Are marketers losing control of fashion brands?

Strategic Direction

ISSN: 0258-0543

Publication date: 6 May 2014



This study aims to examine the influence of fashion blogs on consumer brand preferences and investigate the emergence of “communities of style” associated with combinations of fashion brands.


This study undertakes a netnography of Swedish fashion blogs, applying an ethnographic approach to information posted on the Internet.


Right now, there are probably more people in Sweden reading or posting on a fashion blog than there are reading a newspaper. There were greater than 60 Swedish fashion blogs generating greater than 10,000 visits a week back in August 2009; ten of them each generated greater than 100,000 visits a week. It is an increasingly global phenomenon – the location of choice for internationally known elite fashion bloggers. This is a consumer-driven information platform publicizing the brand choices made by stylish people to an international audience – a development with considerable implications for fashion industry marketers.

Research limitations/implications

This study focuses on the Swedish blog network. Future research could use a similar netnographic approach to identify international communities of style and relate them to the global fashion industry.

Practical implications

The study draws attention to the way this development shifts power over brand meaning toward consumers and away from marketers.

Social implications

The study shows that fashion blogs can demonstrate all the characteristics of a community and can communicate with and influence a wide audience.


The study highlights the use of style as a way to bring consumers together in virtual communities involving the selection and combination of multiple brands.



(2014), "Are marketers losing control of fashion brands?", Strategic Direction, Vol. 30 No. 6, pp. 20-22.

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