Predicting whether consumers will purchase organic or conventional food is a multimillion dollar gamble within the food sector. A novel paper by Washington State University College of Business researchers will help advertisers more effectively target the fast-growing organic food market.
"We propose that organic purchases are not just made with the intention of benefiting one's self," said lead author Ioannis Kareklas, a WSU marketing assistant professor. "Our paper provides evidence that advertising that highlights and addresses both personal (egoistic) and environmental (altruistic) concerns in tandem may be the most impactful in influencing consumer attitudes toward and intentions to purchase organic products."
The paper is the first in the United States to explore the relative impact of both considerations simultaneously in relation to self-perception. Co-authors include Darrel Muehling, WSU marketing professor, and Jeffrey Carlson, University of Connecticut doctoral student.
Personal values affect advertisement success
Research has shown that promotional messages tend to be evaluated more favorably when they are consistent with consumers' values, said Kareklas. For example, independent, Western cultures that tend to emphasize autonomy and individualism respond more favorably to ads that emphasize personal welfare. Consumers from interdependent cultures, such as East Asian and Latin American countries, prefer ads that emphasize collective welfare.
However, research shows that egoistic and altruistic considerations coexist within all individuals. Therefore, advertising claims focusing on egoistic/altruistic concerns can make consumers aware of their underlying values, thus increasing the effectiveness of promotional messages, he said.
The researchers conducted a three-part study to test their premise. The results of the first two studies suggested that consumers' organic product purchases may be influenced by both egoistic and altruistic considerations. A key finding was that consumers are more influenced by altruistic concerns when considering the purchase of green/organic products compared to conventional products.
In a third study, the researchers tested the effectiveness of various advertising treatments promoting a fictitious new brand of organic meat called "Gold Standard." The ads emphasized personal health, nutritional value, taste, cleaner water, humane treatment of livestock, community support and a combination of these egoistic and altruistic claims.
"We found that the ad featuring both egoistic and altruistic appeals produced more favorable attitudes toward the brand and company and greater purchase intentions," said Kareklas.
Tips for "green" strategists
These results provide an important theoretical foundation that helps explain why and how specific organic food attitudes and purchase intentions vary among individuals.
"It's important to view consumers' organic food perceptions and buying tendencies in relation to self-concept," said Kareklas. "Unlike previous research that often views the two self-views to be mutually exclusive and competing, we find that the goals of the independent and interdependent view of the self are complimentary influences in the context of organic/green purchase considerations."
The researchers suggest advertisers consider designing messages that relate to personal benefits and environmental benefits in tandem, taking note that synergies may be gained by emphasizing both.
The article, titled "I Eat Organic for My Benefit and Yours: Egotistic and Altruistic Considerations for Purchasing Organic Food and Their Implications for Advertising Strategists," will appear in the Journal of Advertising and is available online at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2325108.
"The article, titled "I Eat Organic for My Benefit and Yours: Egotistic and Altruistic Considerations for Purchasing Organic Food and Their Implications for Advertising Strategists," will appear in the Journal of Advertising and is available online at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2325108. Kareklas previously published a related article, titled "The Role of Regulatory Focus and Self-View in 'Green' Advertising Message Framing," in the Journal of Advertising: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00913367.2012.10672455#.UmAiLFPORtw.
Ioannis Kareklas | EurekAlert!
New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Disarray in the brain
18.12.2017 | Universität zu Lübeck
On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
We carry smartphones in our pockets, the streets are dotted with semi-autonomous cars, but in the research laboratory experiments are still being designed by...
What enables electrons to be transferred swiftly, for example during photosynthesis? An interdisciplinary team of researchers has worked out the details of how...
For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
Electrical charge is one of the key properties that allows molecules to interact. Life itself depends on this phenomenon: many biological processes involve...
At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
No other industry has attracted as much public attention to composite materials as the automotive industry, which along with the aerospace industry is a driver...
Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
Multiferroic materials show magnetically driven ferroelectricity. They are attracting increasing attention because of their fascinating properties such as...
08.01.2018 | Event News
11.12.2017 | Event News
08.12.2017 | Event News
22.01.2018 | Materials Sciences
22.01.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.01.2018 | Life Sciences