“This product is ecological!”

An examination of consumers’ reactions to unsubstantiated marketing claims

Jan Mattsson, Magnus Söderlund

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskning

Resumé

Marketers often claim that products are “green”, “organic”, and “ecological” without backing this up with official, certifying labels or by other evidence. The effects of this practice were examined in the present study for ingestible products (water and beer) and non-ingestible products (bicycle tires and boots) with a set of between-subjects experiments. The presence versus the absence of an (unsubstantiated) ecological claim was the manipulated factor. The purpose was to examine the impact of ecological claims on beliefs that a product is indeed ecological, on beliefs about related product attributes (environmental friendliness, healthiness, and naturalness), and on overall product evaluations in terms of the attitude towards the product. A main finding, in each experiment, was that the participants believed to a greater extent that a product is ecological when this is claimed, thus showing that such beliefs can be influenced easily. However, ecological claims had a limited impact on beliefs about other product attributes and on overall product attitudes, indicating that there are limits to the influence of such claims.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftJournal of Product and Brand Management
ISSN1061-0421
StatusAfsendt - 11 feb. 2019

Citer dette

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“This product is ecological!” : An examination of consumers’ reactions to unsubstantiated marketing claims. / Mattsson, Jan; Söderlund, Magnus .

I: Journal of Product and Brand Management, 11.02.2019.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskning

TY - JOUR

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AU - Söderlund, Magnus

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AB - Marketers often claim that products are “green”, “organic”, and “ecological” without backing this up with official, certifying labels or by other evidence. The effects of this practice were examined in the present study for ingestible products (water and beer) and non-ingestible products (bicycle tires and boots) with a set of between-subjects experiments. The presence versus the absence of an (unsubstantiated) ecological claim was the manipulated factor. The purpose was to examine the impact of ecological claims on beliefs that a product is indeed ecological, on beliefs about related product attributes (environmental friendliness, healthiness, and naturalness), and on overall product evaluations in terms of the attitude towards the product. A main finding, in each experiment, was that the participants believed to a greater extent that a product is ecological when this is claimed, thus showing that such beliefs can be influenced easily. However, ecological claims had a limited impact on beliefs about other product attributes and on overall product attitudes, indicating that there are limits to the influence of such claims.

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