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Introduction

The luxury fashion/clothing industry chosen whose global annual revenues accounted for $263.23 billion, involves shoes, and clothes (Mok et al., 2022). The customer segment of the luxury fashion industry is individuals aged between 25-44 years. The rivals of the brands within this industry entail Armani; Prada; Gucci; and more (Iyengar, 2022). The brand chosen is Christian Dior in this sector. The customer segments of this brand understand its products profoundly beyond the foundation of the goods themselves. This brand has low visibility in sustainability reporting (Donzé et al., 2022). Eco-friendly indicates ‘not detrimental to the environment’. It specifies goods or actions which possess minimum ecological impact (Lee et al., 2023). Sustainability specifies fulfilling one's desires in the absence of negotiating the capability of forthcoming generations to fulfill their own needs (Hessel et al., 2022). The purpose of this paper is to discuss three points concerning the chosen brand.

Q-1) Psychological Variables and Their Impact on Consumer Behavior in an Eco-conscious

Perception

Perception indicates the energy that makes one cognizant of the surroundings and connects meaning to it after a sensing procedure (Omar et al., 2021). It starts with client exposure and awareness of marketing stimuli and finishes with interpretation. It has been found that the sustainable purchasing behavior of young consumers who perceive a higher difficulty in purchasing sustainable products is greatly impacted by the social value connected to purchasing green goods (Kautish et al., 2022). Besides, it has been found that clients who attach extreme relevance to the environment and are attentive to its issues have a risk perception in their mindset that the good or service they utilize might not be as per the claims they have made (Barbu et al., 2022). As per Zaidi (2021), the real-time example of this component can be seen in the case of H&M which used scorecard systems to notify clients about the ecological soundness of every product. Consumers are ready to pay more amount when the goods offered by the brand are sustainable since they feel that they are spending more amount for purchasing natural materials like organic wool. Given this, the Christian Dior brand has to make strategies and practices in this area to compete in the market.

Personality

It is described as an individual's unique psychological structure and how it constantly impacts the manner the individual reacts to his/her environment (Quintelier, 2014). According to the Big Five-factor theory of personality, there are five personality traits namely agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, openness, and emotional stability. Agreeableness means the inclination of a person to be generous, collaborative, and compassionate (Fatoki, 2020). This factor has a significant constructive relation with the sustainable purchase intent of clients since agreeable people are kinder and more likely to suppose other individuals and the environment. This trait is directly proportional to altruistic behaviour and clear concern for the environment implies consumers having such traits might most likely be involved in sustainable consumption behaviour (Quintelier, 2014). Also, it is found that individuals who are open to experiences possess a higher concern for the environment and demonstrate more eco-friendly behaviour. Besides, a greater level of extraversion is inclined to be linked with assertiveness, subjective welfare, and environmental concern. Such individuals are more likely to come in contact with individuals who utilize sustainable or green products. It does not mean that they proactively purchase such items themselves, rather the chance to talk about such concerns may make them more likely to purchase eco-friendly products. Individuals who are conscientious disciplined, and authentic which is intricate to link to a positive outlook to sustainable products. Nevertheless, when such consumers consider the ecological environment as their responsibility, they may be more likely to consume eco-friendly goods. Additionally, consumers with neuroticism traits are found to demonstrate a momentously greater extent of concern for the environment. However, it is also found that the people who score greater on this trait are more anxious about any event with negative outcomes and hence attempt not to lead to ecological degradation (Kvasova, 2015). For example, the Christian Dior brand is more suited to the persona of females than males. This brand is found to be more feminine-oriented. The implication for brand marketers is that there is a surging notion of unisex stuff by various brands that is an effective idea for the brand. This can attract consumers to the brands and it will assist them in increasing market share and sales (Bahjat, & Wali, 2022).

Attitudes

Source: (Huijts et al., 2012)

Attitude is defined as an individual’s constant favorable or unfavorable assessments, sentimental feelings, and action inclinations toward certain notions or objects (Huijts et al., 2012). The multi-attribute attitude model consists of three models: the attitude to an object model; the attitude to behavior model; and TRA (theory of reasoned action)/ TPB (theory of planned behavior). The TPB specifies the relationship between beliefs, attitudes about buying intentions, and the resultant behavior. It has been found that the clients’ attitudes and supposed behavioral control robustly and sustainably influence buying intentions for sustainable goods. It is further found that subjective norms do not impact the purchase choices of eco-conscious individuals (Ruangkanjanases et al., 2020). For example, in the case of the rival Louis Vuitton brand, it is said that the advertising attitude is credited to the impact on brand attitudes, impact consumers’ intent to purchase. Also, income was found as the factor affecting the consumer's attitude towards its products. This offers an opportunity for Christian Dior marketers to make marketing strategies more efficient (Teki̇n et al., 2016).

