Wearing Your Emotions: What Really Drives Apparel Buying

How fashion and apparel brands can discern, better understand -- and even predict -- the often irrational decisions consumers make when it comes to what they wear.


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Today’s retail environment is increasingly competitive, with consumers having more options than ever before. Successful brands recognize that the “experience” as a whole has a profound effect on consumers. But, what factors drive choice when it comes to apparel and fashion brands? Martec’s Emotion Intelligence helps brands get to the core of what really matters.


  • Build emotional profiles of apparel consumers who prefer to shop online versus in-store
  • Understand, as a retailer or a fashion brand, specific emotions that drive consumers toward preferred channels
  • Understand which emotions drive the most favorable experiences for shoppers both in-store and online and how they connect to rational benefits (fit, style, cost, etc.) with a given brand
  • Identify specific negative emotions/experiences that lead consumers to abandon brands
  • Unlock emotional drivers for customer loyalty to ensure effective marketing to your key consumer segments


Do you know why apparel shoppers make the retail and brand decisions they do? Martec’s proprietary Emotion Intelligence technology uncovers the often hidden emotions that drive choice in the apparel space. Get fresh insights on how to better target specific audiences and measure the results of your efforts.

This methodology is proven to help fashion and apparel brands discern how they can better understand, and even predict, the often irrational decisions consumers make when it comes to what they wear. These learnings bring brands one step closer to capturing share from competitors and becoming the next fashion "must."

Methodology: Qualitative/Quantitative

Design Rationale:

This study focuses on the non-rational side of apparel buying. We will identify exactly what drives shoppers to buy -- at a deep, emotional level -- and how retailers and brands can use this knowledge to create great shopping experiences.

For more information about the design, see http://www.martecgroup.com/solutions/emotion-intelligence/


Our approach is to let consumers tell us what they think about shopping for apparel, both in-store and online, and use our unique approach to to uncover actionable insights. Phase I will consist of an online bulletin board with 25 participants asked basic, broad questions about their shopping experiences. These discussions will help guide our questionnaire for Phase II, which will be an online survey of 1000 respondents featuring Emotion Intelligence. The front half of the survey will be a traditional online survey, while the back half gets respondents to reveal how they feel about the areas of questioning.

Qualitative Design

Number of research sessions (or interviews) by specific approach:

The qualitative section will feature online bulletin board activities conducted over a three-day period. Topics will be posted once per day; moderators will visit the board multiple times per day to facilitate discussion and ask clarifying questions.

Qualitative Research Target

Gender: 50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnicity: Approximates national population distribution

Ages: 18 to 45

Geography: US Only; Approximates national population distribution

Quantitative Design

Number of Interviews: 1000

Interview Length: 15 minutes

Statistical Analysis:

The quantitative phase features Martec's proprietary Emotion Intelligence technology to gauge respondents' visceral responses across 16 emotional channels (in addition to traditional quantitative survey analysis).

Sample Source:

Pulled from a trusted sample partner and screened to ensue high-quality respondents who are active clothing buyers.

Quantitative Research Target

Gender: 50% Male, 50% Female

Ethnicity: Approximates national population distribution

Ages: 18 to 45

Geography: US Only; Approximates national population distribution


Reporting: Formal Report

Presentation: Web-based

Additional Deliverables:

Raw data from quantitative portion will be delivered in an Excel file.

Expenses for in-person presentation to be estimated and billed separately at cost

Funding Timeline (once project is approved): 60 days

Timing: 6 weeks from funding to delivery of final report


Company: The Martec Group

Previous Projects: 1

Rating: Supplier has not been rated

Supplier's Qualifications:

Founded in 1984, The Martec Group has grown to more than 100-plus professional staff members across six global offices, including Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, Frankfurt, Shanghai, and Beijing. With competencies in both qualitative and quantitative research, Martec’s Emotion Intelligence methodology allows us to conduct deeper emotional research than is possible using traditional quantitative techniques while still offering a scalable, cost-effective solution. Martec has successfully used Emotion Intelligence with a major American apparel brand to provide valuable customer insights for their business.

Martec has partnered with industry expert Anna Jorgensen for this project. For nearly three decades, Anna Jorgensen’s experience has centered on the Apparel Industry. She has a unique knowledge and perspective of the industry, having experienced it both from the retail and wholesale side. She has expertise on all aspects, including Merchandising, Product Development and Supply Chain with brands such as Nautica, DKNY Jeans, Perry Ellis, and others. Anna’s knowledge of the full life cycle of the product is a key driver of always delivering sales growth and profit to the bottom line within a highly competitive environment.

Supplier's Team:

Chunk Bean, Partner/CMO - Emotion Intelligence Practice Lead
Anna Jorgensen - Apparel Industry Consultant
Mary Prisco, PhD., Statistician
Ethan Redrup, Senior Analyst - Lead Analyst for Emotion Intelligence
Chelsea May, Analyst - Quantitative Design


Buy 3 Shares ($24,000) and Get:
• Separate Emotion Intelligence analysis of existing co-funder qualitative research to gain additional insights
• In-person half-day Emotion Intelligence workshop to get a deeper understand of EI results and work with the Martec team to formulate concrete strategies for your business
• A call to consult on study design prior to launch
• Optional follow-up call to discuss activating the results

Buy 2 Shares ($16,000) and Get:
• Personalized individual WebEx presentation
• A call to consult on study design prior to launch
• Follow-up call to discuss activating the results

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