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Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science

, Volume 39, Issue 1, pp 21–39 | Cite as

Mindful consumption: a customer-centric approach to sustainability

  • Jagdish N. Sheth
  • Nirmal K. Sethia
  • Shanthi Srinivas
Article

Abstract

How effectively business deals with the challenges of sustainability will define its success for decades to come. Current sustainability strategies have three major deficiencies: they do not directly focus on the customer, they do not recognize the looming threats from rising global over-consumption, and they do not take a holistic approach. We present a framework for a customer-centric approach to sustainability. This approach recasts the sustainability metric to emphasize the outcomes of business actions measured holistically in term of environmental, personal and economic well-being of the consumer. We introduce the concept of mindful consumption (MC) as the guiding principle in this approach. MC is premised on a consumer mindset of caring for self, for community, and for nature, that translates behaviorally into tempering the self-defeating excesses associated with acquisitive, repetitive and aspirational consumption. We also make the business case for fostering mindful consumption, and illustrate how the marketing function can be harnessed to successfully implement the customer-centric approach to sustainability.

Keywords

Sustainability Customer-centric sustainability Mindful consumption 

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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jagdish N. Sheth
    • 1
  • Nirmal K. Sethia
    • 2
  • Shanthi Srinivas
    • 2
  1. 1.Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business SchoolEmory UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Professors of Management and Human Resources, College of Business AdministrationCalifornia State Polytechnic University, PomonaPomonaUSA

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