Purpose – To model the relationships between consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information with fashion opinion leadership and fashion opinion seeking. Design/methodology/approach – A total of 201 US undergraduate students were surveyed and standard scales were used to measure consumer need for uniqueness, attention to social comparison information, fashion opinion leadership, and fashion opinion seeking. Findings – Both consumer need for uniqueness and attention to social comparison information were positively related to fashion opinion leadership. Attention to social comparison information was also positively related to fashion opinion seeking, but consumer need for uniqueness was negatively related to fashion opinion seeking. Research limitations/implications – The findings are limited to US consumers and the convenience sample. Other limitations include the specific measures used, and the cross‐sectional survey method prevents one from making causal statements. The effects of other, unmeasured variables could not be assessed. Practical implications – Apparel marketers seeking to encourage opinion leaders to promote their lines of new clothing might devise appeals emphasizing the social significance of the new products and how they bestow uniqueness on their owners. Such appeals might be more effective than those not stressing these psychological motivations. Appeals to consumers more likely to seek than to give opinions might also stress the social significance of the clothing, but appeals to uniqueness might not be effective with these consumers. Perhaps a belongingness appeal would be more effective. Originality/value – These psychological concepts have not been studied very much in the clothing/fashion product domain. They give new insights into the psychology of clothing opinion leaders and opinion seekers.
Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: Motivation (psychology); Consumer behaviour; Consumer research; Consumer psychology; Fashion; United States of America