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Cultured cells treated with equal concentrations of thiazine photosensitizers methylene blue (MB) or toluidine blue (TB) showed a distinct photodynamic lethality, with TB being much more effective, when exposed to red light from a LED source. This effect is accounted for because of the differences in the chemical reduction of MB and TB in the intracellular environment. While TB accumulates as blue granular structures, MB does not give such a localization pattern. However, upon exposure of MB-treated cells to oxidant agents, the dye becomes clearly localized in the cytoplasm as blue granules. We propose that massive reduction of MB to its leuco form inside the cell inhibits most of the photodynamic damage, while no such reduction occurs with TB.
In this research, olive stone was used as precursor for the development of new biosorbents for lead ions. Chemical treatments were analyzed in terms of their effects on physical–chemical properties and kinetics of lead removal. A kinetic study of the biosorption of lead ions by olive stone was analyzed according to six different kinetic models (pseudo first, pseudo second, pseudo n-order, Elovich, solid diffusion and double exponential models). The biosorption kinetic data were successfully described with pseudo-nth order and double exponential models for all biosorbents. The double exponential model allowed estimating the values of external and internal mass transfer coefficients. The values of external mass transfer coefficient (ke) ranged from 42.62 10 6 to 508.3 10 6 m min 1 and the internal mass transfer coefficient (ki) from 3.76 10 6 to 73.4 10 6 m min 1. On the other hand, the analysis of experimental data showed that chemical treatments of the biomass led to increase biosorption capacity of the native biomass.
Pine cone shell (PCS), a vegetable solid waste has been used as effective and efficient biosorbent for the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions. The biosorbent was characterized by elemental analysis,potentiometric titrations, surface area and pore size distribution and FTIR analyses. Batch adsorption experiments were carried out as a function of solution pH, particle size, biosorbent dosage, contact time,and initial metal ion concentration. Then, equilibrium isotherms and kinetic data parameters were evaluated. Equilibrium data agreed well with Langmuir isotherm model. The biosorption capacities of PCS for Cu(II) were determined at 25 8C with the Langmuir model as 6.81 mg/g. The kinetics data fitted well into the pseudo-second-order model with correlation coefficient greater than 0.99. Also, dynamic biosorption studies were carried out using a packed-bed column and the main column parameters were determined. Pine cone shell was shown to be a promising biosorbent for Cu(II) removal from aqueous solutions. Finally, the pyrolysis characteristics of native PCS and Cu-loaded PCS were investigated by thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) in order to study the possible recycling of PCS after its use as biosorbent of copper.
Introduction Smartwatches are mini devices that are worn like standard watches, which allow installation and use of mobile apps enabling connectivity and interactivity (Chuah et al., 2016). Park et al. (2016) regard smartwatches as multi-category products and are considered to be the first commercialized wearable technology for consumers (Jung et al., 2016). Wearable technologies refer to high-tech devices that are integrated into clothing, accessories or the human body to provide personalized functions to users, regardless of the types of usage (Choi and Kim, 2016). Thus, the smartwatch is recognised as an important and pioneering sub-category of broader smart-fashion. Wearable technology has become more readily available and widespread in the market. A recent industry report (IDC, 2017) indicates that worldwide shipments of wearable devices are expected to increase by 132% from 102.4 million units to 237.5 million units between 2016 and 2021, driven by the proliferation of new and various types of smartwatches. In the past, high-tech and fashion were considered as two separate industries. However, recent years have witnessed a trend towards fashion and high-tech collaborations (Zimmermann, 2016). For example, “Hermès Apple watch” and “Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon” (O‟Connor, 2017). Millennial consumers are often perceived as the first high-tech generation. This young generation is increasingly attracted by the innovativeness of smartwatches (Shotter and Bradshaw, 2014). According to PwC (2016), millennials are more likely to use smartwatches than older generations. Gartner‟s (2017) research also highlights that millennials represent the largest user group of wearable technologies. Considering the increasing magnitude of millennials‟ interest in luxury wearables, this study takes factors affecting millennial consumers‟ new technology acceptance, and luxury consumption into account. Despite increasing attention from industry, scholarly research on wearable