Motivation

It is considered an activated interior need state contributing to purposive behavior to gratify that desire (Harvey et al., 2014). The self-determination theory of motivation is found to play a vital role in elucidating the psychological desires of clients to convert pro-ecological inclination into environmentally-friendly behavior. Based on this theory, eco-conscious consumers might gratify their capability desire by paying elite prices for sustainable goods, might gratify their association desire by caring for other's advantages such as environmental safety, and might gratify their independence desire by voluntarily involved in pro-ecological behaviors (Wang et al., 2021). For example, the consumers of the Louis Vuitton brand perceived design as their prime motive to purchase its sustainable products. Other motives were fond as social level, service and promotion, and guaranteed quality. Therefore, the Christian Dior brand has to improve itself in such areas to compete in the market (Teki̇n et al., 2016).

Learning

It defines changes in an individual’s action occurring from experience (Joshi & Rahman, 2019). The cognitive learning theory is useful for determining consumer behavior toward eco-friendly products by learning about the item via analysis and assessment. It has been found that the eco-conscious consumer's purchase choices are robustly impacted by cognitive learning theory (Edy, 2020). It has been found that the Christian Dior brand has licensed the name of the designer to products ranging from underwear to umbrellas given stimulus generalization. Also, it is asserted that the consumers of eco-friendly goods of this brand are found to reflect traits such as higher warmth; effective partnership; and competence (Niosi, 2021). To improve its practices, the Dior brand should perform digital marketing to entice consumers towards its eco-friendly products. Moreover, a brand must engage clients on product durability and impact-per-wear data.

Q-2) Social and Cultural Influences on Consumer Decision-Making Process (CDMM)

Consumer Decision-Making Model and Process

Source: Lappeman et al. (2021)

The consumer buying decision-making process starts with the client purchasing the services or products in exchange for money in the marketplace before, during, and after the buying of products or services. There are five stages of CDMM namely need recognition and information search. These are followed by evaluation of alternatives, purchase, and then post-purchase behavior (Qazzafi, 2019). In the initial need recognition stage, businesses can explore the necessity of the consumer and develop marketing approaches. In information search, when a client visits the marketplace to purchase products or services he recalls his perception of the product. If the prior experience is positive, then the client purchases that good or explores information from various sources such as family, salespeople, mass media, online search, social media, and more. The evaluation of alternatives stage is when a client gathers information about a good or a brand and analyzes it (Panwar et al., 2019). In the purchase stage, the consumer has chosen to purchase a good after gathering information from numerous sources, assessing it, and choosing where to buy and what to buy. He provides the greatest rank in the previous stage. In the post-purchase stage, the companies continue to work after the consumer purchases a product to know the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of consumers after using the product (Dapas et al., 2019).

Impact of Social and Cultural Influences on Consumer Buying Decision

Social and cultural factors are those factors that entail entire impacts on purchase decisions that emanate from interactions between a client and the external environment. Such factors include family, reference groups, and more (Shavitt & Cho, 2016). There is no doubt that the reference groups mainly figure out the desired and undesired goods. Besides, these tend to impact the choices of goods, information procedures, and shopping behaviors of clients. Also, the family members are impacted by one another in each phase of consumer buying decisions (Durmaz, 2014). Power-distance cultural factors are explored to monitor their impact on consumer buying behavior. It is found that high power distance makes clients feel a necessity to improve their social status by linking with sustainable brands (Lee & Lalwani, 2023). Rituals do have an impact on consumer buying decisions. For instance, the gift-giving ritual is a chance for businesses to capitalize on many holidays by comprehending the kinds of goods that the client rejoices in giving to the enormous individuals in their lives. It is found that sometimes clients provide them gifts as a stimulus to surge their self-confidence, reward them for something they acted well on, or recover from an unfavorable experience. In the setting of holidays, it can be said that culture has a momentous impact on the manner of rejoicing, and then on shopping and buying decisions (Bradford & Sherry Jr, 2023).

