Consumer Behavior

Understanding the Role of Instagram in Fashion Consumers’ Problem Recognition Behaviors

  • Sara Lewis Hood (North Carolina State University)
  • Lori Rothenberg (North Carolina State University)


The purpose of this study was to understand the role of Instagram in fashion consumers' problem recognition behaviors; specifically, this study focused on content created by prominent fashion influencers on Instagram whose target demographic includes young adult consumers. Using the Engel-Kollat-Blackwell (EKB) model of consumer decision-making as a framework, this study utilized a qualitative content analysis methodology to evaluate the Instagram content of four prominent, non-celebrity, US-based fashion influencers. Factors like brand placement and post sponsorship were evaluated for each post in addition to analyzing the content for overarching themes and messaging strategies. Three core themes emerged as the primary strategies used by influencers to elicit problem recognition behaviors from their followers, including (1) using questions to engage the audience, (2) storytelling, and (3) product demonstration. These findings provide a valuable foundation for future research on how each of these tactics might elicit problem recognition behaviors in fashion consumers.

Keywords: Consumer Behavior, Engel-Kollat-Blackwell Model, Problem Recognition, Instagram, Social Media

How to Cite:

Hood, S. L. & Rothenberg, L., (2022) “Understanding the Role of Instagram in Fashion Consumers’ Problem Recognition Behaviors”, International Textile and Apparel Association Annual Conference Proceedings 79(1). doi:

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Published on
31 Dec 2022
Peer Reviewed