Thesis Details


Thesis Title: Analysis of the Market Potential and Effectiveness of Upstream Textile Advertising
Thesis Author: Charles Ian Raulston
Abstract: The United States' (U.S.) textile industry has traditionally competed on cost measures in order to gain market share in the global market. However, because of increased globalization and influences from foreign competition, using a low cost strategy has become more difficult and firms are now looking for less price sensitive methods of differentiation. Advertising has been identified as an effective method of differentiating products and building value for the firm. Upstream firms, such as those involved in fibers, yarns, and fabrics, which do not directly sell to the final consumer, often have trouble communicating product benefits to the end users, as well as their immediate customers in their supply chain. The purpose of this study was to determine how U.S. textile firms can use advertising to differentiate their products and how to communicate product benefits to their customers and the end consumer effectively through media choices and advertisement content. This study was completed using quantitative surveys among end use consumers and interviews with firms with successful upstream advertising strategies. The results of this research were used to develop a procedural model that U.S. textile firms can use to develop effective advertising strategies to differentiate their products in the market and increase competitiveness. The results provided companies with a framework they can use to develop their advertising strategy by guiding them though the advertisement development methodology in order to take advantage of market opportunities and to minimize potential risks. The results of the study identified online advertising as a potentially effective way to communicate messages to consumers and entities in the textile supply chain. The benefits, challenges, opportunities and potential of upstream textile advertising were identified. In addition, the study identified effective strategies for communicating with end consumers, supply chain representatives, and the industry. Consumer and supply chain level perspectives were also collected related to the effectiveness of current advertising campaigns. The framework developed during the study highlights methodology and considerations specific to the upstream segment of textile industry and provides a sequential model for advertisement development.