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Credibility of green marketing in the fast fashion industry

Written by O. Hagman, I. Segerqvist & S. Wahlström

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Bachelor Thesis: Green Marketing Due to factors such as the increase of media reports and consumers' awareness of environmental issues, consumers' environmental awareness has gradually increased (McIntosh, 1991; Butler, 1990). As consumers pay more attention to sustainability, green marketing trends among competitive companies continue to develop (Lu et al., 2013). In order to capture the growing environmentally responsible market segment, some companies have advertised their green brand efforts (Kim & Damhorst, 1997). In addition, green marketing can be explained as a company's strategic efforts to provide customers with environmentally friendly products (Grewal & Levy, 2008). In addition, Fuller (1999) described green marketing as the process of planning, implementing, and controlling product development, pricing, promotion, and distribution in a way that meets customer needs, organizational goals, and the environment. Consumer marketers should recognize their role in protecting the environment, but also understand that green marketing can be profitable. Therefore, green marketing should be a fully integrated part of the company's strategic marketing plan (McDaniel & Rylander, 1993). However, it is difficult and necessary for companies to adapt to the transition from industrial marketing to sustainable green marketing (Ottman, 2011). As companies are likely to generate higher profits, claims raised in green marketing have increased (Stall-Meadows & Davey, 2012). In addition, green marketing statements can be considered effective when influencing consumer behavior (Kim & Damhorst, 1999). Carlson et al. (1993) believes that there are four different types of environmental claims in green marketing. They are product-oriented; process-oriented; image orientation; environmental facts; or any combination of these. Product orientation focuses on the environmental quality of products. In this paper, product orientation claims will target "organic fibers" and "recycled materials." The process orientation focuses on internal technologies, production technologies and disposal methods that are beneficial to the environment. In this paper, it will deal with "sustainable manufacturing" and "sustainable supply chain". The image orientation statement involves the company's participation in environmental activities that are widely supported by the public. In this paper, the image orientation statement will consider the company's "cooperation with organizations concerned with environmental issues" and "donations to green charitable organizations". The environmental fact statement involves an independent statement about environmental issues that appears to be true. In this paper, environmental facts will consider "promotion to save the environment" (Carlson et al., 1993). 2.1.2 Green marketing and credibility Advertising credibility can be defined as the degree to which recipients believe that the brand's statement in the advertisement is true and credible (Goldsmith et al., 2000; Kim & Damhorst 1998; MacKenzie & Lutz 1989, Lutz, 1985) . Some people believe that there is a positive correlation between the degree to which green marketing advertisements are considered credible, their attitudes towards advertisements, and consumers' purchase intentions (Chan 2004; Kim & Damhorst 1998; Phau & Ong 2007). Therefore, this issue has become an important precursor for the development of a positive attitude towards branding and advertising (MacKenzie & Lutz, 1989). However, some green marketing activities are misleading because the company falsely claims to be environmentally friendly. As a result, the competitiveness of companies that are loyal to their environmental values ​​is compromised (Furlow, 2010). Dishonest green marketing issues can cause the green of the product to become meaningless to consumers, thereby undermining the green movement (Ottman, 2011). Other research results show that different types of green advertisements will cause different responses from consumers, which means that some green advertisements have a more beneficial impact on consumers, while others do not (Kim & Damhorst, 1997). Factors affecting the credibility of green marketing The credibility of advertising and other communications depends on the characteristics of the recipient and the content of the information (McGuire, 1976). Buda and Zhang (2000) believe that the credibility of the source and the frame of information are two important factors that affect consumers' response to advertising. In addition, green products and green marketing have exploded (Ottman, 2011). Therefore, due to vague and misleading environmental statements, customers began to question the company’s corporate integrity and believed that most green advertisements were deceptive (Furlow, 2010). This criticism caused a "green backlash", which explained the negative impact of skepticism on product responses (Davis 1993; Moore 1993; Altman 1998). In addition, Paco and Reis (2012) believe that suspicion of green communication will affect the credibility of green marketing, making it a problem for marketers. Another factor that has been found to affect the perceived credibility of green marketing is the recognition signal in the form of eco-labels or seals. However, the source of these labels and seals needs to be credible in order to have a positive impact on the credibility of green marketing (Hansen & Kull, 1994). In addition, it has been suggested that the credibility of the green statement is weakened by the excessive use of terms such as “environmentally friendly”, “natural”, “sustainable” and “recycling” (Karna et al., 2001). Read Less