Skip to main content

Building a Sustainable Brand Image in Luxury Fashion Companies

  • 1823 Accesses

Abstract

Building a sustainable brand image for a luxury fashion company is a very complex and tangled marketing process. Brand image is a set of perceptions and beliefs surrounding a particular brand fixed in the mind of the consumer. It represents the result of the associations that the consumer recognizes in a brand and summarizes the positioning, personality and reputation of the brand itself. Companies can derive fundamental insights by analysing the associations and how they are formed and, in particular, whether they are related to their positioning choices. In the luxury fashion business, brand image communication is often delegated to offline events to convey specific values, ideals and messages to consumers and build brand associations. The Salvatore Ferragamo Museum, in particular, with its “Sustainable Thinking” exhibition, is seen as the emblem of this vision, the goal of which is to deliver a specific concept of a sustainable brand image to its customers. The objective of this empirical research was to seek correspondences or discrepancies between consumer brand perceptions and the identity conveyed by the Ferragamo brand in terms of sustainability. By using a netnographic and text mining methodology we found that the consumer associates the brand with a company committed to the environment and involved in social issues; a company that traditionally shows creative and experimental skills, using unusual materials, artisanry, innovative techniques and unique designs. The image that the company wants to convey, however, also includes other characterizations. Specifically, the company considers the “Made in Italy” aspect, the importance of its history and its family identity as decisive associations. These are all elements that, as far as this survey is concerned, were not found in the consumer perspective. As a result, from the comparison between the brand associations of both subjects, gaps emerge on which the company must intervene by designing new communication strategies or correcting existing ones in order to improve brand image and the overall brand value in terms of sustainability.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Luxury brands
  • Brand image
  • Brand identity
  • Netnography
  • Text-mining

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

Chapter
USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-70324-0_12
  • Chapter length: 24 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
eBook
USD   139.00
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-3-030-70324-0
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Hardcover Book
USD   179.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
Fig. 12.1

References

  • Aaker, D. (2003). The power of the branded differentiator. MIT Sloan Management Review, 45(1), 83–87.

    Google Scholar 

  • Achabou, M. A., & Dekhili, S. (2013). Luxury and sustainable development: Is there a match? Journal of Business Research, 66(10), 1896–1903.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Amatulli, C., De Angelis, M., Costabile, M., & Guido, G. (2017). Sustainable luxury brands: Evidence from research and implications for managers. Palgrave advances in luxury. Palgrave McMillan.

    Google Scholar 

  • Atwal, G., Bryson, D., & Tavilla, V. (2019). Posting photos of luxury cuisine online: An exploratory study. British Food Journal, 121(2), 454–466.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Barreda, A., & Bilgihan, A. (2013). An analysis of user-generated content for hotel experiences. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, 4(3), 263–280.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bartikowski, B., Fastoso, F., & Gierl, H. (2020). How nationalistic appeals affect foreign luxury brand reputation: A study of ambivalent effects. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04483-8

  • Beckham, D., & Voyer, B. G. (2014). Can sustainability be luxurious? A mixed-method investigation of implicit and explicit attitudes towards sustainable luxury consumption. Advances in Consumer Research, 42, 245–250.

    Google Scholar 

  • Bendell, J., & Kleanthous, A. (2007). Deeper luxury: Quality and style when the world matters. WWF UK.

    Google Scholar 

  • Berni, R., Nikiforova, N. D., & Ranfagni, S. (2020). An integrated approach to estimate brand association matching and strength in virtual settings. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 11(2), 117–136.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Bradlow, E. T. (2010). User-generated content: The “voice of the customer” in the 21st century. Marketing intelligent systems using soft computing. Springer.

    Google Scholar 

  • Budden, C. B., Anthony, J. F., Budden, M. C., & Jones, M. A. (2011). Managing the evolution of a revolution: Marketing implications of internet media usage among college students. College Teaching Methods and Styles Journal, 3(3), 5–10.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Burmann, C. (2010). A call for ‘user-generated branding’. Journal of Brand Management, 18(1), 1–4.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Burmann, C., & Arnhold, U. (2009). User generated branding: State of the art of research. Lit.

