This paper aims to expand the emerging field of symbolic green consumer behavior (GCB) by investigating the impact of anticipated conspicuousness of the consumption situation on consumers’ choice of organic products. In addition, the paper also explores whether self-monitoring ability and attention to social comparison information (ATSCI) influence GCB in situations of anticipated high conspicuousness.
Two experiments test the study’s hypotheses.
The results of both experiments show that the anticipation of conspicuousness has a significant effect on GCB. Moreover, in Experiment 2, this effect is moderated by consumers’ level of ATSCI but not by their self-monitoring ability.
Because ATSCI significantly interacts with green consumption because of the anticipation of a conspicuous setting, although self-monitoring ability does not, we conclude that social identification is an important determinant of green consumption.
Marketers who focus on building green brands could consider designing conspicuous consumption situations to increase GCB.
Policymakers could enact change by making the environmental unfriendliness of non-eco-friendly products visible to the public and thus increase the potential for GCB.
The results validate the emerging understanding that green products are consumed for self-enhancement, but also expand the literature by highlighting that a key motivating factor of GCB is the desire to fit in.
Aagerup, U. and Nilsson, J. (2016), "Green consumer behavior: being good or seeming good?", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 274-284. https://doi.org/10.1108/JPBM-06-2015-0903Download as .RIS
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