than when shopping for search goods.
THE IMPACT OF ONLINE COSTUMER REVIEW AND CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT ON PURCHASE INTENTION
According to the study conducted on “The impact of online customer review and celebrity endorsement on purchase intention” reveals that Online Consumer Review is one of the factors that influence people to share information. Online Consumer Review Influences Consumer Purchase Intention, because it provides information. The information shared in social media based on their good experiences before. Those experiences build the consumers trust and may trigger the consumers to share information about the product. The study also found that that Celebrity Endorsement has a dominant influence compared with the other variables that influence Consumer Purchase Intention.
5. Research design and methodology
In order to present the methodology, research onion cited in Figure 1 is used.
Figure 9: Research Onion
5.1.1 Research Philosophy
A research philosophy is belief about the ways in which data about a phenomenon should be collected, analyzed and used. There are four main research philosophies namely, pragmatism, positivism, realism and interpretivism.
This study follows a positivism philosophy as it depends on quantifiable observations that lead to statistical analyses. It has been noted that “as a philosophy, positivism is in accordance with the empiricist view that knowledge stems from human experience. It has an ontological view of the world as comprising discrete, observable elements and events that interact in an observable, determined and regular manner.
5.1.2 Research approach
Understanding of research approach is vital as it allows the researcher to focus and to look comprehensively at the problem and make a judgment on how to solve the problem, naming, and approaching the research topic (Saunders et al 2007). The inductive mode of reasoning and the deductive mode of reasoning are two of the most widely accepted types of research approaches.
In deductive mode, it owes much to scientific study. It contains developing a theory and hypothesis, and designs a research strategy to test the hypothesis, which can be justified as relationships between cause and effect variables (Saunders et al; 2000).
Inductive approach includes a theory being developed on the basis of analysis of collected data (Saunders, et al 2000). According to Bryman (2001) Inductive approach begins with observations and thereafter conclusions are made that are sufficiently capable of explaining the research problem.
When considering the structure of the current study, it could be stated that it follows a Deductive Reasoning method.
5.1.3 Research strategy
Within research methodology, research strategy assumes as the “general plan of how the researcher will go about answering the research questions” (Saunders et al. 2009; p. 90). One of the seven types of research strategy is survey which will be used in this study. A survey is “a collection of questions asked repetitively to a sample of a population to mathematically derive characteristics of the total population”.
5.2 Conceptual Framework
The Conceptual framework developed based on the variables identified in the Literature review is depicted in Figure 2 below;
Independent variables Dependent variable
Product Match – Up
Product Match – Up
4946015133350Purchase Intention of Millennial consumers in the fashion clothing industry
00Purchase Intention of Millennial consumers in the fashion clothing industry
Social media sites
Social media sites
Figure 2: Conceptual Framework
Source: Developed by author
5.3 Rationalization of Variables
5.3.1 Independent variables
Source Credibility is defined as ‘a communicator’s positive characteristics that affect the receiver’s acceptance of a message’ (Ohanian 1990). This was selected as a variable as it was significant in theories discussed, as well as in previous research conducted. Source credibility consists of two dimensions namely;
Expertise – Erdogan (1999) defines celebrity endorsers’ expertise as ‘the extent to which a communicator is perceived to be a source of valid assertions’.
Trustworthiness – Trustworthiness is the degree of confidence consumers place in a communicator’s intent to convey the assertions s/he considers most valid (Ohanian 1990)
Source Attractiveness – this model rests on social psychological research (McGuire 1985) The source attractiveness model suggests that the effectiveness of a message depends on three dimensions, ‘familiarity’, ‘likeability’, ‘similarity’ (McGuire, 1985; Ohanian, 1990. Biswas et al, 2006).
Product Match- Up Hypothesis refers to the harmony of the match between the celebrity endorser and the product being endorsed (Till & Busler 2000). According to Kahle and Homer (1985), it is thought to function as a key determinant of endorsement effectiveness.
5.3.2 Dependent Variable
This is the variable that measures the effect of the independent variables which influence the response of the test unit (Malhotra and Dash, 2010 pg.215).
As for the above conceptual model shown, the Dependent Variable would be “purchase intention of millennial to buy fashion clothing.” It is dependent on two other independent variables which can be listed as: celebrity endorsement and online reviews. Based on the influence of independent variables on the dependent variable, marketers would select the most suitable marketing strategy to attract more customers and to retain consumers by creating an emotion bond which enhances to longer relationship between the consumer and brand.