    Google Scholar 

  • Camiciottoli, B. C., Ranfagni, S., & Guercini, S. (2014). Exploring brand associations: An innovative methodological approach. European Journal of Marketing, 48(5–6), 1092–1112.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Campos Franco, J., Hussain, D., & McColl, R. (2019). Luxury fashion and sustainability: Looking good together. Journal of Business Strategy, 41(4), 55–61.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Carcano, L. (2013). Strategic management and sustainability in luxury companies: The IWC case. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 52(19): 36–54.

    Google Scholar 

  • Carrigan, M., & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer: Do ethics matter in purchase behavior? Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560–578.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Chen, Y. S., Lin, C. L., & Chang, C. H. (2014). The influence of greenwash on green word-of-mouth (green WOM): The mediation effects of green perceived quality and green satisfaction. Quality & Quantity, 48(5), 2411–2425.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Cimatti, B., Campana, G., & Carluccio, L. (2017). Eco design and sustainable manufacturing in fashion: A case study in the luxury personal accessories industry. Procedia Manufacturing, 8, 393–400.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Davies, I. A., Lee, Z., & Ahonhhan, I. (2012). Do consumers care about ethical-luxury? Journal of Business Ethics, 106(1), 37–51.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Dekhili, S., Achabou, M. A., & Alharbi, F. (2019). Could sustainability improve the promotion of luxury products? European Business Review, 31(4), 488–511.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ehrich, K. R., & Irwin, J. R. (2005). Willful ignorance in the request for product attribute information. Journal of Marketing Research, 42(3), 266–277.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Gabriel, Y., & Lang, T. (2006). The unmanageable consumer. Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  • Gensler, S., Völckner, F., Liu-Thompkins, Y., & Wiertz, C. (2013). Managing brands in the social media environment. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 27(4), 242–256.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ghodeswar, B. M. (2008). Building brand identity in competitive markets: A conceptual model. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 17(1), 4–12.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Godart, F., & Seong, S. (2014). Is sustainable luxury fashion possible? In: M. A. Gardetti, & A. L. Torres (Eds.), Sustainable luxury: Managing social and environmental performance in Iconic brands (pp. 12–28). Greenleaf.

    Google Scholar 

  • Griskevicius, V., Tybur, J. M., & Van den Bergh, B. (2010). Going green to be seen: Status, reputation and conspicuous conservation. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 98(3), 343–355.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Guercini, S., & Ranfagni, S. (2013). Sustainability and luxury: The Italian case of a supply chain based on native wools. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2013(52), 76–89.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Han, J., Seo, Y., & Ko, E. (2016). Staging luxury experiences for understanding sustainable fashion consumption: A balance theory application. Journal of Business Research, 74, 162–167.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hearst, M. A. (1999, 20–26 June). Untangling text data mining. In Proceedings of ACL’99: The 37th annual meeting of the association for computational linguistics, University of Maryland. http://people.ischool.berkeley.edu/~hearst/papers/acl99.pdf.

