Factors influencing consumption behaviour of fashion clothing brands amongst Generation Z female consumers in Durban.
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The competitive environment amongst fashion retailers is volatile. The need for differentiation has never been more important. At the heart of every business is the consumer. There is a new generation on the rise, ‘Generation Z’. Understanding the factors that influence the consumption behaviour of fashion clothing brands amongst female Generation Z consumers’ will provide marketers with valuable insight in developing effective marketing programs in appealing to the youth market. This research paper seeks to investigate factors that are believed to positively influence the consumption behaviour of fashion brands amongst Generation Z consumers in Durban. These factors include: self-concept and brand-image congruity, perceived quality, reference groups and social media browsing. The study utilised a descriptive research design to accurately describe traits of variables regarding the phenomenon of interest. To accomplish this, quantitative methods were used to obtain relevant data. Self-administered questionnaires were utilised. The findings highlighted, depicted positive correlations between aspirational reference groups such as celebrity inspired trends and consumption behaviour. Quality was ranked strongly as an important consideration and influential factor when deciding to purchase fashion clothing brands. Furthermore, the study identified that smartphones were the most often used to connect to social media. YouTube, Instagram and Facebook were amongst the most popularly used and influential social platforms that should be strategically used in conversing with Generation Z consumers during their browsing activities. While there were no strong correlations between self-concept and consumption, it is evident that consumers purchase items of clothing from brands that reflect their lifestyles, personalities, attitudes and fashions styles. Therefore, fashion retailers should market their products with an element of personality that the youth can connect and identify with. Although this study offers valuable insight to fashion retailers, more in-depth analysis should be conducted utilising a larger sample across geographic locations, also taking sustainability into consideration, which is growing in importance each year. Keywords: Generation Z, Quality, Reference groups, Self-concept, Brand Image, Social Media Browsing, Fashion Clothing Brands, Consumer Behaviour.