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Buying decisions towards organic products: an analysis of customer value and brand drivers

Rajagopal (Business Division, Department of Marketing, Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education, ITESM, Mexico)

International Journal of Emerging Markets

ISSN: 1746-8809

Article publication date: 10 July 2007




Many multinational companies have entered the market of organic cosmetics and toiletries (OCT) in the global marketplace. This study attempts to analyze the impact of economic and relational variables on customer and brand values in reference to OCT products in Mexico through empirical investigation in selected department stores that attract high profile customers. The study proposes a framework for future research in measuring the customer value in specific reference to the non‐conventional products.


This study is based on the primary data using the information of 369 respondents, who were involved in shopping at chosen retail self‐service stores in Mexico City, administering a semi‐structured questionnaire. The study was conducted in 11 retail self‐service stores in Mexico City including four departmental stores spread over three locations in Mexico. The data has been fit to the model developed for the study using linear equations. One of the prominent features emerged during the study is that customer perception is largely governed by marketing communications.


The study reveals that strategic product positioning and effective retailing augment the customer perceptions and help building the long‐run customer values towards the non‐conventional products owning unfamiliar brands. Results of empirical data have also shown that advertising and promotional strategies of the OCT brands helped customers review their preferences against the synthetic cosmetics and toiletries which appreciated the brand value for the OCT products of the companies in Mexican market.

Research limitations/implications

Like many other empirical studies this research might also have some limitations in reference to sampling, data collection and generalization of the findings. Samples drawn for the study may not be enough to generalize the study results. Open ended questions were answered by the Mexican respondents in Spanish and sometimes transcription of the audio might have overlooked some issues. However, to ensure that the data cover a wider spatial and temporal dimensions in the study region, data should be cleansed and filtered with many variability factors affecting the consumer behavior and retailer performance.


Marketing of organic cosmetics encouraged by the growing environmental consciousness among the customers, is a recent phenomenon in the business. However, there is paucity of literature on this subject particularly in reference to Latin America. Hence, this paper attempts to contribute to the existing studies.



Rajagopal (2007), "Buying decisions towards organic products: an analysis of customer value and brand drivers", International Journal of Emerging Markets, Vol. 2 No. 3, pp. 236-251.



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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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