  • Hennig-Thurau, T., Malthouse, E. C., Friege, C., Gensler, S., Lobschat, L., Rangaswamy, A., et al. (2010). The impact of new media on customer relationships. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 311–330.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Hennigs, N., Wiedmann, K. P., Klarmann, C., & Behrens, S. (2013). Sustainability as part of the luxury essence: Delivering value through social and environmental excellence. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 52, 25–35.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Janssen, C., Vanhamme, J., Lindgreen, A., & Lefebvre, C. (2014). The catch-22 of responsible luxury: Effects of luxury product characteristics on consumers’ perceptions of fit with corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 119(1), 45–57.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J. (2015). Kapferer on luxury. How luxury brands can grow yet remain rare. Kogan Page Limited.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J., & Michaut, A. (2014). Is luxury compatible with sustainability? Luxury consumers’ viewpoint. Journal of Brand Management, 21, 1–22.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kapferer, J., & Michaut, A. (2020). Are millennials really more sensitive to sustainable luxury? A cross-generational international comparison of sustainability consciousness when buying luxury. Journal of Brand Management, 27, 1–13.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Karaosman, H., Perry, P., Brun, A., & Morales-Alonso, G. (2018). Behind the runway: Extending sustainability in luxury fashion supply chains. Journal of Business Research, 117, 652–663.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualizing, measuring, and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of Marketing, 57(1), 1–22.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Keller, K. L. (1998). Strategic brand management: Building, measuring, and managing brand equity. Prentice-Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  • Keller, K. L. (2003). Brand synthesis: The multidimensionality of brand knowledge. Journal of Consumer Research, 29, 595–600.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kessous, A., & Valette-Florence, P. (2019). From Prada to Nada: Consumers and their luxury products: A contrast between second-hand and first-hand luxury products. Journal of Business Research, 102, 313–327.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Kozinets, R. V. (2002). The field behind the screen: Using the method of netnography to research market-oriented virtual communities. Journal of Consumer Research, 39(1), 61–72.

    Google Scholar 

  • Leban, M., Thomsen, T. U., von Wallpach, S., & Voyer, B. G. (2020). Constructing personas: How high-net-worth social media influencers reconcile ethicality and living a luxury lifestyle. Journal of Business Ethics, 169(1), 1–15. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04485-6.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Leonidou, C. N., & Skarmeas, D. (2017). Gray shades of green: Causes and consequences of green skepticism. Journal of Business Ethics, 144, 401–415.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lim, W. M., Ting, D. H., Bonaventure, V. S., Sendiawan, A. P., & Tanusina, P. P. (2013). What happens when consumers realise about green washing? A qualitative investigation. International Journal of Global Environmental Issues, 13(1), 14–24.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Lochard, C., & Murat, A. (2011). Luxe et développement durable: La nouvelle alliance. Eyrolles.

    Google Scholar 

  • Malär, L., Nyffenegger, B., Krohmer, H., & Hoyer, W. D. (2012). Implementing an intended brand personality: A dyadic perspective. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 40(5), 728–744.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Marzá, N. E. (2013). The formation of the image of top-ranked hotels through real online customer reviews: A corpus-based study of evaluative adjectives as image-formers/providers. International Journal of English Linguistics, 3(4).

    Google Scholar 

  • Naderi, I., & Strutton, D. (2015). I support sustainability but only when doing so reflects fabulously on me: Can green narcissists be cultivated? Journal of Macromarketing, 35(1), 70–83.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Nandan, S. (2005). An exploration of the brand identity–brand image linkage: A communications perspective. Journal of Brand Management, 12(4), 264–278.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Netzer, O., Feldman, R., Goldenberg, J., & Fresko, M. (2012). Mine your own business: Market-structure surveillance through text mining. Marketing Science, 31(3), 521–543.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Noh, M., & Johnson, K. K. P. (2019). Effect of apparel brands’ sustainability efforts on consumers’ brand loyalty. Journal of Global Fashion Marketing, 10(1), 1–17.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Osburg, V., Davies, I., Yoganathan, V., & McLeay, F. (2020). Perspectives, opportunities and tensions in ethical and sustainable luxury: Introduction to the thematic symposium. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04487-4.

  • Ostillio, M. C., & Antonucci, C. (2020). Tommy adaptive: Diversità e inclusione nel settore moda. Micro & Macro Marketing, 2, 419–430.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ozuem, W., Howell, K. E., & Lancaster, G. (2008). Communicating in the new interactive marketspace. European Journal of Marketing, 42(9/10), 1059–1083.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ozuem, W., Patel, A., Howell, K. E., & Lancaster, G. (2017). An exploration of customers’ response to online service recovery initiatives. International Journal of Market Research, 59(1), 97–116.

