Challenging The Binary Conversation Around Hair Care: A quantitative study on how gender-neutral marketing can be used for gender-specific brands in the hair care industry.
Sammanfattning: The purpose of this thesis is to examine the effects of gender-neutral brand extensions for masculine and feminine brands by using gender-neutral marketing. We also provide a definition of gender-neutral marketing and put gender-neutrality in a brand extension context. Five hypotheses were tested using an explorative quantitative study with 180 respondents. This thesis finds no evidence that feminine brands have higher ad attitudes and brand attitudes for gender-neutral product advertising than masculine brands. Furthermore, those interested in equality have a preference for the brand to continue to use gender-neutral ads and those with such a preference also show higher ad attitudes, brand attitudes and willingness to pay (WTP) than those who don't. There is also no support for the notion that those who have a preference for the feminine brands to continue to use gender-neutral ads will have higher ad and brand attitudes than masculine brands. Lastly, there is a positive relationship between brand affect and word-of-mouth (WOM) even if the WOM-intentions are very low. Although previous studies have examined the effects of cross gender brand extensions, the current thesis considers the role of challenging gender stereotypes in the hair care industry with the help of gender-neutral ads and suggests that it can be beneficial for mature brands. Gender-neutral ads can be used to target consumers with an interest in equality, since their interest results in a preference for the brand to continues with these types of ads and consequently in higher ad attitudes, brand attitudes and WTP for the consumers with a preference for the brand to continue to use gender-neutral ads than those don't. Thus, the findings should be of interest for marketers and the way they communicate with potential consumers.
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