When a non-luxury apparel brand attempts to raise its brand value by employing the luxury strategy, rarity management is a brand manager’s concern. This study focuses on apparel brand’s rarity as perceived by consumers and its influence on consumers’ brand attitudes depending on the extent of the brand’s luxuriousness. In this paper, a consumer survey is conducted in Japan to analyze consumers’ perceptions and attitudes toward 10 leading apparel brands. The results of principal factor analysis and regression analysis suggest that the higher a brand’s luxuriousness is, the more strongly its perceived rarity positively impacts on consumers’ brand attitudes. On the contrary, it is suggested that the lower a brand’s luxuriousness is, the more strongly its perceived rarity negatively impacts on consumers’ attitudes. This result implies the existence of the snob effect for luxury brands. Conversely, investments to raise consumers’ perceived rarity potentially might harm consumers’ attitudes towards the brand when the extent of brand’s luxuriousness is low.
With cosmetics, one cannot determine at a glance exactly what product a person is using. This paper analyzes the impact of a consumer network on cosmetics, which are goods that are not conspicuous. Comments in word-of-mouth websites for cosmetics is used as a proxy variable for purchasing behavior, and the relationship between a consumer network and purchasing behavior in a social network is analyzed. In cosmetics, which are not conspicuous, this paper has confirmed that consumers exhibit the same purchasing behavior as when they are in a relationship with structural equivalence within a network and not just in relationships with cohesion.
Watts and Dodds (2007) showed that in a simulation, supporters of opinion leaders have larger influence than opinion leaders themselves. In this paper, a case analysis was done of an anonymous housewife who created a network and acquired supporters on a social network and then started an apparel brand. The analysis revealed that influence strengthens by having both (a) a network centered around an opinion leader and (b) a complete network with six hardcore fans acting as supporters.
There are fundamental differences between research into WOM (word-of-mouth), in which communication occurs face-to-face, and one into eWOM (electric word-of-mouth), which occurs over the Internet between strangers. In specifically looking at motivational factors, this study reveals significant differences in that while traditional WOM studies mainly discuss recipient motives, eWOM studies (a) mainly discuss sender motives and (b) permit the inclusion of economic motives.