FITTING THE NARRATIVE: EXPLORING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BRAND STORYTELLING IN SUSTAINABLE FASHION ADVERTISING
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe disconnect between intention and action in purchasing sustainable fashion has never been clearly understood. Many studies have been done with the aim of discovering what causes this gap and how to successfully close it and effectively market sustainable fashion. Previous research has shown a strong positive correlation between brand trust and authenticity and consumer purchase intention. Additional studies have shown that brand storytelling, a narrative-based marketing tool, can increase consumers trust in a brand and perceived authenticity. As a result, this study aimed to test whether brand storytelling is an effective means of increasing brand trust and authenticity, which ultimately causes an increase brand preference for sustainable fashion companies. The hypothesis tested was that brand storytelling advertisements are more effective for sustainable fashion than for fast fashion. A survey was conducted in which participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 advertisements (Storytelling Sustainable, Image-based Sustainable, Storytelling Fast Fashion, and Image-based Fast Fashion). After observing the advertisements, participants were asked about their thoughts towards the ads and then ask to rate their preference for the brand on four dimensions which were averaged into a single measurement of brand preference. The results found that brand preference significantly increased when storytelling was used for fast fashion ads, which did not support the hypothesis. The discussion concludes that an additional factor, affordability, affects consumers brand preferences when comparing sustainable and fast fashion, and as a result, further research is recommended.