technology has been limited to technological uses. Extant studies are focused in the fields of information systems, computers in human behaviour (Chuah et al., 2016) or electronic textiles (Berzowska, 2005). They concentrate on how these devices might be utilized for healthcare and safety monitoring, fitness or biometric purposes (Choi & Kim, 2016). Academic research to date therefore tends to be more technology rather than consumer driven (Choi and Kim, 2016). As discussed, although the fashion and technology industries are converging (Zimmermann, 2016), most existing research into smartwatch adoption (Choi & Kim, 2016; Chuah et al., 2016; Kim & Shin, 2016) utilizes standard or fitness-centric smartwatches as the research objects. Researchers generally fail to see smartwatches as a hybrid of high-tech wearable and luxury products. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) (Davis, 1986) is a frequently cited model in predicting consumers‟ intentions to adopt an emerging technology. It depicts that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use are two critical variables influencing users‟ beliefs, attitudes and intentions to embrace a new information system (Legris et al., 2003). An extension of TAM, TAM 2 (Venkatesh and Davis, 2000) denotes the influence of subjective norm on behavioural intentions. In this model, technology adoption is regarded as a process of social influence. TAM has been extensively applied to explain consumer acceptance of e-commerce (Pavlou, 2003), mobile payment (Schierz et al., 2010), smart glasses (Raushnabel and Ro, 2016), mobile learning systems (Park et al., 2012) and standard smartwatches launched by IT brands (Kim and Shin, 2015; Choi an Kim, 2016). Yet, despite considerable research on the application of TAM, studies incorporating TAM 2 to explain consumers‟ perceptions, attitudes and intentions towards using luxury fashion wearables is still scarce. While Choi and Kim (2016) provide a first step towards understanding consumers‟ perceptions of smartwatches, the authors consider only the functional (perceived usefulness and ease of use) and personal (need for uniqueness and vanity) variables. The influences of other factors like emotional and social factors are neglected. Within the context of consumer behaviour, watches are consumed primarily for aesthetic appeal, as well as providing a means for constructing one‟s self-identity. Thus, psychological and social motivations may also be considered as antecedents to luxury fashion smartwatch adoption. In addition, luxury fashion wearable technology products embrace both high-tech functionality and fashionable design. These smartwatches are marketed as luxurious accessories, rather than solely functional digital devices, as self-expressive use of them has become more commonplace (Mintel, 2016). Furthermore, millennial consumers generally consume luxury for social-oriented purposes (Eastman & Liu, 2012). Hence, values that drive millennial consumers‟ luxury consumption, along with factors proposed in TAM 2, are perceived to play a critical role in affecting the adoption of these smart accessories. The premise of this paper is based on Wiedmann et al.‟s (2007) model of luxury values, employing individual values (self-identity and perceived hedonism), social value (perceived conspicuousness) and functional values (perceived usefulness and perceived quality) to investigate the key factors affecting luxury fashion smartwatch adoption. The Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA) (Ajzen and Fishbein, 1975) provides a framework for understanding consciously intended consumer behaviour (Yousafzai et al., 2010). It posits that the impact of consumer attitudes and subjective norms on actual behaviour are mediated by behavioural intentions, which is considered the most powerful predictor of human behaviour (Ajzen and Fishbein, 2005). In TRA, the roles of personal and social factors in forming behavioural intentions are considered. This attitude-intention-behaviour association has been extensively validated in various contexts like ethical consumption (Paul et al., 2016), Green Information Technology (Mishra et al., 2014) and online banking (Yousafzai et al., 2010). Yet, nascent research exists on the attitude-intention link in luxury fashion smartwatch adoption. Purpose In order to address the research gaps elucidated, this study aims to examine the relationships between key value propositions of luxury fashion smartwatches, consumer attitudes and their purchase intentions, and to explore millennial consumers‟ overall perceptions of using these luxury wearable technologies. Specifically, this study critically reviews and links the theories of technology adoption and luxury consumer behaviour to investigate and explore consumer behaviour towards luxury fashion smartwatches in order to offer compelling academic and managerial implications. Design/Methodology/Approach A conceptual framework (see Figure 1) was developed grounded in luxury consumption, technology acceptance and consumer behaviour literature, from which 9 research hypotheses