Credibility of Green Marketing in the Fast Fashion Industry
Abstract: Purpose - Existing literature about consumer perception has received substantial notice in the field of psychology. However, less is known about consumer perception of green marketing. To address this absence, this thesis aims to investigate how credible consumers perceive green marketing to be, in the context of the fast fashion industry. Additionally, the authors strived to explore which green marketing claims, portrayed by fast fashion companies, consumers see as more credible and why. An analytical combination of empirical findings and literature on green marketing, consumer credibility and the fast fashion industry was conducted to generate comprehensive results on which factors affect the credibility of green marketing, by fast fashion companies, as well as how different green claims are perceived. Design/Methodology/Approach - The research took a concurrent mixed method approach, meaning that both qualitative and quantitative data was used. The data was collected through focus groups, consisting of a general discussion and a questionnaire, as well as a survey. The focus groups were held with Swedish students at Jönköping University, and the survey was distributed to individuals with a Swedish cultural background. The research approaches used for this study was inductive and abductive. Findings - This thesis suggests that for fast fashion companies who want to understand what affects the credibility of their green marketing, there are six factors which should be considered; perception of green marketing; previous perception of companies and brands; limits of the industry; price’s effect of the credibility; short-term versus long-term solutions; and showing results. Additionally, the study suggests that fast fashion companies should focus on product- and process oriented green claims in their green marketing, as these were perceived as most credible. Further, environmental fact claims were perceived as least credible, and will therefore be hard for companies to implement. Research Limitations and Implications - Due to the limitations of this thesis, the empirical findings need to be tested in a study consisting of a larger sample, as well as including several research strategies. Further, the research should be tested on a larger scale than a Swedish cultural setting and in more industries than the fast fashion industry, in order to generalise the findings. This thesis suggests that companies in the fast fashion industry should evaluate the claims they use in their green marketing, in order to optimise the perceived credibility of green marketing.
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