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Efficient Social Media Marketing for Sustainable Fashion Companies

Increasing interest and engagement on Instagram among millennial males by appealing to their values

Written by N. Lilja

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Thesis: Important factors to consider in marketing With the large number of fashion options available to millennial men, sustainable fashion companies must market in a way that overwhelms the attractive prices of fast fashion. Since sustainable fashion companies want to reach target audiences, it is important to understand the factors that influence and attract consumers (D'Souza et al., 2015). Men usually care about the environment and are interested in sustainable clothing. For them, the higher price of the product is not a deal breaker and has little to do with the purchase decision. Results of D’Souza et al. The research of al. (2015) shows that in terms of purchase, the main factors that have a negative impact on men are the reputation and brand image of sustainable fashion brands. Men tend to buy brands with high-value and undisturbed brand images. Attributes such as product price and quality are not as important as brand reputation (D'Souza,, 2015). According to this, Abeliotis et al. (2010) shows that four-fifths of consumers are willing to pay higher prices for products that support the environment (Abeliotis et al., 2010). However, the research of D'Souza et al. (2015) also shows that in order to allow male consumers to engage with sustainable products with a positive attitude, sustainable development companies and their marketing need to be improved. Marketing strategies should not educate male consumers about sustainable fashion, but should aim to educate the male population about the positive differences between sustainable products and non-sustainable products (D'Souza et al., 2015). The lack of product choices and information, and the lack of clarity about the benefits of changing consumption habits to improve sustainability have proven to be major problems (D'Souza et al., 2015). In addition to a clear brand image, higher prices when products are classified as sustainable products, and clear communication of the benefits of sustainable fashion, research has also shown that social pressure affects and influences purchasing decisions (Bakewell, Mitchell, and Rothwell, 2006 year). Social pressure has been found to be a key factor in determining the shopping behavior of millennial men. This pressure is based on society and business, and it targets the male population. The challenge for marketers is that fashion is seen as a "feminine" concept. It has been found that male groups are afraid of appearing too feminine (Bakewell, Mitchell, Rothwell, 2006). Although gender roles have become more and more transparent, men are still under intense social pressure and need to act in accordance with their gender-related norms (Bakewell, Mitchell, Rothwell, 2006). 2.3 Social media marketing-the key to the interest of millennials Some people suggest that sustainable brands should present themselves to men in a similar way to luxury goods. In this way, the brand image of sustainable companies will avoid male consumers' negative attitudes towards them, and instead allow male millennials to see it as a luxury option (D'Souza et al., 2015). The study by D'Souza et al. (2015) and the study by Kim and Eunju (2012) adopted a similar approach to sustainable fashion marketing. Research results show that social media has a positive impact on consumers when used as a source of interest. Social media enables millennials to discover new brands, which encourages them to connect with brands in social affairs that take place online. This is positive for sustainable fashion companies because they can connect with consumers through social media. By opening a transparent space between consumers and fashion brands, the relationship between them begins to form, and the perceived value of the brand and consumer loyalty begin to grow (Kim & Eunju, 2012). In addition, Vandenbosch (2017) and Dabija (2018) agree that social media builds loyal millennial consumers. The best goal of this generation is to establish a loyal boundary with sustainable retail Dabija (2018). To begin to connect with loyal consumers on social media platforms, the content the company shares needs to attract the target audience. Earlier in this chapter, we introduced a discussion of the factors that influence the shopping journey of millennials. Content on social media should aim to align with these factors. Capeli (2019) showed that on Instagram, these factors can be resolved by categorizing content. The results show that content that has nothing to do with fashion is the most attractive category among Instagram users. The second most enlightening and interactive category is images showing products and their details. The category of images that leads to the least interaction and interest is outsourced influencer images (Capeli, 2019). By outsourcing influencers, the author refers to images of influencers shared by others other than the influencers, and the influencers are mentioned in the image captions (Capeli, 2019). In addition, Capeli (2019) shows that different content attracts Instagram users more than stable, monotonous, expected content. The content that has caused the most participation along with pictures is video content. This shows that sustainable fashion companies use it as an appropriate choice for marketing when building brand images and strengthening connections with consumers. According to Kim and Eunju (2012), building trust and a strong brand image among millennial men is relevant and valuable. Read Less