Mass-market theory

The mass-market theory , Otherwise Known As the ‘ trickle across’ , is a social fashion behavioral marketing strategy Established by Robinson in 1958 and King in 1963. [1] Mass market is defined as, “a market coverage strategy in a qui firm decide to ignore market segment differences and appeal to the entire market. [2] The mechanism focuses on the fashion innovators found within each of the social groupings and the influences in response to the couture enthusiasts that innovate as part of their stylish appearance.

In contrast to the trickle-down effect of fashion innovation , this theory states that fashion trickles across different social groups as opposed to upper to lower classes. [3] Fashion innovation is not just confined to the class but can actually come from among the innovators and the different socioeconomic groups. [4] Thus, known as the trickle across theory. [5] The theory’s roots from new fashion adoption influences ‘by different social economic group and is contained within the different groups’. [6]

The key dynamics of this theory are as follows:

  • Adoption of new trends by all socioeconomic groups
  • Consumers preference from a large scale
  • Within each socioeconomic group there are fashion innovators that meet their preferred fashion demands
  • The flow of fashion information and individual influence in the world fashion ‘trickles across’ each social economic group
  • ‘Vertical flow’ remains obvious, it is primarily in the fashion industry eg fashion editors [7]

The stages of mass market theory

George B. Sproles created ‘the fashion mechanism, a five-stage process propagated largely by social motivations’ in the Mass Market Theory:

  • 1. ‘Adoption Leadership by’ Consumer Fashion Change Agents’

This internship is the introduction of fashion innovation; These innovators are known for being “leaders of collective taste” through social networking, investing in their interest in adopting new fashion as part of their stylish appearance.

  • 2. ‘The Social Visibility and Communicability Phase’

In this internship the fashion goes through a “use cycle,” the latest fashion is categorized as “new” and “novel,” and will then become highly detectable in the fashion industry portraying it as the “latest fashion”, disregarding present styles and trends.

  • 3. ‘Conformity Within and Across Social Systems’

In this internship the ‘latest fashion’ will achieve a foundation through social networking to social acceptance by communication across social systems. Due to this ‘diffusion process social contagion and social conformity then set new fashion tastes’.

  • 4. ‘Market and Social Saturation’

If the latest fashion is made to this stage, it will have attained its capital level of acceptance, thus creating a form of “social saturation”, thus being used between the vast majority of individuals.

  • 5. ‘Decline and Obsolescence Forced By the Emergence of New Fashion Alternatives’

The latest fashion will eventually come to a decline in the industry, removing it from being portrayed as ‘new’ and ‘novel’ due to the emerging trend or style that has been newly introduced as part of the “use” cycle. The fashion then experiences minimal use and limited social acceptance become obsolete.

The fundamental aspect is that the fashion industry is predominantly influenced by ‘social communications and social influence’. [8]

Social economic groups fashion preferences

Juliet Ash, Elizabeth Wilson describes the difference in fashion preference as a widening choice and becomes an integral part of identity formation. More privileged societies tend to wear the same “classic” styles and disregard the latest fashions as they contrast an apparent “distinction of occupational achievement”. The upper-middle classes want more “corresponding to wealth and high living”. For the lower-middle classes tends to disregard “high style”, for what is “daring” or “unusual”. Individuals who are more likely to purchase the ‘latest trend’ but frequently make their customised adaptations. [6]

Ultimately fashion opinion leaders influence the adoption and dissemination of fashions within a social group. They are referred to as “innovative communicators” within each social economic group.

Implications of mass-market theory

Due to the ease of access to all the fashion segments, the development in the textiles of garments along with the expansion in the retail trade has the differentiating social economic class. This article is more specific to these segments, including ‘make’, retail ‘brand’, fabric, and style.

Market trends in many social groups, including youthful urban subcultures. [9] Certain trends in the fashion industry may be more popular and successful than others. Other fashion trends may even fail to all types of social economic groups. [10] “The newest styles are adopted in different ways. [6] In today’s fashion industry it has become more challenging for fashion firms to achieve success satisfaction due to the constant and rapid development of trends and styles. [11]

See also

  • Dissemination (business)


  1. Jump up^ Egreen. (Apr 19th 2011). Basic Fashion Theory and Impact of Media. Available: Last accessed 2nd Nov 2015.
  2. Jump up^ “Mass Marketing”. 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. “Business Dictionary”
  3. Jump up^ Encyclopedia of clothing and fashion. (May 25th, 2010). Theories of fashion. Available: Last accessed 2nd Nov 2015.
  4. Jump up^ Retailing Management. 7 ed. Michael Levy and Barton A. Weitz. (2009). publisher: McGraw-Hill Irwin.
  5. Jump up^ Suzanne Greene Marshall, Kefgen Mary, Hazelle Jackson, and Sue Stanley (2000). Individuality in clothing selection and personal appearance(5 ed.). Prentice Hall. p. 178.
  6. ^ Jump up to:c Juliet Ash, Elizabeth Wilson. (1993a). “Popular Fashion and Affluence Class Affluence”, Chic Thrills: A Fashion Reader . Berkley and Los Angeles, California: Pandora Press. 145-153.
  7. Jump up^ Leslie Davis Burns. (1999). Section 6a. Mass Market Theory. Available: Last accessed 2nd Nov 2015.
  8. Jump up^ George B. Sproles. (1974). Fashion Theory: A Conceptual Framework. Available: Last accessed 2nd Nov 2015.
  9. Jump up^ Diana Crane. (November 1999). Diffusion Models and Fashion: A Reassessment. Available: Last accessed 2 November 2015.
  10. Jump up^ Theory Marketing: A Student Text. (March 31, 2010). Summary and future outlook. In: Michael J Baker, Michael John Baker, Michael SarenTheory Marketing: A Student Text. 2nd ed. UK: SAGE. 160.
  11. Jump up^ Jagdish C. Bansal, Pramod Kumar Singh, Deep Kusum, Millie Pant, Atulya K. Nagar. (4 December 2012). Optimal promotional effort control policy for specific segment new product growth. In: Jagdish C. Bansal, Pramod Kumar Singh, Kusum Deep, Millie Pant, Atulya K. NagarProceedings of the Seventh International Conference on Bio-Inspired Computing: Theories and Applications. Gwalior, India: Springer Science & Business Media. 347.