Green Marketing And Consumer Behavior: The Case Of Gasoline Products

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Journal of Transnational Management, 16:84–106, 2011 Copyright # Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1547-5778 print=1547-5786 online DOI: 10.1080/15475778.2011.571635

Green Marketing and Consumer Behavior: The Case of Gasoline Products
SATYENDRA SINGH
University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

DEMETRIS VRONTIS and ALKIS THRASSOU
University of Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

The purpose of this research is to ascertain the manner in and extent to which consumers’ environmental attitudes affect their purchasing behavior regarding a competitively uniform product such as gasoline. The research initially undertakes a comprehensive literature review on green marketing and contemporary consumer behavior to develop the necessary theoretical basis on which primary research is founded. The latter has collected data using a survey method and has analyzed them using multiple regression analysis. The results indicated a clear purchase pattern that favors gasoline brands perceived to be the most environmentally friendly, in fact, to a degree that consumers are willing to drive far to locate their favorite gasoline stations. This research, fits the findings of past generic research on contemporary consumer behavior, though contrary to other past findings, did not indicate any gender consumer behavior differences. The theoretical basis and primary research results are subsequently utilized toward the development of an innovative green marketing perspective with explicit managerial implications. KEYWORDS consumer behavior, environment, gasoline, green marketing, purchasing behavior

Received December 2010; revised January 2011; accepted February 2011. Address correspondence to Demetris Vrontis, Dean, School of Business, University of Nicosia, 46 Makedonitissas Avenue, P.O. Box 24005, 1700 Nicosia, Cyprus. E-mail: vrontis.d@ unic.ac.cy 84

Green Marketing and Consumer Behavior

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INTRODUCTION About the Industry
The global oil and gas refining and marketing sector is one of the biggest, with significant growth and a value that of over $3 trillion (U.S.) (DM, 2008). This massive gasoline consumption leads to significant climate changes creating major social, scientific, and of course business issues for both developed and developing nations. These issues create problems and problems unavoidably instigate change. For businesses, this change is not only a challenge to overcome, but potentially an opportunity to be seized, in areas such as innovation and energy efficiency, among others. Addressing the issue of climate change means adopting new and innovative technologies that conserve energy, reduce greenhouse gas (GHG), and therefore contribute to quality of life. Some of the international companies such as British Petroleum, DuPont, IBM, Toyota, Royal Dutch Shell, among others are reducing their emissions and profiting by doing so. For example, British Petroleum has reduced its worldwide emission to 10% below 1990 levels in seven years ahead of schedule at a net saving to the company. Similarly, Canadian companies are making energy efficiency and GHG emission reduction a key component of their strategic thinking. For example, Daimler Chrysler has reduced the GHG emission per vehicle manufactured by 42% over the past decade. Syncrude Canada has reduced GHG emissions per barrel of production by 26% since 1988. Clearly, these companies want consumers to have a positive attitude toward their brands that are perceived as environmentally friendly. However, sustainable development cannot be achieved and maintained unless consumers play important roles in creating new markets and initiating a behavioral change. Although informed consumer choices can help pull environmentally friendly technologies and products into the marketplace, companies can also work with communities and provide information to reduce the GHG emissions while driving. Given this increasing awareness, automakers are poised to introduce innovative green…