Green purchasing behaviour : to determine the strength of sustainability and green elements within consumers’ brand experience required to trigger purchase motivations

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Authors
Rosewarne, Susan
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Degree
Master of Business
Grantor
Unitec Institute of Technology
Date
2017
Supervisors
Du Plessis, Andries
Type
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Keyword
green marketing
green brand awareness
green purchasing behaviour
sustainability
green communication
green motivations
greenwashing
Citation
Rosewarne, S. (2017). Green purchasing behaviour : to determine the strength of sustainability and green elements within consumers’ brand experience required to trigger purchase motivations. An unpublished thesis is submitted in partial fulfilment for the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
Abstract
As Grubow (2007) states “sustainability by definition is the concept of meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (p.41). Throughout this research the researcher will be referring to the “green consumer” as someone who is aware of products being produced and marketed as “caring for the environment and explore green consumer’s perceptions and green purchasing intent. Although there appears to have become more concern around that of the environment, the purchasing of green products does not necessarily reflect this concern (Johnstone & Tan, 2015). The apparent disconnect between sustainable offerings and performance to that of “consumer green brand recognition ” (Cordeiro & Joon Yong, 2014) exists between consumer perceptions of what “sustainability and green actually means and consumers’ green intent” influencing their purchasing behaviours (Moraes, Carrigan, & Szmigin, 2012). This disconnect means that businesses’ wanting to leverage “green” intent, will need to become aware of how to take full advantage of consumers’ green intent, in order to effectively communicate sustainability and leverage consumers’ “green” purchasing behaviour. Due to this suggested dis-connect within leveraging sustainability/green and the apparent consumer “attitude-behaviour gap” (Moraes, et al., 2012), it becomes apparent that more knowledge needs to be collected and identified around both what consumer’s perceptions towards green/sustainability offerings really mean. By understanding these consumer attributes more clearly, organisations will become more able to align their marketing strategy to engage and leverage consumers’ “green” and “sustainability” inclined attitudes, influencing consumer purchasing behaviour. This lead the researcher in believing that by becoming equipped with the knowledge to be able to both identify and understand more succinctly how organisations can gain insights into what green consumers’ perceptions “really” are, the researcher aims to investigate consumer “green” purchasing moral traits and values via structured questionnaires and interviews in order to collect, what is crucial unbiased data (Easterby-Smith, 2012) from a section of the general population, giving the researcher a clearer understanding on being able to identify consumer “green/sustainability” purchasing motivations with the researcher gaining insights via identifying common barriers that may go onto equipping businesses with both key insights and a deeper understanding of what green/sustainability really means to the end consumer at point of purchase. Being more able to identify and leverage brand “green” key insights within organisations communicative offerings and engage consumers’ deeper emotional connection more astutely, will also enable organisations to try and overcome some of the current perceived insincere marketing around “green” campaigns that have created consumer lack of environmental engagement (Rettie, Burchell, & Riley, 2012) and perceived “green wash”, is more likely to result in positive engagement and purchasing behaviour. By organisations being enabled to positively engage consumer “green” purchasing behaviour, and become more successful at being able to leverage “their brands’ sustainability” by marketing the “brand experience” effectively, organisations potentially can go onto charging premium for their products as a consequence.
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