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How does green suit me? Consumers mentally match perceived product attributes with their domain-specific motives when making green purchase decisions

: Hahnel, U.J.J.; Gölz, S.; Spada, H.


Journal of consumer behaviour 13 (2014), Nr.5, S.317-327
ISSN: 1472-0817
ISSN: 1479-1838
Fraunhofer ISE ()

Nowadays, environment-friendly products are widely accepted by society. However, market share of sustainable technologies demanding higher investments or behavioral changes is rather small, indicating that consumers seem to generally approve of sustainable products, but rarely perceive them as being compatible with their needs. The present research introduces a model emphasizing the importance of consumers perceiving the product as being suitable to match their motives relevant to the product domain. In investigating a sample of 531 car drivers, the hypothesized model was tested in the realm of a highly relevant sustainable product: electric vehicles (EVs). Findings based on structural equation modeling showed that participants' perceived matching with EV attributes was related to their domain-specific motives (hedonic, freedom, ecological, and financial motives) and a global preference towards the product. Specific to sustainable products, ecological motives strongly influenced participants' matching processes by positively affecting perceived matching with all product attributes. Participants' purchase intentions, in turn, were strongly affected by their perceived matching of the product with their motives. The added value of the model with respect to self-image theories and implications for sustainable product marketing are examined through discussion.