Advanced SearchSearch Tips
Examining the Functions of Attributes of Mobile Applications to Build Brand Community
facebook(new window)  Pirnt(new window) E-mail(new window) Excel Download
  • Journal title : Journal of Fashion Business
  • Volume 19, Issue 6,  2015, pp.82-100
  • Publisher : The Korean Society of Fashion Business
  • DOI : 10.12940/jfb.2015.19.6.82
 Title & Authors
Examining the Functions of Attributes of Mobile Applications to Build Brand Community
Yi, Kyonghwa; Ruddock, Mullykar; Kim, HJ Maria;
  PDF(new window)
Mobile fashion apps present much opportunity for marketers to engage consumers, however not all apps provide enough functions for their targeted audience. This study aims to determine how mobile fashion apps can be used to build brand community with consumer engagement. Qualitative data on fashion mobile apps were collected from the Apple app store and Android market during the spring and summer of 2015. A total of 110 fashion mobile apps were collected;, 50 apps were identified as apparel brands that either manufacture or sell apparel to consumers, which we categorized as "brand" fashion apps, and the remaining 60 were categorized as "non-brand" fashion apps. The result of the study can be summarized as below. The 60 non-brand fashion apps were grouped into 5 app types: shopping, searching, sharing, organizational, and informational. The main functions are for informational use and shopping needs, since at least half (31 apps) are used for either retrieving information or for shopping. However, in contrast, social networking and location were infrequent and not commonly utilized by these apps. The most common type of non-brand fashion apps available were shopping apps;, many shopping apps enable users to shop from several different websites and save their items into one universal shopping cart so that they only check out once. Most of these apps are informational and help consumers make more informed decisions on purchases;, in addition many offer location services to help consumers find these items in store. While these apps perform several functions, they do not link to social media. The 50 brand apps were grouped into 5 brand types: athletic, casual, fast fashion, luxury, and retailer. These apps were also checked for attributes to determine their functionality. The result shows that the main functions of brand fashion apps are for information (82% of the 50 apps) as well as location searching (72% of 50 apps). Conversely, these apps do not offer any photo sharing, and very few have organizational or community functions. Fashion mobile apps and m-marketing elements: To build brand community, mobile apps can be designed to motivate consumer`s engagement with brands. The motivations of fashion mobile apps are useful in developing fashion mobile apps. Entertainment motives can be fulfilled with multimedia attributes, functionality motives are satisfied with organizational and location-based features, information motives with informational service, socialization with community and social network, learning and intellectual stimulation from informational attributes, and trend following through photo sharing. The 8 key attributes of mobile apps can correspond to the 4 m-marketing elements (i.e., Informative content, multimedia, interactions, and product promotions) that are further intertwined with m-branding elements. App Attributes and M-Marketing aim to Build Brand Community;, the eight key attributes can impact on 4 m-branding elements, which further contribute to building brand community by affecting consumers` perceptions of brands preference and advocacy, and their likelihood to be loyal.
mobile application;fashion apps;fashion brands;brand community;
 Cited by
Aaker, D.A. (1991). Managing Brand Equity: Capitalizing on the Value of a Brand Name. Free Press: New York.

Ailawadi, K. L., & Keller, K. L. (2004). Understanding retail branding: conceptual insights and research priorities. Journal of retailing, 80(4), 331-342. crossref(new window)

Allen, K. (2011). Cross-border Ecommerce Sales Should Deliver A Nice Holiday Surprise. Pitney Bowes. Retrieved from

Bagozzi, R. P., & Dholakia, U. M. (2006). Antecedents and purchase consequences of customer participation in small group brand communities. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 23(1), 45-61. crossref(new window)

Barnard, A., McCosker, H., & Gerber, R. (1999). Phenomenography: a qualitative research approach for exploring understanding in health care. Qualitative Health Research, 9(2), 212-226. crossref(new window)

Boone, L.E., & Kurtz, D.L. (2011). Contemporary Marketing. South-Western Cengage Learning: Stamford, CT.

Bowden, J. A. (2000a). The nature of phenomenographic research. In J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenography Melbourne, Australia: RMIT University. 1-18.