and 3 research questions ensued. The model posits that millennial consumers develop attitudes and purchase intentions towards luxury fashion smartwatches in 3 stages. In line with the tri-component attitude model (Fishbein and Ajzen, 1975), consumers learn about luxury fashion smartwatches at the first phase (cognition). The second phase (affective) involves the formation of consumers‟ attitudes towards using luxury fashion smartwatches. At the final phase (conation), consumers develop intentions to buy consistent with their overall evaluations. Drawing on the TRA, relationship between consumer attitudes and purchase behaviour in terms of learning, feeling and doing (Solomon et al., 2010) is depicted. To offer a detailed understanding, mixed methods were employed (Creswell, 2014). An online self-administrated questionnaire was conducted and 230 valid samples were collected. The sample profile were millennial consumers, born between 1980 and 2000 (Young and Hinesly, 2012), who have seen or tried any luxury fashion smartwatch. This study recognizes millennial consumers as the research subject because this generation is described as the next prominent consumers of global luxury and are the largest user group of wearable devices (Higgins et al., 2016; Gartners, 2017). The proposed hypotheses were tested using SPSS 23.0 and subject to 5- statistical tests: reliability, descriptive statistics, factor analysis, correlation analysis and multiple linear regression. In addition, two face-to-face semi-structured focus-group discussions with 10 participants were conducted aiming to better understand the millennial consumer perceptions of using luxury fashion smartwatches. Quantitative content analysis and thematic analysis were employed to produce a more organized and comprehensive summary of the qualitative data. << Insert Figure 1 about here >> Findings The findings indicate that functional, individual and social factors influence millennial consumers‟ adoption intention of luxury fashion smartwatches. Empirical results reveal that perceived hedonism and usefulness are the most important factors that motivate adoption intentions, followed by subjective norm and perceived conspicuousness, indicating luxury fashion smartwatches are perceived as both an IT device and luxury fashion accessory. Other factors that might affect adoption are also discussed. A positive association between attitudes towards using luxury fashion smartwatches and purchase intentions is identified. Implications This study addresses a scholarly research gap by examining factors affecting attitudes and intentions towards using luxury fashion smartwatches, from millennial consumers‟ perspectives. It also offers strategic recommendations for luxury fashion brands in launching and growing luxury wearable opportunities specifically aimed at millennial consumers – a substantial and strategic segment for luxury brands. Research limitations and directions for future research are further elucidated. Originality and Value Given extant research on luxury fashion smartwatches is limited, this study contributes to this unique research stream by exploring millennial consumers‟ perceptions towards using these new generation smartwatches. To the authors‟ knowledge, this study is the first to investigate the application of TAM 2 in examining luxury fashion smartwatch adoption, and subjective norms has been proven as one of the most important factors.
Olive stone (OS) and pine bark (PB) were used as effective biosorbents for the removal of Cu(II) from aqueous solutions. The biosorbents were characterized by elemental analysis, potentiometric titrations,surface area and pore size distribution and FTIR analyses. Batch adsorption experiments were carried out as a function of pH, particle size, biosorbent dosage, contact time and initial copper concentration. Equilibrium data agreed well with Langmuir isotherm. The kinetics data fitted well into the pseudosecond-order model with correlation coefficient greater than 0.99. Finally, dynamic biosorption studies were carried out using a packed bed column and the main column parameters were determined.
This article investigates the effects of beauty vloggers' (video bloggers) eWOM and sponsored advertising on followers utilizing Sina Weibo, thereby exploring the concepts of eWOM, opinion leadership, and social status. This exploratory qualitative study found that vlogging differs from traditional blogging in that direct advertising that fosters ease of purchase of a product is appreciated by followers, whilst direct marketing, which in this case refers to simply describing the benefits of products and/or services, is seen as unfavorable. Moreover, this research found a relationship between the influence of vloggers, expertise of followers, the level of detail in adverts, and the level of trust. This provides valuable insights into attitudes and perceptions of followers of beauty vlogs, which can utilized as practical implications to develop targeted advertising strategies for companies seeking to promote their products and brands through third party vlogs.
