The Drivers of Green Brand Equity

Table of Content

This article proposed four novel constructs – green brand image, green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity, and explored the positive relationships between green brand equity and its three drivers – green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust. The object of this research study was information and electronics products in Taiwan.

This research employed an empirical study by use of the questionnaire survey method. The questionnaires were randomly mailed to consumers who had the experience of purchasing information and electronics products. The results showed that green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust are positively related to green brand equity. Furthermore, the positive relationship between green brand image and green brand equity is partially mediated by green satisfaction and green trust. Hence, investing on resources to increase green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust is helpful to enhance green brand equity.

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In recent years, owing to the enormous amount of environmental pollution which directly connects with industrial manufacturing in the world, the society has noticed environmental issues increasing steadily (Chen, 2008a). Because of the attention of the society, more and more companies are willing to accept the environmental responsibility (Chen et al. 2006). Nowadays, environmental concern rapidly emerges as a mainstream issue for consumers because of global warming, and many companies are seeking to catch the opportunity. In turn, green marketing becomes more important for some kinds of products, such as information and electronics products (Chen et al. , 2006).

However, not all the companies have enough capabilities to market their green products to their consumers. If companies want to adopt green marketing successfully, then their environmental concepts and ideas should be integrated into all aspects of marketing (Ottman, 1992). If companies can provide products or services that satisfy their customers’ environmental needs, then their customers would be more favorable to their products or services.

In the advent of environmental era, companies must  nd an opportunity to enhance their products’ environmental performance to strengthen their brand equities. Because of more popular environmentalism in the world, the sales of green products have dramatically increased nowadays, and, therefore, more consumers are willing to pay higher price for green products (Chen, 2008b). There are reasons for companies to develop green marketing: compliance with environmental pressures; obtaining competitive advantage; improving corporate images; seeking new markets or opportunities; and enhancing product value.

Therefore, this study argued that undertaking green marketing for companies could raise their intangible brand equities. Although the value of brand equity cannot be accounted for by current  nancial accounting methods for most own branding companies (Neal and Strauss, 2008), creating a strong brand in the market is one of their main goals because it can provide bene’s for them, including less vulnerability to competitive marketing actions, larger margins, and greater brand extension opportunities (Delgado-Ballester and Munuera-Aleman, 2005; van Riel et al. , 2005).

Although previous studies have paid great attention to explore the relevant issues of brand image, satisfaction, trust, and brand equity, none explored them about green or environmental issues. Therefore, this 308 Yu-Shan Chen the environmental problems in the world because of the impact of infamous environmental disasters and the rise of environmental protection activities (Mclntosh, 1991).

Eventually, consumers become more willing to purchase products which are more environmental friendly (Krause, 1993). Because there are more consumers with responsible and environmental attitudes since the early 1990s, who prefer purchasing products which generate a minimum detrimental impact on the environment, the society becomes more concerned with the environment and, in turn, companies are forced to change their behaviors with regard to compliance with the society’s environmental concern (Ottman, 1992; Peattie, 1992, 1995; Vandermerwe and Oliff, 1990).

The environmental pressure is impossible to ignore, so the companies should develop new business models that can secure compliance with the popular green trends nowadays. In recent years, green marketing is one of the emerging notions in the  eld of marketing, and its concept has been widely accepted and applied in practice. Companies can utilize the idea of green marketing to generate and to facilitate any exchange intended to satisfy customers’ environmental needs or wants (Polonsky, 1994).

In addition, green marketing is a much broader concept which encompasses all marketing activities that are developed to stimulate and to sustain consumers’ environmental friendly attitudes and behaviors (Jain and Kaur, 2004). Previous studies suggested companies can undertake green marketing activities to investigate consumers’ green attitudes and behaviors, to identify the market of green products, to stratify the green market into different segments based on the consumers’ needs, to develop green positioning strategies, and to formulate a green marketing mix program (Jain and Kaur, 2004).