Type of Social Media and Their Uses

Types of social media can include networking, content communities, microblogging, collaborative projects, and more (Hamm et al., 2013). Networking is traditional social networking websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. Such platforms are useful for individuals to connect with family, brands, and friends. These websites usually inspire knowledge and are all about human-to-human interactions. Another type of social media is blogging which is an excellent way for brands and marketing professionals to reach and offer reliable information to their target consumers (Davis et al., 2020). Content communities in social media indicate a set of individuals with mutual interests who come collectively for the motive to create, share, and consume content. They enable users to share virtually multimedia materials. Consumer reviews and ratings are another type of social media that are deemed an effectual means to refine client service and surge sales. These can offer valued feedback which assists brands to thrive and flourish (Hajek et al., 2020). Collaborative projects are considered a specialized kind of social media use that facilitates the simultaneous and joint development of knowledge-linked content by numerous end-users. Microblogging is deemed a brief blog post made for prompt and usually guides audience collaborations. Such short blogs can be shared utilizing social media channels such as Instagram and might entail diverse content forms like images, videos, and more (Kolmykova et al., 2021).

Impact of Types of Social Media on Each Stage of CDMM amongst Eco-conscious Customers

  • Need recognition: There is no doubt that social media shapes the needs of eco-conscious consumers. Social networks can create norms. The interactions on social networks help brands figure out consumer needs and comprehend what their marketplace may look like (Mason et al., 2021).
  • Information search: In this stage, the consumers are inclined to believe in what their family and friends suggest about eco-friendly products. The posts by influencers and celebrities, content shared by friends, and customer reviews on social platforms can be effective means to create positive outlooks for consumers to purchase eco-friendly products. For example, consumers can see the influencer marketing performed by the Dior brand (Fauser et al., 2023). For information search, consumers can search for backstage stories, insights about the brand, and pertinent social events on the Instagram page of the Christian Dior brand (Rahme, 2021)
  • Evaluation of alternatives: The content communities have a vital influence on consumer purchase decisions for eco-friendly products by offering and enabling information such as sustainability reviews, suggestions, and feedback to assist clients in searching for and assessing alternatives (Sulthana & Vasantha, 2019). After seeing the aesthetic images of the sustainable fashion of models on Dior brand's Instagram page, consumers can evaluate alternatives (Oliveira & Fernandes, 2022).
  • Purchase decision: Celebrity endorsements, blogs, and microblogs help consumers in this stage to make purchase decisions for sustainability products. It is found that the authenticity, expertise, and appeal of celebrities possess a positive influence on consumers' purchase decisions for green products (Khare et al., 2022). The partnerships of the Dior brand with celebrities such as Robert Pattinson can be helpful for consumers to make purchase decisions for eco-friendly products (Diderich, 2022).
  • Post-purchase decisions: Social media channels can influence cognitive dissonance for consumers. It might be that social media posts by friends of the consumer after purchase do not first address their pre-existing suppositions, then dissonance might occur at the post-purchase stage (Zhang & Pan, 2023).

Q-3) Influence of Engaging Consumers through Social Media on the Process of Diffusion of Innovation

Concept of Innovation and Types of Innovation

Innovation indicates the practical use of notions that lead to diverse novel types of newer offerings like processes, products, and more aiming to refine present applications or develop new solutions. There are three types of innovation namely radical, incremental, and disruptive (Benzidia et al., 2021). Radical innovation alters the situations of a brand, whether concerning market or corporate dynamics. Furthermore, incremental innovation provides newer attributes to a brand, or product in the absence of endorsing an extremely drastic change. Additionally, disruptive innovation follows the market more than a definite brand or product (Kocabasoglu‐Hillmerm et al., 2023). House of Dior is considered a disruptive innovation by the Christian Dior brand. (Antonaglia & Passebois Ducros, 2020). Also, an instance of disruptive innovation in the Dior brand is the Bonne Conduite dress which is a minimalistic gray smock dress in speckled wool (Vince, 2017). The radical innovation at Dior is the Bar Jacket which uses air-bag technology and temperature-regulating components (Moss, 2022).