Operationalization of variables
Concept Variable Dimension Indicators Source Measurement
CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT Independent Variables
Good knowledge about fashion clothing
Proficiency to discuss fashion
Experience to discuss fashion
Skill in discussing fashion
Good taste in fashion clothes selection
Fashion consciousness of the celebrity
5 point Likert scale
Trustworthy image of the source
Dependability of the source
Reliability in the source
Honesty of the source
Credibility of the source
Unbiased opinion of the source 5 point Likert scale
High awareness of the source
High exposure of the source
Wide knowledge of the source
High attractiveness of the source
Perception of closeness to the source Kelman, (1961) 5 point Likert scale
Likability towards the source
Good attitude towards the source
Appearance of the source
Friendliness of the source
Good feelings towards the source
Intimacy towards the source Kahle & Homer (1985)
Erdogan (1999) 5 point Likert scale
Resemblance to celebrity
Resemblance to style of dressing of celebrity
Match in taste of clothes
Match in interest of clothes
Similarity in preference for clothes 5 point Likert scale
Product Match- Up Hypothesis Fit between fashion and endorser
Suitability to endorse fashion
Appropriateness to endorse fashion
Relevance to endorse fashion
Acceptability endorse fashion
Bergkvist & Zhou, (2016)
Wheeler, 2003; Keel & Natarajan, (2012) 5 point Likert scale
Online Customer Reviews
Credibility of blog
Credible of blogger
Trustworthiness of blogger
Credible information in blog
Expert knowledge of fashion in their posts
Relevant and up-to-date information on fashion
Previous experience in purchase based on blog Weo & Lu, (2012)
Grafingholt, (2015). 5 point Likert scale
Social media sites
Belief in friends’ recommendation
True opinions of friends
Trust in social media member opinion
Fashion consciousness of group members
Social group pressure
Confidence in member
Reliability of member
Habit of purchasing based on member recommendations
General belief in the content of these reviews 5 point Likert scale
Dependent Variable : Purchase intent to buy fashion clothing
Variable Dimension Indicators Source Measurement
Purchase Intention of millennial consumers in the fashion clothing industry
Willingness to accept celebrity endorsements
Willingness to accept comments in fashion blogs
Willingness to believe social media members
Habit of purchasing based on celebrity endorsements
Habit of purchasing based on member recommendations
Habit of purchasing based on blog information 5 point Likert scale
Table 2: Operationalization of variables
Source: Developed by the researcher
5.5 Formulation of HypothesisThe hypotheses were formulated based on the conceptual framework and the variables discussed in the Literature Review.
H11: Celebrity endorsement influences purchase intention of millennial consumer in buying
H10: Celebrity endorsement does not influence the intention of millennial consumer in buying
H11a: Source Credibility influences purchase intention of millennial consumer in
buying fashion clothing
H10a: Source Credibility does not influences purchase intention of millennial consumer
in buying fashion clothing
H11b: Source Attractiveness influences purchase intention of millennial consumer in
buying fashion clothing
H10b: Source Credibility does not influences purchase intention of millennial consumer
in buying fashion clothing
H11c: Product Match-Up influences purchase intention of millennial consumer in
buying fashion clothing
H10c: Product Match- Up does not influences purchase intention of millennial
consumer in buying fashion clothing
H21: Online Customer Reviews influence purchase intention of millennial consumer in buying
H20: Online Customer Reviews do not influence purchase intention of millennial consumer in buying fashion clothing
6. Methods of data collection and analysis6.1 Unit of Analysis
The Unit of analysis refers to the level of aggregation of the data collected during the subsequent data analysis stage (Sekaran and Bougie, 2010). For the purpose of this research, data will be gathered from millennial consumers between the ages of 18-38 purchasing fashion clothing. Therefore, the response would be considered as an ‘individual’ data source.
Therefore, the unit of Analysis would be millennial consumers between the age of 18- 38 in the Western Province of Sri Lanka
6.2 Time Horizon
The data is to be gathered only once. Therefore, this is a single cross-sectional study (a sample survey).
6.3 Primary Data / Secondary DataBoth primary data and secondary data are used. Primary data is data originated for the first time by the researcher through direct efforts and experience, specifically for the purpose of addressing the research problem and can be collected through surveys, personal interviews and questionnaires whereas secondary data implies second-hand information which is already collected and recorded by any person other than the user for a purpose, not relating to the current research problem. It is the readily available form of data collected from sources like censuses, internal records of the organization, books, journal articles, websites and so on
For this research the primary data will be collected using a structured questionnaire
The questionnaire will measure influence of determinants on purchase intention, and the nature of consumer behavior. Questionnaires will be distributed among the sample.
Secondary data will be collected from sources of secondary data such as research articles, journals, textbooks, reports, and websites of fashion retailers, online reviews and blogs.
Data can be categorized as quantitative and qualitative. This study uses measurable data to formulate facts and uncover patterns in search, therefore, this research follows a quantitative study.
6.4 Sampling method / sample size
The population consists of millennial consumers (individuals) both female and male age between 18 and 38 years who reside within the Western Province of Sri Lanka
There are two main types of sampling: probability and non-probability sampling. Non-probability sampling is related with identifying and questioning the respondents on the basis of their background and past experience (Jankowicz 2005).
The study will use non-probability sampling and specifically ‘convenience sampling’, method where consumers are selected based on availability.
The research aims for a minimum of 300 respondents due to the time limitation. The elements of the sample would be both male and female between the ages of 18-38, residing in the Western Province and those who purchase fashion clothing. 6.5 Pilot study
The pilot study will be conducted with a sample size of 30 respondents and once the responses were collected for the pilot study, validity and reliability will be tested to ensure that measurement properties of instrument are accurate. Accordingly, the questionnaire will be used to collect the data for the survey.
6.6 Data analysis
The data obtained will be analyzed by using the SPSS Tool. Reliability analysis, frequency analysis, descriptive analysis, correlation analysis and regression analysis will be considered in analyzing data.