Buying behaviour of "tweenage" girls and key societal communicating factors influencing their purchasing of fashion clothing

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Purpose - To examine the key communicating factors which influence 12-13 year old girls in their purchasing decisions for fashion clothing. Design/methodology/approach - A series of four, structured focus group interviews, consisting of six girls, with questions developed after analysing the available literature. A qualitative method of data analysis was conducted based around five related themes and the "reflective stage", 11-16 years of John (1999). Findings - This stage is highly fashion-sensitive. The findings show the key decision factors when buying are parental and peer group approval, and the purchasing of fashion items is strongly influenced by brand name and its associations. The findings revealed the respondents were prepared to pay a premium for branded clothing, placing a high emphasis on the product being deemed cool. Research limitations/implications - The study utilises purely qualitative methods to explore the role of branding and purchasing influences from the perspective of these girls in order to gain a richer and deeper understanding of their behaviour. The findings provide the basis for further research into the buying behaviour of older girls. Practical implications - The results of this study could be used by fashion retailers, marketers and their advertising agencies when planning a media campaign targeted at 12-13 year old girls. Originality/value - Understanding the importance of the selected themes can help fashion retailers study their consumers based on the key dimensions reported in this research and ensure that the key communication factors identified, are considered prior to developing a campaign for this target group.

Keywords: Adolescents; Brands; Buying Behaviour; Communication; Fashion; Girls

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2005

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