Because of the more importance of green marketing in the future, this study discussed the concept of green brand equity and proposed a research framework to explore its positive relationships with its three drivers: green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust. study wanted to ll the research gap. This study proposed four novel constructs – green brand image, green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity – and discussed their implications in the eld of green marketing. In addition, this study developed a research framework which can enhance green brand equity from green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust.

Furthermore, this study summarized the literature on green marketing and corporate environmental management into a new managerial framework. Therefore, the main contribution of this article is to propose the four novel constructs – green brand image, green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity – and to extend brand equity research into the environmental context. Another contribution of this study is to provide a research framework to explore the relationships among green brand image, green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity and to further undertake an empirical test.

This study focused on nding the correct standpoint and evaluation for new concepts of green marketing in compliance with the environmental trends to increase green brand equity from three drivers: green brand image, green satisfaction, and green trust. The structure of this articleis as follows: A literature review is discussed in ‘‘Literature review and hypothesis development’’ section, and ? ve hypotheses are also proposed in this section. In ‘‘Methodology and measurement’’ section, this study described the methodology, the sample, data collection, and the measurements of the constructs.

Next, the descriptive statistics, reliability of the measurement, factor analysis, correlation coef? cients between constructs, discriminate validity, convergent validity, and the results of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) are shown in ‘‘Empirical results’’ section. In the end, this study mentioned the discussions about the ndings and implications, and pointed out possible directions for future research in ‘‘Conclusion and implications’’ section. Literature review and hypothesis development Green marketing Consumer environmentalism has been more prevalent in the last two decades while consumers are aware of.

The positive effect of green brand image on green satisfaction, green trust, and green brand equity Brand image plays an important role in the markets where it is dif cult to differentiate products or services based on tangible quality features (Mudambi et al. , 1997). Brand image includes symbolic meanings The Drivers of Green Brand Equity that associate with the speci c attributes of the brand, and it can be de ned as a consumer’s mental picture of a brand in the consumer’s mind that is linked to an offering (Cretu and Brodie, 2007; Padgett and Allen, 1997).

In addition, brand image is a set of perceptions about a brand re ected by brand associations for consumers (Cretu and Brodie, 2007; Keller, 1993). Therefore, Park et al. (1986) argued that brand image covers functional bene ts, symbolic bene ts, and experiential bene? ts. Based on the above de nition, this study proposed a novel construct, ‘‘green brand image,‘‘ and de ned it as ‘‘a set of perceptions of a brand in a consumer’s mind that is linked to environmental commitments and environmental concerns. ’ Satisfaction is a delightful degree of post-consumption evaluation or a pleasurable degree of consumption-related ful? llment (Oliver, 1996; Paulssen and Birk, 2007; Ruyter and Bloemer, 1999).

Thus, satisfaction is a level of overall pleasure or contentment perceived by a consumer, resulting from the quality of the product or service to ful ll the consumer’s expectations, desires, and needs (Mai and Ness, 1999). Based on the above de nitions, this study proposed a novel construct, ‘‘green satisfaction,‘‘ and de ned it as ‘‘a pleasurable level of consumption-related ful lment to satisfy a customer’s environmental desires, sustainable expectations, and green needs. ’’ Corrigan (1996) demonstrated that Ireland had signi cant growth since the promoting of Ireland’s green image. Furthermore, Hu and Wall (2005) asserted that the increase of environmental image can enhance the competitiveness of tourism. Similarly, green brand image is more important for companies especially under the rise of prevalent environmental consciousness of consumers and strict international regulations of environmental protection.

Companies can embody the concept of green marketing in their products to obtain the differentiation advantages of their products (Chen et al. , 2006; Peattie, 1992; Porter and van der Linde, 1995). In addition, rms investing many efforts in improving their brand images can, not only avoid the trouble of environmental protests or punishment but also enable them to enhance their customer satisfaction about environmental desires, sustainable expectations, and green needs. Because brand image is an important determinant of customer satisfaction, previous studies posited that there is a positive relationship between 09 brand image and customer satisfaction (Chang and Tu, 2005; Martenson, 2007).

