The many faces of sustainability-conscious consumers

  • Responding to the global call for a "sustainable economy" requires meaningful insights into sustainability-conscious consumers and their actual buying behaviors. Sustainable consumption is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon because it encompasses several distinct behavioral patterns and consumption types. Therefore, companies are well advised to recognize multiple types of sustainability-conscious consumers with different expectations, attitudes, and values and to implement targeting strategies that do not rest on the assumption of homogeneity. Thus, the objective of this study is to provide a more fine-grained picture of (un)sustainable consumer segments and their differentiated effects in different product markets. Based on three large datasets, we create a robust six-segment typology of consumer consciousness regarding sustainable consumption. By using panel data on actual purchases, the results show not only that sustainability concerns significantly positively influence actual sustainable purchases, as expected, but also thatResponding to the global call for a "sustainable economy" requires meaningful insights into sustainability-conscious consumers and their actual buying behaviors. Sustainable consumption is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon because it encompasses several distinct behavioral patterns and consumption types. Therefore, companies are well advised to recognize multiple types of sustainability-conscious consumers with different expectations, attitudes, and values and to implement targeting strategies that do not rest on the assumption of homogeneity. Thus, the objective of this study is to provide a more fine-grained picture of (un)sustainable consumer segments and their differentiated effects in different product markets. Based on three large datasets, we create a robust six-segment typology of consumer consciousness regarding sustainable consumption. By using panel data on actual purchases, the results show not only that sustainability concerns significantly positively influence actual sustainable purchases, as expected, but also that sustainable buying can occur independently of sustainability concerns.show moreshow less

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Author details:Ingo BalderjahnORCiDGND, Mathias PeyerGND, Barbara SeegebarthORCiDGND, Klaus-Peter WiedmannGND, Anja WeberORCiD
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.05.022
ISSN:0148-2963
ISSN:1873-7978
Title of parent work (English):Journal of Business Research
Subtitle (English):a category-independent typology
Publisher:Elsevier
Place of publishing:New York
Publication type:Article
Language:English
Date of first publication:2018/06/07
Completion year:2018
Release date:2021/09/14
Tag:Consciousness regarding sustainable; Consumer typology; Human values; Purchasing panel data; Sustainability; consumption
Volume:91
Number of pages:11
First page:83
Last Page:93
Funding institution:German Federal Ministry of Education and ResearchFederal Ministry of Education & Research (BMBF) [01UT1429A]
Organizational units:Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Sozialwissenschaften
DDC classification:3 Sozialwissenschaften / 33 Wirtschaft / 330 Wirtschaft
Peer review:Referiert