According to a new study, consumers have a better consumption experience when using green products.
Researchers from Concordia’s John Molson School of Business carried out five experiments in actual consumption settings to analyze how consumers feel after using green products compared to conventional products.
The experiments revealed that using a green product (instead of a conventional product) enhances the enjoyment of the accompanying consumption experience, known as the greenconsumption effect.
Using green products creates a “warm glow” feeling in users.
The paper, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, was conducted by Onur Bodur, professor of marketing, and his now-former PhD student Ali Tezer, currently an assistant professor at HEC Montréal.
“The warm glow is a good overall feeling,” said Bodur. “It is found in other literature relating to pro-social behaviour. You get the feeling when you help others and have a sense of accomplishment that gives you satisfaction.”
Bodur and Tezer found that consumers perceive a heightened sense of value as individuals by society when they use green products. Consumers reported a higher sense of self-worth and lower perception of social exclusion after using a green product, leading to warm glow feelings and boosting the enjoyment of the accompanying consumption experience.
However, the greenconsumption effect disappears when consumers feel that the environmental impact of the green product is low.
Bodur believes the research has serious implications for retailers.
“Imagine that the chair you are sitting on is certified bamboo, or the tablecloth at a restaurant is made of recycled materials and the utensils are made of wood,” he says. “You can opt to use sustainable, green products that are more likely to improve your customer’s experience.”
“I believe consumers are becoming a lot more conscious of green attributes, despite all the confusion with regard to certifications of sustainability,” Bodur added. “The risk will only be eliminated when there is some sort of regulation or standardization of certification.”
“The Greenconsumption Effect: How Using Green Products Improves Consumption Experience”
Ali Tezer, H Onur Bodur
Journal of Consumer Research, ucz045, https://doi.org/10.1093/jcr/ucz045
Published: 27 September 2019