The Emotional Power of Eco-Labels: an Exploratory Study of Consumer Emotions Evoked by Eco-Labels and the Effect on Green-Brand Image
BES Faculty Early Career Research Pump-Priming Funding
Dr. Anvita Kumar - Project Lead
Professor Marylyn Carrigan
Dr. Carmela Bosangit
Dr. Gaye Bebek
Professor Chris Pullig
Approximately 400 different eco-labels or green certification systems are available to the marketers to enhance green marketing strategies (Ottman, 2011); however this has caused confusion and overwhelmed consumers. Literature suggests that green branding communication should be aimed at associating the brand with emotional imagery alongside information on environmentally sound product attributes. The role of emotions evoked by eco-labels and their impact on the brand image is still largely unexplored; hence this research investigates the emotions evoked by ecolabels and how they impact the brand image and influence consumers’ choices for “green brands”.
The research uses mixed methods of web diary and online survey. In the initial phase, web diaries were used to capture the thoughts, emotions, and prejudice of respondents towards eco-labels and their impacts on brand perceptions. The online survey is deemed necessary to establish the relationship between variables identified from the web diary analysis.
The web diary analysis reveals that emotions are strongly evoked when participants are asked about specific brands rather than the eco-labels. Negative emotions are also more frequently expressed than positive emotions; indicating that consumers are more aware of specific brands when they cause harm. Finally, eco-labels are seen as signs for standard, quality, sustainable and ethical sourcing yet have not strongly influenced purchasing decision of consumers. The results of this preliminary phase will be presented at the 2014 BESRES Internal conference, and papers are being prepared for submission to peer reviewed journals and 2014/2015 conferences.
Prof. Chris Pullig of Hankamer School of Business and Visiting Professor and Dr. Gaye Bebek, Researcher at the Department of Marketing and Advertising joined the team for phase 2 of the study. Future plans are to extend the study to a cross-cultural analysis of the US and UK Market. The online survey is currently being pilot tested.