Anna Dello Russo has worked with H&M, the Sartorialist's Scott Schuman has written his second book and home-grown Susie Bubble has consulted for Gap, Armani and Selfridges to name a few. There is no doubt that these figures are key influencers in the world of fashion and they are turning their efforts and knowledge into fiscal benefits. Fashion blogs have become not only a form of user-generated content, a medium for communicating to the masses without any prior training or knowledge, but have also evolved to become a new marketing communications channel in their own right. Fashion writers are not only dictating content to esteemed fashion titles that were once only contributed to by the fashion journalist elite, but they are engaged as brand consultants with the aim of shaping the future direction of brands in terms of content, style and scope. When did all this power and influence happen and how can we measure it? This is the central question inherent to this study's focus. The dynamic nature of digital, online and social media activities means that most research is out of date or getting closer to ‘expiry' even as the ink dries on the page. To exemplify: research dated just three years ago still includes MySpace in a comprehensive list of online networks and social media sites (e.g. Mir and Zaheer, 2012) and ‘second life' as an innovation [albeit this has been experiencing somewhat of a renaissance within certain consumer sectors in recent times]. This aside, the point is thus: academic scholarship cannot keep up with the rapid rate of digital change in the landscape, but it continues to try, as does this humble study. A volume of research has recently contributed to the understanding of the influence of social media in the fashion sphere, predominately from an electronic word-of-mouth (e-wom) perspective, for example (Bronner and Hoog, 2013; Fang, 2014; Hennig-Thurau, 2004; Kulmala et al., 2013; Liu, 2006; Trusov et al., 2009) engagement with social media (e.g. Campbell et al, 2012; Dhaoui, 2014). This body of literature has supplied a solid foundation for understanding why user-generated content may be shared and under what circumstances and to whom. However, a limitation of these significant contributions are reasons for propensity to influence, that is, once it has been shared, distributed and circulated, how do we measure the impact of this influence? Yes we can use analytics to quickly demonstrate quantitative and numerical impact in terms of followers, traffic, interaction, sales and (not so quickly) the wider reach of blogs on PR for brands, brand-metrics and customer engagement. But what about the wider influential impact of key social media writers and opinion leaders, or those that follow and listen to them: how can we evaluate this impact of influence? How does it work? Why does it work with some over others? We seek to find answers around this notion of social influence and ask: why do people listen to bloggers? Do consumers of this information distinguish between platforms: do they prefer blogs? Twitter? Picture-content through Instagram or Pinterest? Is there a gender difference? Considering also the rise in ‘erasable' social media in the form of SnapChat, which lasts ten seconds before ‘self destructing': what impact are these having in terms of influence in particular sectors like fashion, how can brands harness this power and use it to build equity, target new consumers, increase sales and revenue? In other geographical domains, such as China, where social media constraints and censorship are notable, emerging applications like WeChat are increasing in popularity, first with consumers, but retail and fashion brands are also beginning to endorse them to facilitate a meaningful conversation with their customers through these innovations. We also aim to explore the current state of play regarding terminology for social media contributors – are they still bloggers even though they create content across-platform? (It would be unusual for example, for a popular and credible blogger to only have a blog and no twitter or Instagram activity). Is the term blogger naturally all-encompassing or is it a misnomer that we need to create new terminology to explain these phenomena? Cullen (2014) the fashion magazine editor of Elle Australia created a blogger award ceremony to honour the contribution of these fashion influencers and comments that: “We picked the ones that we felt have the most traction with our readers. It is very clear we are in a blogger boom right now and everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and [the nominees] gave fashion this new relevance. They took fashion and democratized it, so rather than have to see what the designer wanted you to see [on the catwalk], they took the runway fashion and put it together in their own ways. They made it wearable, as they mixed it with other labels and all those things that make an outfit work for real life.” This quote serves to illuminate an example of the commercial impact of fashion bloggers in the fashion sector and the relevance that influential opinion leaders believe they can have on their readership. Thus, we seek, through our research, to interrogate existing literature on social media, marketing, consumption and consumer psychological theories in the context of fashion influence with the aim of contributing to understanding in this fast-evolving transformative sector. Social media has been defined as: ‘A group of Internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technological foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of User Generated Content. (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010, .61). Within this context, social media applications exist to facilitate user interaction, and include blogs, content communities, discussion boards and chat rooms, product and/or service review sites, virtual worlds, and social networking sites (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010; Mangold and Faulds, 2009). In this paper we focus on social networking, which refers to applications, such as Facebook and Twitter, Instagram/Pinterest and more disposable aps like