According to the argument above, the more the green brand image is, the higher the pleasurable level of consumption-related ful llment is to satisfy the customers’ environmental desires, sustainable expectations, and green needs. Thus, this study proposed the following hypothesis: Hypothesis 1 (H1): Green brand image is positively associated with green satisfaction. Trust is a level of the con dence that another party would behave as expected (Hart and Saunders, 1997).

Rousseau et al. (1998) asserted that trust is the intention to accept vulnerability based on positive expectations of the behaviors or intentions of another. Previous studies argued that trust includes three beliefs: integrity, benevolence, and ability (Blau, 1964; Schurr and Ozanne, 1985). In addition, Ganesan (1994) argued that trust is a willingness to depend on another party based on the expectation resulting from the party’s ability, reliability, and benevolence. Therefore, customer trust can in? uence their purchasing decisions (Gefen and Straub, 2004).

Because some companies promote their new products which embody misleading and confusing green claims, and exaggerate the environmental value of their products, customers are not willing to trust their products any more (Kalafatis and Pollard, 1999). Referring to Blau (1964), Schurr and Ozanne (1985), and Ganesan (1994), this study proposed a novel construct, ‘‘green trust,‘‘ and de ned it as ‘‘a willingness to depend on a product, service, or brand based on the belief or expectation resulting from its credibility, benevolence, and ability about its environmental performance. ’ Previous studies showed that the image perceived by a consumer can signi? cantly affect his or her behavior (Dowling, 1986; Ratnasingham, 1998).

In addition, image has a positive in uence upon consumer trust because it can diminish the risk perceived by consumers and simultaneously increase the probability of purchase at the moment of execution of  transaction (Flavian et al. , 2005). Therefore, prior studies have demonstrated that brand image might in uence decision-making of agents involving in the exchanges, and therefore argued that there is a positive relationship between brand image and customer trust  Flavian et al. , 2005; Mukherjee and Nath, 2003).

According to the argument above, the more the green 310 Yu-Shan Chen Hypothesis 3 (H3): brand image, the higher the willingness to depend on the brand based on the belief or expectation resulting from its credibility, benevolence, and ability about environmental performance. Therefore, this study implied the following hypothesis: Hypothesis 2 (H2): Green brand image is positively associated with green brand equity. The positive effect of green satisfaction on green brand equity Satisfaction is the level of pleasurable consumption which ful? ls customers’ needs, desires, goals, or so on (Oliver, 1994; Olsen, 2002).

Customer satisfaction is one of the most widely discussed topics in the marketing  eld (Oliver, 1996). For example, previous studies have demonstrated customer satisfaction can lead to consumer’s purchase intentions (Mai and Ness, 1999; Martenson, 2007), and repeat purchase behavior (Chang and Tu, 2005). Consumers who are highly satis ed with a brand may recall its name directly, compared to consumers who are less satis ed with it. Brand equity can precisely represent the preference, attitude, and purchase behavior of customers for a brand (Yasin et al. , 2007).

In addition, brand equity is a set of the associations developed between the attributes of a brand and the bene ts perceived from its customers (Keller, 1993; Krishnan, 1996). Satisfaction for a brand would impact positively on the strength and favorability of associations toward it in its consumers’ minds (Pappu and Quester, 2006). Hence, there exists a positive relationship between customer satisfaction with a brand and its brand equity (Pappu and Quester, 2006). Moreover, Kim et al. (2008) demonstrated that consumers’ satisfaction positively affects brand equity and indicated that brand equity varies with customer satisfaction.

This study proposed two novel constructs, ‘‘green satisfaction’’ and ‘‘green brand equity’’ in the prior hypotheses. In turn, the more the green satisfaction the more the level of green grand equity. Hence, this study implied the following hypothesis: Hypothesis 4 (H4): Green brand image is positively associated with green trust. Brand equity, the intangible brand property, is the hidden value inherent in a well-known brand name (Yasin et al. , 2007). Higher brand equity can enable consumers to be willing to pay more for the same level of quality due to the attractiveness of the name attached to the product (Bello and Holbrook, 1995).

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