The Power of Luxury Streetwear
Collections: Examining UK Generation Z’s purchase intents through Social Media
The immediate context
of this dissertation is the usage of social
media marketing, the growth of luxury
streetwear collaborations, and its influence on Generation Z’s purchase intents.
In the modern-day era, social media has become an
indispensable part of life, especially among Gen Z consumers globally (McCrindle, M. and Wolfinger, E.
2009). From a marketing standpoint, Gen Z’s aged from 16-19 are
especially important to brands because they are a distinct group already
influencing and making purchases across a handful of key categories (Southgate, 2017).
The goals of brands social media marketing are to deepen relationships
with customers, learn from the community, and drive purchase intent (Murdough, 2009). This is
particularly important amongst Gen Z’s because they are not only spending more
time on social platforms, but are also spending the time on a number of
different platforms compared to other generations. These range well beyond Facebook and YouTube and include Instagram,
Twitter and Snapchat (Southgate,
Compared to suburban and rural locations, ‘Urban’ Teens use
social media 6% more to find out about brands, learning about new things they
want to buy, and use it to learn more about celebrities (Marketing to the iGeneration, 2017). Therefore, there is a strong importance on
the primary objectives brand marketers should consider when developing their
marketing campaigns. These primary objectives usually include creating brand
awareness; generating consumer demand; providing information; stimulating
traffic; building relationships; promoting two-way communication; giving
customer service; establishing brand loyalty; creating WOM; generating leads
and increasing sales (Duffett,
Relating to luxury street wear collections, younger luxury
shoppers are being targeted by luxury brands because a number of them have been
adding more affordable products to their collections which offsets pressures in
the market (Luxury Goods Retail, 2017). This contributes to the idea of
streetwear democratizing fashion and making it more accessible to a younger
audience (Singer, 2017).
Because of streetwear collaborations, luxury spending is
shifting towards Gen-z and Millennial Consumers, whom will make up 45% of the
global luxury market by 2025 (Morency,
2017). Bain predicts that over the next three year’s millennials and
Gen-Z will boost the value of the luxury goods market to €290 billion (£258
billion), with the generations accounting for 45% of the market by 2025 (Hoang, 2017).
According to a report conducted in May/June 2017, more than
half of internet users 16+ worldwide believe that the quality of luxury goods
is more important than brand name (Luxury Goods Retail, 2017). On the contrary, there is an exception to this
for luxury brands whom are extending into high-end streetwear. Luxury
streetwear collections are heavily reliant on branded garments, such as the
Louis Vuitton’s Supreme collaboration and Tommy Hilfiger’s Vetements
collaboration (Luxury Goods Retail, 2017). They are going against the shift of minimal branding and
resonating with generation Z.
Luxury streetwear collaborations appeal towards consumers
globally because of the exclusivity factor. In the UK, runner up of China, 40% of
men agree that “If a luxury brand it to widely available it loses appeal” (Luxury
Goods Retail, 2017).
Studies have been
done regarding Gen Z’s increasing usage of social media, but not as much
has been done on their social media activities and its behavioral impact (Prakash Yadav, G, & Rai, J,
Therefore, this dissertation aims to uncover Generation Z’s attitudes towards
social media marketing, within the luxury streetwear sector. In addition – most
studies focused on Generation Z’s and social media have been looked at from a
global point of view, so this topic has not been suitably measured within the
begin to address this gap, an exploratory study on how luxury streetwear
collaborations use social media marketing to influence generation Z’s purchase
intents will be conducted. Using a sample of UK urban teen consumers,
semi-structured interviews will uncover the answers to the following essential
· Which social media channel
(Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) is being used the most by UK generation Z’s to
· What influences do social
media marketing communications have on generation Z’s cognitive, affective, and
· How do the marketing
strategies, tools, and appeals each luxury brand is using relate to Generation
Z’s engagement with social media?
dissertation aims to fully answer all of these questions. Therefore, it
contributes to the literature review on intersections of social media
marketing, luxury streetwear collections, and generation Z’s purchase intents.
Furthermore, this study concludes with potential suggestions for luxury
marketers to extend or not extend into streetwear collaborations and guidelines
to how it can attract the new generation.
The aim of this study is to understand the
effectiveness of streetwear/luxury collections through examining social media
platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and its effect on generation Z’s
purchase intent, in order to provide potential suggestions for luxury
Explore the theories and practices of social media
through streetwear brands/collaboration marketing campaigns and identify
the key factors that influence generation Z streetwear consumption (secondary
Evaluate current streetwear marketing campaigns and
their social media usage to develop instruments for primary research (secondary
identify the best strategies in streetwear
collaborations by determining which social media techniques mostly
impact the generation Z consumer experience (primary research)
use of social media platforms and Evaluate how their usage can impact on
the purchase intent of streetwear collaborations (primary research).
recommendations for luxury fashion brands to implement streetwear
collaborations into their business model and Identify how these
strategies will target generation Z consumers (suggested
solutions/recommendations for action)
PROPOSED RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
Mono method qualitative
Data Collection and Data Analysis
Interested in gaining insights of Generation Z’s purchase intents towards luxury
streetwear collections through a mono—method qualitative design. My approach
will claim emancipatory consumptions with a narrative design through open-ended
This study will take the non-probability sampling approach
of 10-15 semi-constructed interviews. Such a sample size of 5-25 is recommended
for semi-structured /in-depth interviews (Saunders, Lewis and
Thornhill, 2016). The purposed methodology will aim for a homogenous
male sample size. When the aim of the study’s research is to understand
commonalities within a fairly homogenous group, 12 in-depth interviews should
suffice (Guest et al,
2006). Guest et al. also states that if the sample is heterogeneous or
the research question is to broad, the 12 interviews would not likely be
sufficient. A Male sample has been chosen
over a female sample because of a study done by Mintel indicating that men are
significantly more likely to put off a brand if it becomes too accessible (Luxury
Goods Retail, 2017). This relates directly to the
exclusivity factor of luxury streetwear collections.
The targeted respondent is London, UK urban male teens
ranging in the age of 16-19 years. According to Southgate, this is the age in
which Gen Z consumers have started influencing and making their own purchase
intents (Southgate, 2017).
In addition, compared to suburban/rural location, ‘Urban’ Teens use social
media 6% more to find out about new brands and to learn about new things they
want to buy (Mintel, 2017)
The interviews will be conducted in-person at a UAL living accommodation.
The interviews will be conducted using an appropriate use of different types of
questions. The questions will avoid using emotional language, and be presents
in a factual way (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016).
The purposed data will be recorded and analyzed with note
taking and audio-recording. Doing both methods have many advantages, one being
the ability to re-listen to the interview during data analysis (Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill, 2016).
This study will use an inductive approach of directed content analysis, which
initial coding starts with the theory that due to strategy, certain social
media marketing campaigns influence generation Z, possibly ones relative to
luxury streetwear collections.
The study conducted will use a mono-method qualitative
approach, which in itself provides a handful of potential limitations. The
proposed model will be developed and tested under specifically luxury
streetwear collections. Therefore, the results cannot be simply generalized to
other contexts. The use of predetermined questions for my semi-structured
interviews could express bias. There is a possibility that the questions could
unintentionally encourage or discourage certain facts or opinions.
According to Saunders,
Lewis, and Thornhill the disadvantages of audio-recording are the factor
of the recording being distracting, it may inhibit some of the interviewees
responses and reduce reliability, possibility of technical problems, and
finally the time required to transcribe the audio-recording (Saunders,
Lewis and Thornhill, 2016)