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The Role of Influencer Marketing

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This paper looks at the growth of influencer marketing in application and how it has shifted the relationship between brands and consumers. Barriers to enter the space and methods of practice are discussed and analyzed to project the accessibility of

This paper looks at the growth of influencer marketing in application and how it has shifted the relationship between brands and consumers. Barriers to enter the space and methods of practice are discussed and analyzed to project the accessibility of obtaining influencer status. Best practices for brands and influencers are outlined based on research, and key findings are analyzed from interviewed participants that play an active role in the field. Another component of the paper includes the discussion of the significance of platform dependence regarding influencers and brands using social media channels to reach consumers. The dynamic of the relationship that exists between consumers, brands and platforms is demonstrated through a model to demonstrate the interdependence of the relationship. The final component of the paper involves the exploration of the field as an active participant through an experiment that was conducted by the researcher on behalf of the question: can anyone be an influencer? The answer to this question is explored through personal accounts on the journey during an eight month process of testing content creation and promotion to build awareness and increase engagement. The barriers to enter the space as an influencer and to collaborate with brands is addressed through the process of testing tactics and strategies on social channels, along with travel expeditions across Arizona to contribute to content creation purposed into blog articles. The findings throughout the paper are conclusive that the value of influencer marketing is increasing as more brands validate and utilize this method in their marketing efforts.

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Created

Date Created
2018-05

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Aventure: A Luxury Retail Experience

Description

Aventure is the newest contemporary luxury men and women’s apparel and accessories boutique in Arizona. The boutique will be located in Downtown Scottsdale, specifically in McKellips Plaza conveniently located near Scottsdale Fashion Square. Aventure is the first of its kind

Aventure is the newest contemporary luxury men and women’s apparel and accessories boutique in Arizona. The boutique will be located in Downtown Scottsdale, specifically in McKellips Plaza conveniently located near Scottsdale Fashion Square. Aventure is the first of its kind in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area, providing Millennial fashion fanatics with a destination that fills the empty void in the city’s growing fashion scene. At Aventure, we bridge the gap between pop culture, streetwear, and high-fashion. Through our mantra ‘Redefining the Luxury Retail Experience,’ we aim is to promote expression of one’s self to the fullest extent through style.

‘Aventure,’ which means “experience” or “adventure” in French, defines this upscale boutique and its essence of inclusion. This store does not aim to be your traditional retailer; instead, Aventure aims to build a community within and around the store for individuals with similar styles and passion for fashion. At the moment, the city of Scottsdale (and the Metro Phoenix area as a whole) does not have its own identity in the fashion world. There is no reason why Metro Phoenix cannot, with time, become more recognized in the global fashion community. With an array of exclusive luxury merchandise and an urban atmosphere, Aventure aims to pioneer the Valley’s establishment on the national high-end fashion scene.

The boutique is a result of the vision of its founder Ahmed Imam. Ahmed is a graduating Honors student at Arizona State Univeristy’s W.P. Carey School of Business, pursuing concurrent degrees in Finance and Business Entrepreneurship. Having been passionate about fashion for as long as he can remember, Ahmed will leverage his connections to the industry and excellent understanding of the Metro Phoenix market to turn Aventure into a hallmark of the community. Through his professional experience and educational background, Ahmed also brings the necessary knowledge and skills to the table to effectively run a startup.

The retail industry is experiencing steady growth, with the luxury goods sector expected to perform very well in the coming years. Using market-based sales forecasting, Aventure is estimated to break even by the third year of operations. Sales are expected to grow 20 percent after Year 1, and grow 5 percent thereafter. Net operating income of $83,643 is estimated in Year 1, growing to $141,351 by the end of Year 3. Overall, total startup expenses are estimated to be $206,574, made up of investments from owners and a term loan from Bank of America. The owner investment will be used to cover capital equipment, location, and administrative expenses. These include furniture, equipment, machinery, rent, utility, legal and accounting fees, prepaid insurance, and other expenses. The majority of the term loan will be used to finance opening inventory and advertising expenses, with the rest going towards cash on the balance sheet to ensure liquidity.

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Created

Date Created
2017-05

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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

Description

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Created

Date Created
2017-05

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The Greater Impact that Micro Influencers Have on Brand Marketing

Description

Micro influencers have become extremely powerful in terms of swaying buying patterns among consumers. This thesis examines the greater impact that micro influencers have on brand marketing. This was completed through a literature review that highlights the evolution of marketing,

Micro influencers have become extremely powerful in terms of swaying buying patterns among consumers. This thesis examines the greater impact that micro influencers have on brand marketing. This was completed through a literature review that highlights the evolution of marketing, influencer marketing, discussing reach, relevance, and resonance, and Generation Z’s purchasing decisions. In addition, we conducted an online survey through Qualtrics that allowed us to analyze the impact social media influencers have. The results of our research indicate that TikTok is used most frequently, but Instagram is where social media influencers are followed most. From our data, we concluded that Generation Z is most influenced by authentic, genuine content created by influencers regardless of follower count. We recommend that a brand interested in reaching Generation Z (we refer to the brand as “Brand X”) use micro influencers, as our research shows that genuine relationships are valued among this generation. We believe that micro influencers are the most valuable to use as they are able to create meaningful relationships with consumers due to their reach, relevance, and resonance with the individuals their content reaches.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

