Fashionable Activism: A study of corporate activism in fashion brands' marketing communications and the effects of congruence as moderated by brand type and political leanings
Sammanfattning: Corporate activism (CA) has become a commonplace occurrence whereby brands express support for different social-political causes. Despite its increasing prominence, corporate activism has not been extensively researched. This quantitative study, therefore, investigates the area of CA within the fashion industry by measuring the congruence between brands and causes and its effects on consumers, more specifically attitudes towards tweets, brands, and causes, brand attractiveness, brand image, purchase intention, and cause support intention. Furthermore, we examine the moderating effects of brand type (luxury vs. mainstream) and political leanings (liberal vs. conservative). Using an experiment in an online survey, we collected responses from 725 U.S. based respondents and obtained results through the use of Independent t-Tests, Two-way ANOVAs, and planned contrasts using One-way ANOVAs. Our study demonstrates that a more congruent CA message leads to significantly higher evaluations in our measured variables, although these results differ based on brand type and respondent political orientation. We found that congruence is particularly important and leads to more positive evaluations for luxury fashion brands and liberal consumers, while it is less effective for mainstream brands and conservatives. These novel insights contribute to the unexplored domain of corporate activism and are valuable for marketing practitioners.
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