Snapchat. Essentially, we take an all-embracing approach to understanding social media, as this is simply how it is used by consumers, in the virtual landscape (for example, users do not distinguish between platforms, they simply use the most appropriate means to communicate their content at that time). We aim to contribute a perspective that is original by investigating existing literature in two territories: social media influence and Social Impact Theory, which we will use as a theoretical perspective to explore the influence of social media on fashion. A Theoretical Lens: Social Influence Theory (SIT) After dismissing other theoretical frameworks for our study's focus including: Uses and Gratifications theory; Involvement and Motivation, the choice to focus on Social Impact Theory (SIT) (Latane, 1981) was rationalized by the centrality of influence as a construct, to the characteristics of the theory. SIT (Latane, 1981) maintains, “as the number of people increases the impact on the target individual's attitude and behavior enhances”. As influence is inherent to our aim, this theory, albeit being created almost two decades before the concept of social media, may have transferable qualities that may aid comprehension of understanding into the complexities associated with understanding the influence of social media in the fashion sector. This seemingly large leap from a traditional application of the theory to the virtual world is made more plausible by at least one previous study, that has started to also recognize the value of this framework for understanding online activity for example, Mir and Zaheer (2012) who use SIT in the contexts of social media and banking. The theory has not however, been used thus far in the realm of fashion and social media, thus, a study of this kind aims to contribute to knowledge in this field. Social impact has been defined by the founding father of the theory as: ‘Any of the great variety of changes in physiological states and subjective feelings, motives and emotions, cognitions and beliefs, values and behavior, that occur in an individual, human, or animal, as a result of the real, implied or imagined presence or actions of other individuals'. (Latané, 1981, p. 343) Latané (1981) created social impact theory to validate his hypothesis about how influence works, which led to the identification of three factors that make up social impact theory: 1) Strength: How important is the influencing group to the target of the influence; 2) Immediacy: How close in proximity and in time is the influencing group to the target of the influence; 3) Number: How many people are in the influencing group. Taking each one of these in turn, the leverage of these variables to a social media context seems obvious. Social media by its very nature encourages a ‘pull' approach to groups or communities (hence the ‘strength' variable); the ‘immediacy' of social media in the sense that messages can be communicated and responded to in real time, have been facilitated by social media capabilities. Finally, the third variable of SIT is ‘number'; in a virtual world, there is a real sense that there is no limit to the amount of people you can communicate with. To exemplify, we refer to Facebook with its 9 Billion plus users as an example of this reach, or Lady GaGa with her 44 Million plus followers on Twitter. This succinct insight into SIT theory provides a short rationale as to its applicability to a social media context, specifically the fashion sector. A more in-depth analysis of its use and application to this study will be developed for the final paper following data collection.
This paper explores how luxury brands can utilize Weibo in order to create an effective marketing strategy that appeals to millenials. China accounts for 47% of global online retail sales (eMarketer, 2016) and it is predicted that millenials (born 1980-1995) and Generation Z will make up two-fifths of luxury spending by 2025 (eMarketer, 2017). However, due to political constraints, popular western social media sites cannot be used to target this vast market of online Chinese consumers. Weibo is one of the most popular social media sites in China, with 97.2% using the site (Yu et al., 2017). In order to target them effectively brands need to gain an indepth understanding of Chinese consumers and what would appeal to them on Weibo. The majority of social media research uses quantitative methodologies on popular social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. There are limited qualitative studies exploring consumers' feelings and attitudes towards brands' social media activities on Weibo. Due to different cultural backgrounds Chinese consumer behavior is likely to show a different trend to Western countries. Semi-structured interviews with a purposive sample of 12 participants were conducted. Findings showed that convenience, immediacy, social standing/status and entertainment were key drivers for using Weibo. Fashion information, latest product releases and videos were the most popular type of posts. Consumers read comments and tagged their friends, emphasising the importance of e-word-of-mouth (e-wom) and the influence that it can have on purchasing behaviour. This also facilitated the creation and feeling of a brand community. Consumers were very receptive to celebrity collaborations which influenced purchasing behavior. The main criticism of luxury brand's Weibo was that it was not updated enough and Weibo did not have an influence on trust. This study provides a clear insight into what Chinese millenials want from luxury brands' Weibo and how it can influence their purchasing behaviors and e-wom. The findings are novel, contributing to the academic literature through the conduction of a qualitative study exploring an under-researched area. This research has practical implications for luxury brands, as they should provide regular, up-to-date content consisting of videos and celebrity collaborations. A limitation could be the limited number of participants, yet, findings provide an interesting insight into consumers' perceptions of Weibo and how it influences their attitudes and behaviors towards luxury brands.