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Encouraging sustainable consumption: An exploration of consumer behaviour

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This paper examines the sustainable marketing literature to present a summary of more recent findings in the area of consumer behaviour. Based on a review of marketing specific journals, relevant findings were recorded and then categorised according to an emergent thematic analysis. The literature reveals inconclusive findings in accurately defining the green consumer, according to demographic variables. It seems that despite decades of research, the segmentation variables of this group are still not clear. Further, the motivation to practice eco-behaviour should appeal to altruistic needs and can be effective using social marketing strategies. Current society lives in a culture of overconsumption that is not necessarily resulting in satisfaction or happiness. Finally, the decision making process followed by green and non-green consumers is very different in many ways. Future research agendas might consider examining other forms of segmentation studies, culture change initiatives, or decision making processes for different eco-products and/or populations. The findings of this article highlight the many gaps in the literature and the fact there is little reported on sustainable consumer behaviour in marketing journals.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: June 1, 2014

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