Instagram fashionistas, luxury visual image strategies and vanity

S. Venus Jin*, Ehri Ryu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Purpose: Luxury fashion brands harness the power of Instagram and fashionistas for strategic brand management. This study aims to test interaction effects among luxury brand posts’ Instagram source type (brand versus fashionista), visual image type (product-centric versus consumer-centric) and consumers’ characteristics (vanity, opinion leadership and fashion consciousness) on brand recognition and trust. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative 2 (source type: brand versus fashionista) × 2 (branded visual image type: product-centric luxury versus consumer-centric luxury) between-subjects online experiment (N males = 195 and N females = 182) was conducted by recruiting participants from MTurk. Findings: Logistic regression analyses indicated two-way interaction effects between sources and visual images on brand recognition. Brand recognition was higher for product-centric images when the source was the fashionista, whereas brand recognition was equivalent regardless of the image type when the source was the brand. Logistic regression and multiple regression analyses revealed the moderating effects of sources and visual images on the association between consumer traits and branding outcomes. Practical implications: Meticulously choosing effective methods of showcasing branded content and persuasive luxury visual image strategies via Instagram is more important for fashionistas than for established brands in increasing brand recognition. Instagram fashionistas are more effective in increasing females’ brand trust through delivering product-centric visual images when targeting women with high vanity, opinion leadership and fashion consciousness. Brands as the Instagram profile source are more persuasive in increasing males’ brand trust through delivering product-centric visual images when targeting men with high vanity. Originality/value: This experiment provides theoretical discussions and empirical findings about social media influencer marketing and managerial implications for Instagram-based luxury branding. This research revolves around the overarching theme of the interactive effects of multifaceted branded contents and market segments in social media influencer marketing environments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)355-368
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Product and Brand Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 21 2020


  • Brand communication
  • Brand recognition
  • Brand trust
  • Fashion marketing
  • Instagram
  • Luxury branding
  • Social media
  • Trust
  • User-generated content

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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