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Haute couture devotees buck the trend for user-designed fashion

Haute couture devotees buck the trend for user-designed fashion

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Aug 10, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Haute couture devotees buck the trend foruser-designed fashion
CHICAGO, Aug. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The trend for crowd-sourced fashion goods is booming; new research, however, showsthat crowdsourcing fashion only works for mainstream brands
tryselling an haute couture devotee a user-designed Gucci purse and shewill reject it as inferior and potentially damaging to her reputation.(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20111102/DC96044LOGO)  The study,published in the September issue of theAmerican Marketing Association's
shows that while mainstreamfashion labels can benefit from user-designed products, the same doesnot apply to luxury fashion brands. Instead, customers perceive user-designed luxury products to be lower in quality and lacking in the highstatus associated with purchasing items made by the world's top fashiondesigners.
"Luxury fashion fans want to touch a piece of fame, not the 'boy nextdoor,'" says Darren Dahl, Marketing Professor at the Sauder School of Business, UBC.In contrast to mainstream fashion brands such as H&M, Diesel, or Replay, the authors found that when luxury brands such as Prada, Gucciand Luis Vuitton attempt to sell fan-designed goods, they fail to get buy-in from their customers.The reason for this difference in consumer behavior, according to MartinSchreier, Professor of Marketing at WU Vienna, is that people buyluxury fashion to signal that they have high status and are better off thanothers. "Buying a Prada bag designed by another user would cheapen theitem and be counterproductive toward that end," he says."When it comes to user-designed fashion, mainstream brands, which are positioned to make their customers feel closer to each other shouldconsider user involvement a gold mine as it triggers the sought-after sense of community," says Christoph Fuchs, Associate Professor at theRotterdam School of Management. "But for luxury brands which are positioned to help their customers exhibit affluence and elevated socialstatus, user involvement is a powder keg that might backfire."Emanuela Prandelli, also co-author of the study, states that "the paper issues a strong warning to marketers of premium fashion brands, urgingthem to rethink how they approach user involvement in the design of new products." But there is also a ray of hope for luxury brands that aimto pursue crowdsourcing: the authors of the paper identify three practicalstrategies that can negate harmful outcomes for premium fashion brandsand help marketers realize the crucial benefits that user-involvement can bring to brands when managed correctly.

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