Normally consumers view products carrying ethical labels like organic or energy star, positively. However, the revenue received from these products remains relatively low, even though their offerings are way more beneficial for society. Factors affecting consumers’ purchasing intentions are investigated by a team of scientists. “Warm glow” was studied which reflects the personal benefit felt by the consumers when they do something good.
The “warm glow” has a relatively significant influence on the purchasing intention of people; the incentive of receiving a good feeling definitely pulls consumers to purchase products making ethical claims. However, the intention is commonly not put into practice. As stated by a student in a research training group of “Global Food”, Sarah Iweala: “warm glow” is only relevant for fair-trade chocolate. The researchers assume that this is partly due to the strong association with the common good of the fair-trade label, which supports farmers in developing countries. “Other studies have shown that consumers also associate positive health aspects with organic food. Of course, this dilutes the label’s association with the common good.”
Even though the consumers mentioned that reducing their CO made them feel good, this didn’t lead to them choosing the CO. This can be clarified by the low profile of this specific ethical logo. The consumers didn’t seem to notice the logo or majority of them were not aware of what the logo stands for. As the Professor Achim Spiller said: “If consumers don’t know what a label stands for, they can’t feel good about it when they shop and so it can’t become a deciding factor in their shopping choices.”
Further highlighted by the scientists: “Our results show that in the marketing of ethical products, the social benefit should be communicated through a direct approach. It is also important for marketing that labels can only have an effect on the market if they are known. Today’s flood of frequently unknown labels is counterproductive”.