Understanding Consumers’ Perception of Sustainable Consumption: A ZMET Approach
Considering importance of consumers’ understanding of sustainability in shaping their attitude toward CSR and its successful implementation, this research uses the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique (ZMET) to develop a deeper understanding of how consumers perceive sustainability in general and sustainable consumption in particular. Based on the premise that most human communication is nonverbal, we used pictures as the medium of data collection and asked the 52 participants in this study to collect pictures that visualize their perception and understanding of sustainable consumption.
Results show that overall understanding of sustainability exists among respondents; however, the majority of them have very little knowledge about actual and global meaning of sustainable consumption. Moreover, there existed a discrepancy between different age groups’ understanding of sustainable consumption. Hence, knowing the role of individual’s perception and personal values in the behavioral intention formation process, and given the fact that consumers play a vital role in the success CSR activities, this study suggests that knowing consumers and their perception of sustainability is essential to firms for using CSR as a marketing and branding tool.
KeywordsSustainability Sustainable Consumption Perception CSR ZMET
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