Boyd, S. (2014). 12 Fashion App And Style Services That Are Reinventing The Acquisition Of Fashion Goods. Forbes. Retrieved from

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2012). Fashion. Retrieved from

Calder, B. J., & Malthouse, E. C. (2008). Media engagement and advertising effectiveness. Kellogg on advertising and media, 1-36.

Carlson, B. D., Suter, T. A., & Brown, T. J. (2008). Social versus psychological brand community: The role of psychological sense of brand community. Journal of Business Research, 61(4), 284-291. crossref(new window)

Gonzalez, C. (2010). What do university teachers think eLearning is good for in their teaching? Studies in Higher Education, 35(1), 61-78. crossref(new window)

ITU World Telecommunication. (2011). The World in 2011: ICT facts and figures. Retrieved from

Karjalainen, T. M. (2007). It looks like a Toyota: Educational approaches to designing for visual brand recognition. International Journal of design, 1(1), 67-81.

Kawamura, Y. (2004). Fashion-ology: an introduction to fashion studies. Berg.

Kim, E., Lin, J. S., & Sung, Y. (2013). To app or not to app: Engaging consumers via branded mobile apps. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 13(1), 53-65. crossref(new window)

King, J. (2013). Net-A-Porter's invite-only social app builds branded community. Luxury Daily. Retrieved from

Kitto, H.D.F. (1951). The Greeks. New York: Penguin.

Khan, U. (2015). Why Fashion Retailers Can't Afford to Ignore Mobile. BuildFire. Retrieved from

Magrath, V., & McCormick, H. (2013a). Branding design elements of mobile fashion retail apps. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 17(1), 98-114. crossref(new window)

Magrath, V., & McCormick, H. (2013b). Marketing design elements of mobile fashion retail apps. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal, 17(1), 115-134. crossref(new window)

Marton, F. (1986). Phenomenography-a research approach to investigating different understandings of reality. Journal of thought, 28-49.

Marton, F. (1994). On the structure of awareness. In. J. A. Bowden & E. Walsh (Eds.), Phenomenographic Research: Variations in Method. Melbourne: Office of the Director EQARD, RMIT. 89-100.

Mau, D. (2014). Why some luxury brands still don't sell online. Fashionista. Retrieved from

McManus, J. (2009). Research Design Options: Phenomenography. UNSW Connections Series. Retrieved from

McMillan, D. (1976). Sense of community: An attempt at definition. Unpublished manuscript, George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, TN.

Meeker, M. (2015). Internet Trends 2015 - Code Conference. KPCB. Retrieved from

Moceri, P., Smud, D., Vitulich, D., Wright, N. (2011). Native App or Web Site? Deciding Your Next Step in Mobile. Retrieved from

Muniz, A. M., & O'Guinn, T. C. (2001). Brand community. Journal of consumer research, 27(4), 412-432. crossref(new window)

Nie, Y., & Fortunati, L. (2013). Between Fashion and Technology: Investigating Mobile Fashion Applications. CIRN Prato Community Informatics Conference 2013: Refereed Paper.

Okonkwo, U. (2007). Luxury fashion branding: trends, tactics, techniques. Palgrave Macmillan.

Poq Commerce. (2013). Luxury fashion's take on the app world. Insights. Retrieved from

Purcell, K., Entner, R., & Henderson, N. (2010). The rise of apps culture. Pew Internet & American Life Project, 14.

Radwanick, S. (2011). Mobile Shopping Goes Mainstream: Majority of U.S. Smartphone Owners Performed Shopping Activities on Their Phone in September. comScore. Retrieved from

Sjostrom, B., & Dahlgren, L. O. (2002). Applying phenomenography in nursing research. Journal of advanced nursing, 40(3), 339-345. crossref(new window)

Sweeney, J. C., Soutar, G. N., & Mazzarol, T. (2012). Word of mouth: measuring the power of individual messages. European Journal of Marketing, 46(1/2), 237-257. crossref(new window)

Turban, E., King, D., Lee, J., Warkentin, M., & Chung, H.M. (2002). Electronic Commerce 2002: A management perspective. Prentice Hall, Pearson Education Limited, Essex.

Zhao, Z., & Balague, C. (2015). Designing branded mobile apps: Fundamentals and recommendations. Business Horizons, 58(3), 305-315. crossref(new window)