Ends Justify Means? Organic Cotton Products’ Purchasing Motivations

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ABSTRACT

In green marketing, the motivations for purchasing environmentally friendly products are often elusive, e.g., altruism mixed with some egoism, or a mixed-up means and ends. The purpose of this study was to apply the means–end-chain framework to build a model for the different motivations that consumers would have in favor of organic cotton products in Taiwan. Three hierarchical levels of means–end were included in the framework for organic cotton products: product attributes, consequences of using products possessing certain attributes, and fulfillment of personal values achieved through positive consequences after using the organic product possessing certain attributes. A survey questionnaire was designed based on product attributes and consequences identified from the Kahle, Beatty, and Homer's List of Values (LOVs; 1986) for respondents to rate their importance on a 5-point Likert scale. The LOVs included nine values of common purchasing motivations, such as sense of belonging, excitement, and warm relationship with others, etc. For the 399 usable cases, fuzzy logic association mining rules were applied. The findings indicated that there were four significant routes by which respondents could achieve the personal value of security. However, knowing respondents’ personal value of security as the ultimate motivation for favoring organic cotton is only part of the picture. Only through a full understanding of different paths that lead to security can firms effectively design communication strategies to reach potential consumers. [EconLit Citations: C440, C610, M300, Q130].

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