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The Greater Impact that Micro Influencers Have on Brand Marketing

Description

Micro influencers have become extremely powerful in terms of swaying buying patterns among consumers. This thesis examines the greater impact that micro influencers have on brand marketing. This was completed through a literature review that highlights the evolution of marketing,

Micro influencers have become extremely powerful in terms of swaying buying patterns among consumers. This thesis examines the greater impact that micro influencers have on brand marketing. This was completed through a literature review that highlights the evolution of marketing, influencer marketing, discussing reach, relevance, and resonance, and Generation Z’s purchasing decisions. In addition, we conducted an online survey through Qualtrics that allowed us to analyze the impact social media influencers have. The results of our research indicate that TikTok is used most frequently, but Instagram is where social media influencers are followed most. From our data, we concluded that Generation Z is most influenced by authentic, genuine content created by influencers regardless of follower count. We recommend that a brand interested in reaching Generation Z (we refer to the brand as “Brand X”) use micro influencers, as our research shows that genuine relationships are valued among this generation. We believe that micro influencers are the most valuable to use as they are able to create meaningful relationships with consumers due to their reach, relevance, and resonance with the individuals their content reaches.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2021-05

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Das Good: A Cultural and Culinary Experience

Description

After traveling to both Germany and Austria and attending traditional festivals such as Oktoberfest in Munich and the famous Christkindl Markets in Salzburg and Innsbruck, we were both inspired by our cultural and culinary experience. This also fostered confusion as

After traveling to both Germany and Austria and attending traditional festivals such as Oktoberfest in Munich and the famous Christkindl Markets in Salzburg and Innsbruck, we were both inspired by our cultural and culinary experience. This also fostered confusion as to why German and Bavarian cuisine was an underrepresented food category in the U.S.

We completed in depth secondary research, focusing on environmental trends (social, economic, technological, political/legal, and natural) that affect the business environment in America, as well as produced a current market analysis of the American restaurant industry. This market analysis includes the discovery and evaluation of the history of the American restaurant industry, its evolution, its forecasted trends, and more specifically, taking a closer look at the nearly visible presence German cuisine establishments currently represent in America’s marketplace. By uncovering forecasted trends and determining the important presence the restaurant industry holds in America’s economy, we confirmed that designing and opening a German inspired restaurant is a great investment in an industry that continues to grow and prosper.

Before settling on a concept, we tested three unique German inspired models. Option 1, Prost, uniquely resembles a bar. Prost is described as a very casual and spacious beer garden placing an emphasis on quality German beer and small shared plates or appetizers. In contrast, option 2, Geister Haus is described as an upscale sit down restaurant that not only provides a wide selection of beer, wine, and spirits, but also an extensive menu with traditional German plates. Geister Haus is meant to provide its consumers with the authentic German experience. Lastly, option 3, Das Good is a modern concept that creates a fusion of German and American culture by providing traditional German specialties with a twist.

After conducting a survey testing all three concepts, the feedback we received from our test subjects (41 individuals representing diverse demographics) confirmed that Das Good was the most interesting German inspired concept that they would most likely visit. However, Prost was a close second, and many respondents suggested a combination of the two concepts; that is how the finalized Das Good restaurant was formed. Das Good’s business plan includes:
Company mission and values centered around diversity, community, and celebration
Target consumer profile otherwise known as Jackson Nelson that represents the specific demographic and psychographic qualities of a potential consumer we intend to attract
Competitive analysis of three carefully selected primary competitors (The Yard at Culinary Dropout, Brat Haus, and Pedal Haus Brewery) located within the Valley
Beyond the details of our business plan, we placed an emphasis on the marketing campaigns and design aspects of Das Good. For example, we researched three specific locations in which we will consider to invest, and developed a full menu including item descriptions and prices. We focused on physical evidence of store blueprints including indoor seating and outdoor patio layout and explained the value of our community centered open floor plan. Finally, we crafted a two-fold marketing plan that integrates digital exposure via local influencers and customer engagement via prize-worthy games featured at music, arts, and food festivals.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2019-05

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Asana Arizona: Strategic Marketing Planning and Consumer Behavior

Description

Asana Arizona is a concept created by Arizona State University students Halie Blauser and Stephen Argentati to sell handmade jewelry. They were inspired to start making jewelry in their free time, and were interested to see if they could create

