Brand Building via Sustainability Marketing: The Effects of Environmental Sustainability Marketing on Brand Image Across Different Generations

Christian-Florentin Luca

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

This paper contributes to the academic field of Brand and Communications Managements by addressing the impact that environmental sustainability marketing has over consumers’ perceptions of brand image. The scope of the paper is narrowed by focusing on consumer segments represented by generational cohorts. After an extensive literature search, it was determined that very few researchers explore the relationship between the concept of environmental sustainability marketing, brand image, and the generational cohort theory. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to answer the following research question: How does the effect of environmental sustainability marketing on brand image vary across different generations?
With knowledge from the literature review, the Updated Brand Personality framework was developed, that brought forward the solution for answering the research question. The framework enables the measurement of brand image, through 25 measurable items that are grouped under nine key personality dimensions. The framework was developed to satisfy two important criteria that were necessary to achieve the aim of this paper, namely cross-cultural validity and a strong representation of the sustainability context through use of certain personality dimensions.
By applying the framework through a quantitative data collection method, it was discovered that environmental sustainability marketing does indeed influence consumers’ perceptions over brand image. However, the results did not satisfy all the hypotheses proposed in this paper. The results provided by generational cohorts represented by individuals aged 40 years and more were especially surprising. Their perceptions of brand image were found to be the highest across most personality dimensions, contrary to the expectations formed based on the current literature.
These paper’s findings encourage marketers to capitalize on the benefits that environmental sustainability marketing can offer, provided that they are delivering honest messages in regards to their brands’ sustainable practices.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2020
Number of pages82
SupervisorsSzilvia Gyimothy Mørup-Petersen