    Google Scholar 

  • Ozuem, W., Thomas, T., & Lancaster, G. (2016). The influence of customer loyalty on small island economies: An empirical and exploratory study. Journal of Strategic Marketing, 24(6), 447–469.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Parguel, B., Benoît-Moreau, F., & Larceneux, F. (2011). How sustainability ratings might deter ‘greenwashing’: A closer look at ethical corporate communication. Journal of Business Ethics, 102(1), 15–28.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ramaswamy, V., & Ozcan, K. (2016). Brand value co-creation in a digitalized world: An integrative framework and research implications. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 33(1), 93–106.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ranfagni, S., & Faraoni, M. (2018). How to drive brand communication in virtual settings: An analytical approach based on digital data (consumer brand alignment and social engagement). In W. Ozuem, & Y. Azemi (Eds.), Digital marketing strategies for fashion and luxury brands (pp. 248–263). IGI Global.

    Google Scholar 

  • Roiland, D. (2016). Frugality, a positive principle to promote sustainable development. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 29(4), 571–585.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Rolling, V., & Sadachar, A. (2018). Are sustainable luxury goods a paradox for millennials? Social Responsibility Journal, 14(4), 802–815.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Roy, D., & Banerjee, S. (2008). CARE-ing strategy for integration of brand identity with brand image. International Journal of Commerce and Management, 17(1/2), 140–148.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Ryding, D., Henninger, C. E., & Blazquez Cano, M. (Eds.). (2018). Vintage luxury fashion: Exploring the rise of secondhand clothing trade. Palgrave advances in luxury series. Palgrave.

    Google Scholar 

  • Septianto, F., Seo, Y., & Errmann, A. C. (2020). Distinct effects of pride and gratitude appeals on sustainable luxury brands. Journal of Business Ethics, 169, 211–224. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-020-04487-4.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Supphellen, M. (2000). Understanding core brand equity: Guidelines for in-depth elicitation of brand associations. International Journal of Market Research, 42(3), 1–14.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Swales, J. M., & Burke, A. (2003). “It’s really fascinating work”: Differences in evaluative adjectives across academic registers. Language and Computers, 46(1), 1–18.

    Google Scholar 

  • Torelli, C. J., Basu-Monga, S., & Kaikati, A. (2012). Doing poorly by doing good: Corporate social responsibility and brand concepts. Journal of Consumer Research, 38(5), 948–963.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Turunen, L. L. M., Cervellon, M. C., & Carey, L. D. (2020). Selling second-hand luxury: Empowerment and enactment of social roles. Journal of Business Research, 116, 474–481.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Venkatesh, A., Joy, A., Sherry, J. F., Jr., & Deschenes, J. (2010). The aesthetics of luxury fashion, body and identify formation. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 20, 459–470.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  • Voyer, B. G., & Beckham, D. (2014). Can sustainability be luxurious? Advances in Consumer Research Conference Proceedings, 42, 245–250.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wei, L., Li, Y., Zeng, X., & Zhu, J. (2021). Mindfulness in ethical consumption: The mediating roles of connectedness to nature and self-control. International Marketing Review, 4–41. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMR-01-2019-0023.

  • Witten, I. H. (2005). Text mining. In M. P. Singh (Ed.), Practical handbook of internet computing. Chapman & Hall/CRC Press.

    Google Scholar 

  • Zhang, L., Li, D., Cao, C., & Huang, S. (2018). The influence of greenwashing perception on green purchasing intentions: The mediating role of green word-of-mouth and moderating role of green concern. Journal of Cleaner Production, 187, 740–750.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this chapter

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this chapter

Faraoni, M. (2021). Building a Sustainable Brand Image in Luxury Fashion Companies. In: Ozuem, W., Ranfagni, S. (eds) The Art of Digital Marketing for Fashion and Luxury Brands. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-70324-0_12

Download citation