Cultural Disruption of an Industry by Example of the German Erotic Industry: A Case Study of Beate Uhse

Laura Schwartze

Student thesis: Master thesis


The German erotic industry in undergoing a disruption as consumer needs and behavior are becoming more postmodern and new players enter the market, thus as competition intensifies it becomes crucial for actors, and especially existing market incumbents, to stand out and position themselves relevant for postmodern consumers (Inglehart, 1997a; Möthe, 2015). Thus, a thorough understanding of the new dynamics of the market and its consumers is important for survival (Keller et al., 2012). Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to investigates the resulting changes in terms of competition and consumer behavior, and reveal relationships between different brand attributes and the brand choices made by consumers. Further, to gain general insight into the erotic industry and how long-existing market incumbents, such as Beate Uhse, are affected, as well as how the brand should respond to these activities and position itself accordingly in the market. In the first part of the exploratory research, empirical results of an online questionnaire that was distributed in large German cities to a predefined target group, where 386 female participants responded, are presented. The thesis then utilizes the quantitative data and secondary data sources to verify or falsify hypotheses established based on the literature review conducted. In conclusion, the results show that consumers hold postmodern values and emphasize the impact perceived brand positioning has on brand choices made within this industry. Further, a positive brand choice is statistically related to the attractiveness of distribution channels offered by that brand and a low degree of perceived masculinity of that brand. On the basis of the results of the research, the thesis recommends for the case study brand to launch a subbrand that is not associated with the outdated perception consumers have of Beate Uhse. The author points out the immense complexity of consumer behavior in relation to the topic of sexuality that is underlying the industry, thus this thesis, and recommends more in-depth qualitative studies to support this research.

EducationsMaster of Business, Language and Culture, Intercultural Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages143