Green Marketing and Its Impact on Consumers
Green Marketing and Its Impact on Consumers
With the growing concern on the deterioration of the environment, more business have developed increasing awareness for the importance of its preservation which has been demonstrated by their utilization of green marketing. This concept is currently applied as a marketing tool and gaining popularity globally (Carrete, Castaño, Felix, Centeno, & González, 2012). The main rationale applied is the emphasis on incorporating green efforts within the business or organization’s framework as a core element of corporate social responsibility and also from a humanistic point of view to enable the future preservation of the environment for the future generation (Moser, 2015). Some of the effective methods applied have include the implementation of greener practices in business operations that are coherently captured in their marketing strategies. According to various environmentalists, the motivation observed in businesses stemming from their integration of green marketing is not only founded on the need to appeal to the green customer but also safeguard the environment considering the increasingly distributing reports presented on a global scale highlighting on the extent of climate change and global warming projecting the immense contribution anthropogenic factors in stimulating this deleterious effects (Moser, 2015). Green marketing presents various benefits to both consumers and the business as long as these efforts are honest and effectively executed. Some of the advantages include expansion of business resources in order to integrate greener products which cater to the needs of consumers who are environmental conscious (Carrete et.al, 2012). This is the primary gain as these target is consistently increasing. Therefore, with the introduction of greener products, companies are able to reach a wider market through surviving the green consumer.
Overview of the Issue
The altruistic intention of green marketing has contributed to the greenwashing currently observed in the marketing platforms both online and in traditional context (Carrete et.al, 2012). With the marketplace becoming more receptive to the Cyberspace, there has been an increased integration of marketing strategies that leverage on environmental awareness of consumers to push non-green products social media platforms such as Instagram allow followers to engage in an advertisement posted in the company’s page in order to learn more about the products they intend to purchase (Carrete et.al, 2012). This has become an easy way to target this customer base through falsely misleading green claims which is an act of green washing. This research seeks to analyses this concept and its relation to green marketing in order to determine the impact on consumers within the social media space.
For the purpose of this research, relevant academic literature will be evaluated in the highlighted section so as to develop a deeper understanding on the concept of green marketing. The areas will include a close analysis of green marketing, definition and observation of brainwashing, and the incorporation of this concept in social media platforms.
- Intricacies of Green Marketing
Green marketing as a concept has been defined by various scholars. Firstly, it is described as the marketing of environmentally safe products basing on the rationale promoting recycling and reduced waste output. Within the market environment, going green as advertised relates to the patches of items whose production required the use of less product leading to reduced waste disposal as well as minimal raw materials. From this explanation, this ideology emphasizes on the need for companies that go green to engage in business practices that are environmentally conscious (Yudelson, 2008). According to studies conducted by environmental leader, an estimated 78% of the experiment unit reiterated on shopping cautiously in order to reduce their carbon print and imposed little to no harm on the environment (Carrete et.al, 2012). Therefore, with the increase in awareness by the global community on the importance of environment preservation and Conservation, marketing efforts focused on environmental sustainability are easily noticeable by consumers. This deduction has been supported by various studies citing brand improvement is directly influenced by drink products production as well as green marketing across Industries.
Companies that often engage in green marketing are those that seek to integrate green initiatives within the organizational framework or firms that are in the green business. An elaborate example of Enterprises which produce environmentally friendly products is the seventh generation company (Carrete et.al, 2012). Some of the products include natural laundry detergents and sustainable diapers. According to the company’s chief marketing officer, there has been a positive growth increments since the company’s Inception. This is indicative that there is an increasing market for green products with customers seeking to make more environmental conscious purchases (Yudelson, 2008). Multinational companies and corporation she demonstrates active participation in green products development motivated by the increasing demand. As demonstrated by Target, this is a sustainable and achievable and ever that can be incorporated across the supply chain (Yudelson, 2008). This company has introduced sustainable packaging for all its manufactured products further increasing its customer base as more consumers are influenced to purchase is environmentally conscious product.
The concept of green-washing emanates from the increasing environmental awareness observed in global economies (Carrete et.al, 2012). There has been an increasing number of product in various retailers and wholesalers enterprise that are reported as being environmentally friendly therefore marketed as green products. However, some companies have endeavored to corrupt the goodwill of other businesses by pushing products that are not environmentally conscientious but marketed as such (Yudelson, 2008). This activity goes against corporate social responsibility and has been responsible for the increasing brainwashing observed in consumerism behavior. While it is relevant to engage in green marketing as a show of support to environment preservation, a level of sextet from companies in assuring their consumers that the products marketed are actually produced and distributed considerate of the environmental impact they pose. Additionally, greenwashing is detrimental as it reduces consumer satisfaction towards a product creating a sense of green myopia (Carrete et.al, 2012). This condition is described as the feeling of perceiving non green products as superior to green products. From the elaboration, it is evidently clear green-washing negatively impacts the proliferation of green marketing as it reduces consumer trust towards green products therefore developing an unwillingness to purchase these items. Are complicating aspects associated with greenwashing is the inability of a consumer to identify advertisements that push non-green products through green marketing.
Research Questions and Objectives
The main aim of this research is to evaluate the overall perception by consumers relating to green marketed products through advertisement. It seeks to analyze whether the perception of honest or dishonest as well as explore the customer responsiveness to the marketing strategies employed in pushing the products in different channels. The overall customer thinking pertaining to the introduction and marketing of green products for various brand is the main motivational factor that contributed to the development of the research question which question: How aware are consumers in identifying advertisement that presenting greenwashing content?
The section of this research concerns the available academic literature on the utilization of the platforms such as social media in driving marketing strategies. Therefore, relating to green marketing, the issue question is on customer responsiveness to marketing tactics aimed at driving environmental friendly products in the market particularly when posts are made on individual brand pages. Thus, the second question is: How is the overall perception of social media green marketing by consumers and is it influential in determine their buying decisions?
The main intention for many business when engaging in green marketing emanates is to contribute positively in saving the environment from the debilitating effects of global warming and adverse climatic change. However, despite these intentions being altruistic in nature, in some instances, green marketing has been perceived rather harshly by various consumer markets particularly on social media platforms. This apprehension denoted from their responsiveness to green market adverts is attributed to the existence of numerous advertisement available online which flood the online cyberspace. Therefore, with a consumer watching similar advertisements several times a day, it becomes rather difficult to separate honest and credible marketed products from the fake ones. The overall outcome is consumers spending minimal time watching at the advertisement and failing to consider the message relayed or the importance of the product advertised in contributing to environmental conservation.
This literature provide an outlook on greenwashing as an outcome of extensive green marketing which is a modern-day problem companies and Enterprises are increasingly engaging in this practice to market their products and services. Due to the fact that consumers lack awareness of greenwashing, it has increasingly spread globally crippling the efforts made in preserving the environment through corporate social responsibility manifested through the adoption of Environmental friendly practices. The hypothesis of this study include:
H1: The effects of greenwashing are identifiable and visibly evident in consumers engaged in green washed marketing as opposed to those watching a non- greenwashed advertisement.
H1b: There is a lower purchase Intent observed in brainwashed marketing advertisement.
H1c: Consumer demonstrate a negative attitude towards brainwashed advertisement.
Social media has become the perfect platform in driving sustainability and related practices across Industries. This is primarily based on the extensive social interaction occurring within these mediums they are for presenting companies with a display area for green marketing and communication to their customers relating to green products. This study focuses on determining the influence imposed by green marketing strategies applied through social media marketing on the customers leading to the second hypothesis.
H2: Green marketing efforts conducted on social media platforms such as Twitter Instagram and Facebook are significantly influential in increasing product purchase intention as opposed to non-green social media marketing gimmicks.
H2b: Positive consumer attitude is observed from consumers who are engaged in an environmentally conscious social media post posted by a brand. The Methodology
- Pilot Study
A pilot study will be applied in the calibration of advertisements utilized in the experiments. It will consist of survey participants will be exposed to for advertisement. The first two ads will contain content with exaggeration tantamount to green-washing. The other two will be direct and honest advertisements with sensible environmental claims. Prior to commencing with the experiments, the participants will be subjected to questioning whereby the knowledge ability and environmental concern will be gauged through a series of questions. This step will then be preceded with the participants evaluating the four advertisements. The first question asked for each ad will be on whether the participants feel the elements of the advertisement contain any green-washing concept. The responses recorded will be either yes or no. The participants will then be required to presents a logical explanation for each selection made. The total number expected from the responses is 28. The results will be derived basing on the number of respondents identified honest advertisements and those with green washing elements.
