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Frustrated Fashionistas: Why and How Do Some Consumers Ask for More from Mainstream Marketers?

Professor Eileen Fischer, Schulich School of Business, York University

27th Oct 2011  02:00 pm - Room 214/215, H69 - Economics and Business Building

While prior research has studied consumers who oppose mainstream marketing practices, we lack insight into why and how consumers may mobilize to seek greater inclusion in mainstream markets. Drawing on institutional theory, we offer insights into the reasons why consumers start seeking more options from mainstream marketers, and into the strategies they deploy to influence institutionalized practices. We find that the emergence of a collective consumer identity, the legitimation of desired changes by logics leveraged from adjacent institutional fields, and the identification of institutional entrepreneurs who provide inspiration encourage consumers to engage in efforts to get marketers to better serve them. We also identify three strategies consumers use in those efforts: appealing to institutional logics, lending legitimacy to market actors who make efforts to serve them, and allying with powerful institutional actors.