Change of Mind: Marketing Social Justice to the Fashion Consumer
Marketing aims to influence consumers to buy more; however, buying more is at the very core of the fashion industry’s current malaise. A new system of marketing has arisen in the past decades that promises to offer an alternative solution: supporting the viability of brands while increasing awareness of social issues in the fashion industry and changing consumer behaviour for the better. The marketing of social justice issues or social marketing (SM) (not to be confused with social media marketing) aims to educate, influence and, ultimately, move the consumer to change their purchasing behaviour and make choices for good. Drawing on behavioural change theories and using case study methodology, this paper examines how, through crafting a desired position away from ‘product push’ and towards a social justice ‘pull’, fashion brands are experimenting with SM strategies that propose to transform buying behaviour. The findings indicate that while SM is an emerging marketing strategy for fashion brands, it results in an elevated perception of the brand and, ultimately, an increase in consumption.
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