- Experimental Design
Following the completion of the pilot study, the question asked will be reformatted and reconfigured in order to increase their suitability required for the next main project. In the main experiment, a total of 3 advertisements will be utilized in order to evaluate the validity of the hypotheses. In addition to this, two social media posts will be incorporated in this evaluation. The first advertisement will contain greenwashed content whereas the second one will incorporate honest claims therefore it will be an honest and environmental conscious ad. The third advertisements will be used for the control group whereby they will be required to determine whether it is a greenwashed or green the content. Pertaining to the social media posts, the same rationale will be applied with the inclusion of either green or non-green elements. For all the participants, the question asked in the survey will be the same. However, concerning the social media posts and advertisement presented, they will be rotated with the application of a projected quarter in order to maintain the equal application of data manipulation in equal group sizes. Other social media posts, 38 participants will be questioned. As for the advertisement, 25 participants will be engaged for each post. In total, there should be 73 control group participants, 72 green wash participants and 73 non-greenwash participants. In the social media posts presentation 110 participants will be engaged for the Green advertisements. Lastly for the green exclusive social media post, 109 participants will be involved in the questioning.
The third portion the study will involve an online survey availed by Qualtrics. The first will involve testing the participant’s environmental awareness level which will require answering to prompt questions. Out of the three advertisement highlighted in the other sections, the participants will be asked to evaluate one. Due to the importance of ensuring the participants are familiar with the concept of greenwashing, a definition will be provided. Subsequently, the participants will be questioned relating to the one advertisement selected. In testing the first hypothesis H1, the dependent variable selected will be consumer attitude, purchase Intent, and the green wash. These variables will be analyzed against the non-green-washed and green washed advertisements which are the independent variables. In order to establish the Skins used for this evaluation, literature Concepts will be applied. Following the completion of the survey questions, the participants will provide an elaborate explanation on the selections in order to establish whether they are conversant with the green wash concepts. How you will answer the research questions. In evaluating the second hypothesis H2, relating to businesses exerting green marketing efforts in social media platforms in order to influence customer decision-making concerning product purchase, the participants will be randomly selected from two social media platforms that is Twitter and Facebook. One post on Twitter will include green washing elements while the other posted on Facebook will not contain any green elements. The independent variable which is the social media posts and their varied characteristics will be tested against consumer attitude and purchase intent which are the dependent variables for the second hypothesis. In facilitating the survey, the data will be collected from demographic questions answered by the participants.
- Sample Collection
Through a Facebook link, the survey participants will collect the survey questions. This process will ensure the experimental unit is diverse in terms of racial and ethnic background, age, education and gender. The desired sample size prior to the commencement of the study is 75 which will be disintegration into various quotas applicable for each section. The overall collection of data will be from 218 participants which will be derived from each of the divided advertisement of groups and of the social media posts.
- Data Analysis
Data collected from the survey will be evaluated by the SPSS. In order to eliminate any unreliable or incomplete responses, data cleaning will be conducted to increase data reliability and validity. To test homogeneity, the Levene test will be applied. Secondly, the one way ANOVA will be applied on the collected data to assess the three advertisements which will either confirm or nullify the first hypothesis. The variables analysed in this test include the purchase intent and consumer attitude to green washing and non-green washing advertisements. The third analytical test is Turkey’s test used in measuring hypothesis 1a. It will also be applied in conducting post hoc analysis on comparative data collected in order to demonstrate significant variations.
This research is important for marketers who are seeking to integrate green marketing as part of their promotional strategy in both traditional printing and social Media contexts. The findings will be elemental in demonstrating to corporates and businesses that consumers have developed a deeper understanding one greenwashing as a concept applied by companies to falsely market their products. This will be an important implication in encouraging marketers to avoid product falsification aimed at dishonestly attracting the consumer in order to secure sales. According to research, environmental conscious consumers often use the internet for their shopping purposes. Therefore with this understanding and the H2 variables which include purchase intent and attitude, the outcome of this study will motivate marketers to extensively explore social media platforms as an avenue for green product launches. Additionally, it can also be used as an outlet effective in facilitating marketing material distribution as greens consumers are likely to react positively to social media advertisements that honestly portray grill element. From a business view point, green companies heavily invested in social media will demonstrate a higher purchase Intent as opposed to the competitors.
Carrete, L., Castaño, R., Felix, R., Centeno, E., & González, E. (2012). Green consumer behavior in an emerging economy: confusion, credibility, and compatibility. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 29(7), 470-481. doi:10.1108/07363761211274983
Moser, A. K. (2015). Thinking green, buying green? Drivers of pro-environmental purchasing behavior. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 32(3), 167-175. doi:10.1108/jcm-10-2014-1179
Yudelson, J. (2008). CHALLENGES TO THE FIRM POSED BY GREEN MARKETING DYNAMICS. Marketing Green Building Services, 4(23), 210-225. doi:10.1016/b978-0-7506-8474-3.50018-1