Individual differences,motivations and willingness to use a mass customization option for fashion products

I found this article on fashion  and I thought you guys might find it interesting.The author did a lot of research on a shifting strategy for how fashion product are being supplied to customers. Their finding discovered a pattern toward  what they so-called” mass customization”, in which ” apparell firm adopt one or both mass customization option,”body scanning for better fitting product, and/or”co-designed for a unique aesthetic design”. According to their finding, the range of this customization cover almost all area of fashion product, namely, dress shoes, athletic shoes, casual pants, dressess, tops, skirts, men’s suits and women’s swim suit”. Mass customization, according to this authors, is also refered to as co-design process, “providing new outlet for creative expression; customers act as designer, creating unique product from an array of design options presented by the apparell firm and see the creation take shape on the computer screen”. I guess this revolutionize the way fashion used to be adopted and practiced; it is no longer a practice that is privilege to celebrities or people with higher social statuts.  Through the so-called mass customization and co-designing, anyone can pretty much acquire and own a certain style of fashion worn by a movie star provided that they have resource to afford the cost in relation to it. If consumer desire to emulate Maddona or lady Gaga style of fashion, apparell firm would be glad to facilitate all of that through computerized modelled specifically design to enable the creation. The question is, does this relationship of co-designing or mass customization benefit both parties equally? Of course it provide consumer with freedom to determine his/her fashion desires, which is good in a way, but how did consumer got to this point?  If you read though the article, there are many clues and reason for this and whole host of other fashion related developements. Check it out.


Richard Lokeya


Working Consumer:the next step in Marketing Theory?

Check direct link:

Having familiarized ourselves bit with consumer culture discussions and its rationales, I came across and found the arguments presented by Bernard Cova and Danielle Dalli to be informative and relevance to our discussion about societal consuming habits and resulting implication. I found their analysis of the relationship between consumer and the corporation to be quiet interesting, in a sense that, the interaction between the latter and the former help sustain consumer culture, irrespective of minor problems that might occur in the course of the relationship. They talked about complicity of the consumer in the creation of identity, so that  it is not just the corporation that is dictating re-arrangement in the relationship, but that consumer may be engaging actively without knowing it. However, they seem to be suggesting that corporation are very good in adapting and adjusting their image, by way of marketing strategy, such that consumer become clueless about various ways in which they have been used by companies to create identity. To substantiate their argument, they gave an example in which they argued that consumers might “resist the market, may refuse to consume or, at other times, indicate refusal by consuming in a different way”, but yet the act of resistance may be viewed as transformative and used by corporation as opportunity to improve and revitalize itself. The suggestion seems to be that, since corporation are in the business of courting customers and profit-making, it is fitting that they would turn any kind of consumer protest or boycott into something they could use to make them even more better in the future by re-designing new needs and wants in order that they re-establish the loyalty lost or threatened by boycott or resistance. They further noted that” Indeed, this resistance to traditional marketing practices explains consumers’ willingness to participate in the market process, even if it is in critical and transformative ways”. Basicall what  they are suggesting is that, consumers by enganging the corporation in the act of boycott, they become uncounscious participants in the re-creation of corporate products and corporate image, thanks to the consumer criticism and resistance. They describe this encounter as interraction between customer and companies, arguing that “in all of these cases, consumers create circumstance to which companies can/must respond, thereby allowing all parties to participate in the market process and contributing to generation of market value”. 

