How Green Should You Be: Can Environmental Associations Enhance Brand Performance

Francisco Javier Montoro-Rios, Teodoro Luque-Martínez and Miguel-Angel Rodríguez-Molina
University of Granada, Spain

INTRODUCTION

As concern about environmental deterioration has increased, much has been published on the advantages of including environmental information in marketing strategies. Most of that work, however, concentrated on good-will efforts or generalized responses to public opinion publications, rather than scientific studies.

There is little scientific literature dealing with the experimental study of the impact of environmental information and associations on the formation of new attitudes toward products or brands. A number of studies examine how new environmental information can affect price points (Kassarjian, 1971), the market share (Henion, 1972), or brand perceptions (Kinnear and Taylor, 1973). Another set focuses on the relative importance of environmental benefits in comparison with functional benefits (Montoro, Luque, Fuentes, and Cañadas, 2006; Newell, Goldsmith, and Banzhaf, 1998; Niva, Heiskanen, and Timonen, 1998; Stisser, 1994), and some researchers have examined the role of environmental certifications in the reinforcing of confidence in environmental associations (Roe, Teisl, Rong, and Levy, 2001; Scammon and Mayer, 1993, 1995). None of these studies, however, examined the underlying mechanism operating in environmental associations with real market brands that are not equal in cognitive or affective terms, for example, brands that are more or less known, or belong to product categories that are more or less relevant for consumers.