Why do I Follow Fashion Bloggers? Insights from Jordanian Consumers: An Abstract
Fashion blogging has been booming in the last few years, transforming traditional forms of fashion communication (Kristensen and Christensen 2017). As the readership and following of fashion blogs have grown, it is important to understand their influence on consumer behavior. Exploratory studies have identified certain attributes of bloggers that are important to readers (e.g., Clarke and Johnstone 2012; Marwick 2013), but quantitative research on the topic is necessary to test whether findings from these studies can be generalized to a larger population. This study contributes to existing literature by providing empirical evidence of consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward fashion bloggers.
Using an online survey, data from a sample of Jordanian fashion blog followers (n = 184) were collected and analyzed. Attitudes toward the four core characteristics of a “good blogger,” trustworthiness, expertise, authenticity, and personal relevance to the reader (Clarke and Johnstone 2012), were measured by means of 12 items developed from the literature, rated on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from (1) strongly disagree to (5) strongly agree (three items for each attribute).
The findings show that fashion blogs are an important influence on consumer behavior (Clarke and Johnstone 2012; Halvorsen et al. 2013). Respondents perceived the blogger’s authenticity as the most valued attribute influencing their consumption behavior, followed by trustworthiness, self-relevance, and expertise. The findings also show that fashion blogs are predominantly read by younger women, who follow them for inspiration, to gain knowledge of latest fashion trends, and to discover new items to buy. Most respondents were more likely to purchase a fashion product that they first saw on a blog, especially when it had been recommended by more than one fashion blogger, which indicates a need for consumers to fit in with their communities. The study demonstrates that bloggers need to be genuine and honest, stay relevant and connected, and avoid being too commercial to be successful. Marketers should be more aware of the opportunities and challenges presented by fashion bloggers and find ways to reach these powerful opinion leaders to promote their products and expand their brands’ market coverage.
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