Much like what we have learn from the assigned reading and the lectures, these authors also talked about the internalization of the brand name by some consumers and the likely re-arrangement of their conduct accordingly. I guess this would be the case where one’s desire for ownership of product from certain brand became an unbreakable habits and unrestrained compulsion that they feel they have to get that product. This will have been the result of successful construction of consumer’s wants and needs, as per class lectures. By the time these needs and wants take the form of addiction, it become entanglement from which rescuing oneself is difficult, to the satisfaction of the supplying corporation.  This form of addiction, though mild in comparison to addiction in other context, might proof consumer’s implicit acceptance to have values and identities created for them by corporation. I like the example that they gave in apparent attempt to illustrate this form of addiction, in which they point out in their writing that “what is emerging is tribal brand culture where the brand are selected by the consumers based on the attitude and in-depth, sometimes expert, knowledge about the authenticity of a product, and where these brand become ultimate expression of self”. This is obviously a clear confirmation of what our consumer society looks like today. Considering for example, a purchase by consumer certain article of clothing design and worn by certain rappers. Within Hip-hop community, the fact of wearing that style and possessing that kind of clothing might draw some benefit from it, and that may translate into self-importance and satisfaction, even though people in heavy metal lifestyle might find hip-hop counterparts distasteful and would never adopt hip-hop lifestyle and its clothing. At the end of the day, all these diversity can still be manage by clothing firms through consumer engineering and shrewd marketing i.e. the same company that makes hip-hop clothing line might be the same one that make heavy metal style of clothing and may derive benefit from supplying these two lifestyle without having to be involved in consumer’s justification for why their respective style is better.

You may also check the rest of the other ones below:

1) Bernard Cova and Danielle Dalli(2009).” Working  Consumers: The next Steps in Marketting Theory”(publisher) Marketting Theory, 315 – 339

2) Jonathan E. Schroeder and S. Pongsakornrungsilp(2011).” Understanding value Co-creation in a Co-consuming Brand community” (publisher) Marketing Theory, 303 – 324:

3) Detlev Zwick et. al. (2008)” Putting Consumers to work: Co-creation and new marketing govern-mentality”(publisher) Journal of Consumer Culture”:

I will send the second Article possibly before Friday.

Richard Lokeya

Seeking Uniqueness through Haute Couture and Brand names

This articles investigates how individuals search for their own unique identity through clothing, specifically brand name clothing and ‘haute couture’ in order to differentiate themselves and their ‘style’ from the rest of society. Research has found that brand judgements have the strongest and most significant effect on purchase intentions when there is a brand name, and depending on the consumer’s need for uniqueness. Also, findings suggest that people who search for a certain level of uniqueness tend to adopt new products and brands quicker than the rest and that are always up to the ‘haute couture’ fashion industry. There are 3 types of behaviors found to satisfy the need for uniqueness, as explained in the article. Also, when individuals purchase a specific brand, they seek to associate themselves socially with that brand and other individuals who purchase the same brand.


Fashion Predictions


This video is an episode segment of a British “cinemagazine” (a semi-news broadcast, meant to showcase the “novel” and “strange”) which aired from 1930 – 1941. This episode aired in 1930 and focuses on fashion trends of the new millenium. The fact that the newsreel sees potential in this topic to attract viewers is telling of the fashion industry’s power. Even during an era of conflict and economic downturn, the topic of fashion remains of interest. One might question why this is so and how the reciprocal relationship between the media and consumer perpetuates the strength of the fashion industry.  Also of note is the notion that change is inevitable – the fashion industry, even in the 1930s, had positioned itself as an evolving structure.

Guys do it too!

Men at Work: Using dress to Communicate Identities

This study was developed to investigate men’s use of fashion in constructing a work identity. Findings revealed that males feeling incomplete in their work identity use symbolism associated with certain types of fashion to portray the image of being a member of their professional community. Incompleteness may stem from feeling incompetent or uncomfortable in a new job position (whether this new position is the result of being newly hired, transitioning from school to work or transitioning within one organization).Additionally, men use fashion as a method of portraying an identity with the expecatation that their dress will result in specific work-related outcomes and/or achievements (for example, getting promoted). The study is interesting in that it focuses on men and how they employ fashion, rather than the majority of studies which relate to women and their dress.


Welcome to our blog!

Fashion is a broad topic. Depending on how one defines “fashion”, the term could refer to things such as clothing, hair, make-up, decorating styles, accessories, brands, modelling and/or trends. To cover all these exclusive topics in sufficient depth would be overwhelming. Our group, Alannah F., Sabrina L., Shannon D., Jillian B., Richard L. and Pete T. will instead focus on clothing. Subtopics will include how clothing items are marketed, changes in clothing styles, and the interaction between the clothing industry and society.