Purpose – This paper aims to identify and classify consumers’ goals associated with the consumption of environmentally sustainable products. The applicability of such goals to the positioning of environmental products is also tested. Design/methodology/approach – Study 1 used 62 laddering interviews to identify a hierarchical map of adoption related goals. Study 2 used a survey design (N = 152 students) to test the effects of construal-goal fit on evaluations of environmental product attributes of a hybrid car. Study 3 involved an online experiment (N = 125 consumer panellists) to test the effects of construal-goal fit on consumers’ willingness to pay a price premium (WTPP) for energy-efficient light bulbs. Findings – A hierarchical goal map displays consumption goals attainable through environmentally sustainable products. Consumers with a chronic, high-level construal placed more importance on product attributes associated with abstract goals than those with chronic, low-level construal. This effect was stronger for males than for females. Additionally, construal-goal fit increased WTPP. Research limitations/implications – The results suggest that marketers consider construal-goal fit to communicate the value of environmentally sustainable products. The results, however, should be replicated in other product categories and across diverse cultural settings. Originality/value – This paper identifies and classifies the goals related to consumption of environmentally sustainable products. Additionally, it tests the effects of construal-goal fit on evaluations of environmental products, providing insights for marketers seeking to improve their promotional efforts and for public policymakers as they institute demarketing campaigns.
- Construal-level theory
- Environmentally sustainable consumption
- Goal theory
- Means-end chain theory