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What is cool?: operationalizing the construct in an apparel context

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2013
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number3
Volume17
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)322-340
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to operationalize the ubiquitously used concept of "cool," specifically considering its meaning to Generation Y consumers of apparel. Using Churchill’s (1979) rigorous scale generating method, we generate items, pre-test, and the test with a sample (N=265) of college students.

Design/methodology/approach - Researchers specify the domain of the cool construct, conduct item generation, collect data through a pre-test to purify the measures and then collect data from a large sample to assess reliability and validity of the measures and construct.

Findings - Results of exploratory factor analysis reveal a six-factor solution; a confirmatory analysis shows that cool is a multi-dimensional construct reflected in two second-order factors labeled as hedonic and utilitarian cool. These factors are reflected in five first order factors we call: singular, personal, aesthetic, quality and functional cool.

Research limitations/implications - Cool as a social and marketing concept has enjoyed a forty+ year lifespan, and is still used often in advertising messages and marketing strategy. This study provides a valid and reliable scale measuring cool, providing scholars a starting point to include cool in empirical research.

Originality/value - The study provides valuable insight into the cool concept as being a multidimensional construct, operationalizing the first scale to measure cool in a consumer setting.