Is it worth it? : PR events and their contribution to brand equity in the fashion industry

University essay from Högskolan i Borås/Akademin för textil, teknik och ekonomi

Abstract:

All fashion brands work with PR in some way, its importance is evident. At the same time it is expensive and difficult to say what it provides, consequently one may wonder whether if it is all worth it. Existing literature leaves a gap of missing research in PR and especially in PR events. The purpose of this thesis is to contribute with an increased understanding of PR events in the fashion industry, by an open approach. In more detail, the purpose is to explore the fundamental aspects of PR events in the fashion industry, and how such events contribute to brand equity. The method used was a qualitative case study, including descriptive and exploratory research methods. The data collection consists of participant observations, during an internship at a PR agency, and semi structured interviews with five participants. A cross case synthesis analysis method was used with a comparative approach. The fundamental aspects of PR events and its contribution to brand equity, was found to differ and depend to a great extent. The main dependent variable is the strategy and objective of the brand. The findings show that a PR event is a marketing activity and a communication tool/channel, of which the end goal is to create sales. Important aspects include relationships, reputation/image and experiences. PR events contribute to brand awareness and brand associations, however the contribution to perceived quality and brand loyalty was found to be less evident. PR events may have a positive effect, negative effect, or no effect. It is possible to evaluate events to some extent. Quantitative and qualitative aspects are discussed, both as possible and less usable methods. The results were found to be wide and extensive, opening up for more questions rather than providing answers. Future research could narrow the scope to a less extensive range of PR events, in order to generate answers that may be more useable. The data collection methods could, for the same reason, be more structured. The study adds knowledge to existing theories to the area of PR events. By the open approach, this study draws attention to the rather unexplored and undiscovered topic of PR events, and brings focus to the discussion of its value. The qualitative research method brings attention to considering both quantitative and qualitative perspectives. The findings are of interest to brands that use or consider using PR events, and want to gain a more clear picture of the events and their contributions to brand equity.

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