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Authenticity and Ethics in the Beauty and Fashion Influencer Marketing Space

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Influencer marketing occurs when a brand elicits an individual to publicly promote or review its product in exchange for some benefit, which can often be either monetary or material. This practice has exploded in today’s marketing and advertising industry due

Influencer marketing occurs when a brand elicits an individual to publicly promote or review its product in exchange for some benefit, which can often be either monetary or material. This practice has exploded in today’s marketing and advertising industry due to its high return on investment for businesses and income potential for influencers. With this new and evolving process comes a struggle to establish and maintain regulations between brands, consumers, and influencers. Because influencer marketing is purely based on authenticity and trust between the influencer and the consumer, disclosure or lack thereof can seriously impact the validity of the endorsement. I conducted a study in which consumers were shown a staged influencer post and asked to answer a series of questions regarding compensation, appeal, authenticity, and influence, under three different conditions. Condition A showed an influencer’s post with only general information, Condition B revealed that the post was in collaboration with Tory Burch, and Condition C stated that Tory Burch told the influencer when and where to make the post. I found that as the influencer disclosed more about how she was compensated and controlled by the brand, respondents found the content less appealing, less authentic, and reported that they thought a brand had more influence and compensated her more to create the post. These findings support the idea that influencer marketing requires a level of honesty and trust between the consumer and influencer, and a lack of this causes negative sentiments and less effective results. Moving forward, brands and influencers alike must work to foster more transparent and authentic connections in order be in compliance with FTC regulations as well as maintain meaningful connections with consumers.

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Date Created
2019-05

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

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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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Date Created
2017-05

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Authentic Beauty: How Influencer Marketing in the Beauty Industry has been Impacted by Consumer Perception

Description

Influencer marketing has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry, with millions of influencers spanning thousands of different industries. The beauty industry is one of the most popular industries for influencer marketing, with influencers having the ability to collaborate with popular

Influencer marketing has exploded into a multi-billion dollar industry, with millions of influencers spanning thousands of different industries. The beauty industry is one of the most popular industries for influencer marketing, with influencers having the ability to collaborate with popular beauty brands like L’Oréal as well as being able to create their own successful beauty companies. With consumers exposed to thousands of brand deals every day, brands are now searching for the keys to creating an authentic brand partnership with influencers. This thesis looks at the factors that go into authentic influencer marketing to help brands understand what they should be looking for when creating a partnership that consumers would deem as authentic, with a specific emphasis on the beauty industry. This thesis includes a multi-method study using a focus group and a survey. Specifically, the focus group focused on finding common themes related to authenticity and the survey uncovered whether follower count influences consumers’ perception of authenticity. The studies revealed that follower count doesn’t impact how consumers’ perceived authenticity, but authenticity and trust do play a role in whether consumers will interact with an influencer’s paid advertisement. To better understand the research presented in this thesis, an analysis of influencers and the psychology of influence are presented, along with a case study of a successful beauty brand partnership and an in depth look at FTC guidelines.

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Date Created
2020-05