This study provides insights into young consumers’ responses to sustainable labels. Drawing on signaling theory, the article studies how third-party labels (TPLs) act and interact with company-level claims, trying to better understand their impact on young consumers’ perceptions and willingness to buy (pay for) a chocolate bar. A between-subjects factorial experiment—conducted by manipulating third-party sustainable labels (presence/absence of the labels) and self-declared claims (absence of the claim, formal claim, and friendly claim)—was used to test: (a) the effect of TPLs and self-declared claims on consumers’ perceptions, purchase intention, and willingness to pay, (b) whether this effect was mediated through the perceived credibility of the sustainability message, and (c) what kind of tone-of-voice adopted in the company’s claim was more effective. Data were collected via an online survey among a sample of 315 consumers (age range: 18–39 years) in South Italy. We found that third-party labels, “alone” were not effective in influencing consumers’ perceptions and willingness to buy/pay, while a self-declared claim, especially if characterized by a formal tone of voice, had a much more relevant impact. The combination of TPLs and self-declaration affected most consumers’ willingness to pay when the copy claim was informal. The perceived credibility of the sustainability message mediated the relationships between self-declared claims and the majority of the dependent variables, while, with reference to the relationship between TPLs and dependent variables, it did not act as a mediator.

Assessing Young Consumers’ Responses to Sustainable Labels: Insights from a Factorial Experiment in Italy

Carla Rossi
;
Francesca Rivetti
2020-01-01

Abstract

This study provides insights into young consumers’ responses to sustainable labels. Drawing on signaling theory, the article studies how third-party labels (TPLs) act and interact with company-level claims, trying to better understand their impact on young consumers’ perceptions and willingness to buy (pay for) a chocolate bar. A between-subjects factorial experiment—conducted by manipulating third-party sustainable labels (presence/absence of the labels) and self-declared claims (absence of the claim, formal claim, and friendly claim)—was used to test: (a) the effect of TPLs and self-declared claims on consumers’ perceptions, purchase intention, and willingness to pay, (b) whether this effect was mediated through the perceived credibility of the sustainability message, and (c) what kind of tone-of-voice adopted in the company’s claim was more effective. Data were collected via an online survey among a sample of 315 consumers (age range: 18–39 years) in South Italy. We found that third-party labels, “alone” were not effective in influencing consumers’ perceptions and willingness to buy/pay, while a self-declared claim, especially if characterized by a formal tone of voice, had a much more relevant impact. The combination of TPLs and self-declaration affected most consumers’ willingness to pay when the copy claim was informal. The perceived credibility of the sustainability message mediated the relationships between self-declared claims and the majority of the dependent variables, while, with reference to the relationship between TPLs and dependent variables, it did not act as a mediator.
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/145372
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