Process of Diffusion of Innovation and Adopter Categories

The diffusion of innovations theory defines how novel notions, behaviors, and techniques spread throughout the population moderately instead of all at the same time. It can be said that adoption initiates with innovators and early adopters diffuses through population to the early majority and late majority (Vargo et al., 2020). Al-Razgan et al. (2021) provide the process of diffusion including steps like knowledge, persuasion and decision. This is followed by implementation and confirmation. Given the Dior brand, this theory is better applied using influencer marketing to persuade people to get the product for free and share it broadly. There is a hashtag-led campaign of the Dior brand which targets micro-influencers to stimulate heavy traffic and engagement (Octoly, 2017). It has been found that this brand has been talked about 1431 times by 840 influencers in just six months which supports the process of diffusion of innovation theory (Khosla, 2023).

Source: Sahin (2006)

Adopter Categories Include the following

Innovators: These are open to risks and the early ones to attempt newer ideas. The CEO of the Dior brand Pietro Beccari has been an innovator who took digital risks during the pandemic times.

Early adopters: The ones who are keen on attempting newer technologies and developing their use in society. The Dior brand is found as the early adopter of the new DiorB30 sneakers.

Early majority: The ones who pave the way for the usage of innovation within the main society and are part of the usual population. In respect of the Dior brand, the early majority is its signature Bar suit

Late majority: The individuals who follow the early majority in implementing the innovation as part of routine life.

Laggards: Individuals who lag behind the general population in adopting imaginative goods and newer notions (Lund et al., 2020). The Dior brand is still missing out on the sort of value development happening at businesses when it comes to technology (Gárgoles & Garcia Hiljding, 2023).

Elements of Diffusion Process and Factors Influencing Diffusion of Innovation

Elements of the diffusion process are as follows:

The innovation itself

The channels of communication which include salespeople, mass media and opinion leaders

The social system which is the target market

Over which period

Source: (Noris & Cantoni 2022)

Innovation: It means newness of the product or service offerings. For the Dior brand, the launch of Dior B33 sneakers is deemed an enormous innovation that reflects the potent mixture of high fashion and progressive technology (Ebenezer, 2023).

Channels of communication: These transmit information about innovation from the marketing professionals to the individuals in the social system. The Dior brand uses channels such as audio-visual media, print media, social platforms, WOM (word-of-mouth) marketing, and more channels to share information about new and existing products (Noris & Cantoni 2022).

Social system: It is the setting wherein the diffusion happens. The target segment of the Dior brand is high-end clients who are always ready to pay higher prices (Gu, 2023).

Time: It figures out the pace of adoption and the resulting combination of the innovative offering (Lundberg et al., 2019). The Dior brand has been efficient in adopting innovative offerings since it ranks number one in the current Vogue Business Index in terms of omnichannel, client sentiment, innovation, ESG, and digital (More, 2023).

Factors Affecting the Diffusion of Innovations are as follows

The factors that affect the diffusion of innovations include relative advantage, complexity, observability, trialability and compatibility (Call & Herber, 2022).

Influence of Social Media on Diffusion of Innovations on Eco-friendly Products

It has been stated that social media networks are vital for the diffusion of innovations since relations can nurture communication, faith, and the flow of information (Djerf-Pierre et al., 2020). Social media has empowered the users and the users have an opportunity to possess diverse roles in the media, even if they can act on all the roles at the same time. Social platforms offer vital prospects to individuals by providing an opportunity to express them in an open atmosphere (Chan et al., 2020). The eco-conscious consumers can prefer to utilize social media for socialization, self-expression, and communication about eco-friendly products' benefits (Choi & Ahn, 2023). Nevertheless, consumers might refuse to utilize social media channels at the decision stage and offer rejection initially. Besides, the absence of technical competencies might impact the rejection decision of eco-conscious consumers (Nurhandayani et al.,2019). An example of this can be the Dior brand's achievement which reflects that knowledge attained via Instagram possesses a significant impact on the consumer's inclination towards its eco-friendly products mainly on lessening the intricacies of sustainability innovation adoption. Below is the post shared by Dior on Instagram reflecting the sustainability of the fashion brand.

Source: (Bonilla-Quijada et al., 2023).

This post asserts that Instagram use has impacted generating diverse levels of engagement of consumers towards adopting innovation in the form of sustainable products (Bonilla-Quijada et al., 2023).

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