Asana Arizona is a concept created by Arizona State University students Halie Blauser and Stephen Argentati to sell handmade jewelry. They were inspired to start making jewelry in their free time, and were interested to see if they could create a profitable small business. Their first priority was to create a strategic marketing plan, to examine the current external/internal environment and find marketplace opportunities. As a part of this they performed research to determine which fashion styles would be the best target demographic to market their products to, and found that consumers who identified as "Bohemian", "Hipster", and "Punk" were the best target demographics. They also found that a majority of college students do not care whether or not a product is handmade or locally made, and primarily just care about price. Online social media pages were created for Asana Arizona on Instagram, Etsy, and Facebook, and a Facebook ads were created and boosted towards the target fashion styles.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
2016-12

Trust in Influencer Marketing on TikTok and Its Effects on Consumer Decisions

Description

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the concept of trust when it comes to influencer marketing alongside the Fogg Behavior Model. Used to evaluate an individual’s behavior in the decisions making process, The Fogg Behavior Model bases itself in a persuasive environment by focusing on three key elements: motivation, ability, and trigger. When utilized in collaboration with influencer marketing, these elements together could have a strong effect on driving consumer behaviors. I utilized one of the most recent and popular social media platforms, TikTok, known for its short-form mobile videos, to explore these behavioral elements in action. Like any other media platform, TikTok influencer marketing requires a high amount of trust between the consumer and influencer to be successful and efficiently persuade the target market. I collected primary research by surveying opinions on trust and buying behaviors based on three different videos. One video had a hidden partnership disclosure in the caption, the second had a plainly visible partnership disclosure, and the third had a plainly visible partnership disclosure and verbally disclosed the relationship between the brand and the influencer. The analysis showed that participants felt a higher degree of trust towards the video which contained a verbal disclosure of the influencer’s partnership with the brand. The results lacked specificity on whether this perception of trust would successfully lead to a purchase, which could be adjusted for in future research; however, it did show there was motivation through the Fogg Model to look further into the product presented. I recommend influencers be as transparent and genuine as possible to earn the trust or their followers, as well as ensure all three factors of Fogg are present to increase their persuasive abilities over consumers completing a purchase.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Graves Final Project (Spring 2022)

Description

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the concept of trust when it comes to influencer marketing alongside the Fogg Behavior Model. Used to evaluate an individual’s behavior in the decisions making process, The Fogg Behavior Model bases itself in a persuasive environment by focusing on three key elements: motivation, ability, and trigger. When utilized in collaboration with influencer marketing, these elements together could have a strong effect on driving consumer behaviors. I utilized one of the most recent and popular social media platforms, TikTok, known for its short-form mobile videos, to explore these behavioral elements in action. Like any other media platform, TikTok influencer marketing requires a high amount of trust between the consumer and influencer to be successful and efficiently persuade the target market. I collected primary research by surveying opinions on trust and buying behaviors based on three different videos. One video had a hidden partnership disclosure in the caption, the second had a plainly visible partnership disclosure, and the third had a plainly visible partnership disclosure and verbally disclosed the relationship between the brand and the influencer. The analysis showed that participants felt a higher degree of trust towards the video which contained a verbal disclosure of the influencer’s partnership with the brand. The results lacked specificity on whether this perception of trust would successfully lead to a purchase, which could be adjusted for in future research; however, it did show there was motivation through the Fogg Model to look further into the product presented. I recommend influencers be as transparent and genuine as possible to earn the trust or their followers, as well as ensure all three factors of Fogg are present to increase their persuasive abilities over consumers completing a purchase.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05

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Graves Thesis Presentation (Spring 2022)

Description

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the

Influencer marketing is when individuals with dedicated social media followings are sought out by brands to utilize their position on certain platforms to endorse a brand’s products and be compensated through payment or merchandise. I will be looking at the concept of trust when it comes to influencer marketing alongside the Fogg Behavior Model. Used to evaluate an individual’s behavior in the decisions making process, The Fogg Behavior Model bases itself in a persuasive environment by focusing on three key elements: motivation, ability, and trigger. When utilized in collaboration with influencer marketing, these elements together could have a strong effect on driving consumer behaviors. I utilized one of the most recent and popular social media platforms, TikTok, known for its short-form mobile videos, to explore these behavioral elements in action. Like any other media platform, TikTok influencer marketing requires a high amount of trust between the consumer and influencer to be successful and efficiently persuade the target market. I collected primary research by surveying opinions on trust and buying behaviors based on three different videos. One video had a hidden partnership disclosure in the caption, the second had a plainly visible partnership disclosure, and the third had a plainly visible partnership disclosure and verbally disclosed the relationship between the brand and the influencer. The analysis showed that participants felt a higher degree of trust towards the video which contained a verbal disclosure of the influencer’s partnership with the brand. The results lacked specificity on whether this perception of trust would successfully lead to a purchase, which could be adjusted for in future research; however, it did show there was motivation through the Fogg Model to look further into the product presented. I recommend influencers be as transparent and genuine as possible to earn the trust or their followers, as well as ensure all three factors of Fogg are present to increase their persuasive abilities over consumers completing a purchase.

Contributors

Agent

Created

Date Created
2022-05