Stay exclusive or go inclusive : Exploring consumers’ perception of luxury fashion brands’ use of digital channels and disruptive technologies.

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Jönköping University/Internationella Handelshögskolan

Sammanfattning: Background and problem: The perception of luxury fashion has been shaped throughout history with well-known brands’ innovative strategies and designs. Along with its crafts and arts, exclusivity has been one of the main pillars of luxury fashion, creating the perception of luxury fashion products only being available to the ‘elite’; which has been feasible to maintain in an analog society. However, as luxury fashion brands have moved into the digital landscape; using digital channels such as e-commerce, social media, and disruptive technologies such as augmented reality, virtual clothing; distribution channels have opened up, contradicting traditional practises.  It has been found that it is the consumers’ perception that determines luxury brands separation from the ordinary. Raising the question of how consumers may perceive luxury fashion brands when operating in the digital landscape; since the use of digital channels and disruptive technologies contradicts with the characteristics defining luxury fashion, in particular exclusivity.   Purpose: In order to contribute to literature and create new understandings of the digitalisation of the luxury fashion industry; the purpose of this study is to explore how consumers perceive luxury fashion brands’ use of digital channels and disruptive technologies, specifically regarding the perception of exclusivity.                         Method: The study broadly followed an interpretivist research philosophy where qualitative data was collected by conducting eight semi-structured focus groups with Swedish luxury fashion consumers, born between the years of 1992-2000. The empirical findings were analysed through the general analytical approach, and thereafter discussed in relation to the frame of reference.  Conclusion: The findings suggest that consumers perceive that luxury fashion brands’ use of digital channels and disruptive technologies are diluting the perception of exclusivity, as luxury fashion becomes more accessible and visible with an increased attainability. 

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