اثرات برچسب های ارگانیک بر نام های تجاری (برند) جهانی، محلی و خصوصی: اعتیاد بیش از حد؟
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1938||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Available online 4 January 2012
With an ever-expanding market for diversified health food products, marketers can formulate a unique selling proposition by differentiating their brands using organic labels issued by an independent accredited institution for organic product testing. Using in-depth interviews, we verify four main purchasing motives for organic food in Germany: healthiness, hedonism, environmental friendliness, and food safety. Moreover, in two experiments, we show that the use of an organic label affects consumers' perceptions of global, local, and private brands with regard to their main purchasing motives. The positive effects of organic labeling are also supported for consumers' purchase intentions and their willingness to pay a price premium. Notably, private brands are more adept at profiteering from the use of organic labels than global and local brands.
Over the last decade, the global organic food sector has grown substantially within a fairly static total food market (Baker, Thompson, Engelken, & Huntley, 2004). Many countries show annual growth rates of the organic food industry of up to 30% (Krystallis & Chryssochoidis, 2005). From being a niche market, the organic food sector has entered the mainstream, having rapidly gained more and more market share. Many companies are therefore trying to jump on the bandwagon, as they recognize the potential of standing out from the crowd by offering organic food. Organic food products are usually symbolized by an organic certification issued by an independent accredited institution for organic product testing (in the following, also termed as an organic label). In spite of the growing relevance of distinguishing brands by organic labels, research efforts have yet to focus on this differentiation approach. Prior studies in the context of organic food mainly deal with identifying the ‘organic consumer’, analyzing the reasons why consumers fail to purchase organic food, or they investigate purchase motives (Hughner, McDonagh, Prothero, Shultz, & Stanton, 2007). These studies deal with organic products in general and do not focus on products certified by an independent accredited institution for organic product testing. Moreover, Ngobo (2011) highlights the relevance of comparing and contrasting the use of the organic label across different brand types (p. 92): “If the consumer decides to buy an organic product, then s/he must decide which organic brand to choose.” The author finds that consumers are more likely to buy organically produced private brands compared to organically produced local brands. Nevertheless, his study is only a first step in investigating the research topic of organic food and branding, as it (1) does not distinguish between food that is organically produced and organic food that is actually certified by an independent accredited institute for organic product testing; (2) only investigates the actual purchase, and therefore neglects the issue of price premium acceptance, and does not investigate whether brand perception changes when the brand is certified as organic; and (3) does not include further brand types such as global brands. To extend his findings, he calls for more research that focuses particularly on organic labeling in combination with branding. Another literature stream investigates the relationship between other labels in addition to organic ones – such as fair-trade labels – and branding. As few studies deal with this topic, more research is also needed here. De Pelsmacker, Driesen, and Rayp (2005) investigate manufacturers' and private brands and show that, from the consumers' perspective, the brand is the most important attribute of the coffee, followed by the coffee's flavor and the fair-trade label. Thus, while both the brand and the fair-trade label are important when buying coffee, the brand is most important. In contrast to this result, De Pelsmacker, Janssens, Sterckx, and Mielants (2005), in their comparative research on manufacturers' and private brand coffees, show that the type of brand is of relatively minor importance. More precisely, their results highlight that ethical labels are more effective when used for manufacturers' brands than for private brands. These study results confirm the need to investigate organic labels at the level of brand-type and call for further research in this domain (De Pelsmacker, Janssens, Sterckx, & Mielants, 2005). In sum, no studies yet exist that assess the impact of organic certification issued by an independent accredited institution of organic product testing on different brand types. The current study contributes to this nascent research gap and responds to the stated calls for more research by looking at organic labels as a brand differentiation strategy. The study discerns whether an organic labeled product generates positive consumer brand perceptions and thus influences consumers' food buying intentions. In addition, it is necessary to assess whether various types of brands benefit differently from organic labeling in the retail market. In order to achieve this, the following research objectives are outlined: (1)Verify the main purchasing motives for organic food in Germany. (2)Investigate consumers' perceptions of global, local, and private brands bearing an organic label. (3) Analyze whether an organic label influences the predictors of brand purchase intention regarding global, local, and private brands. Therefore, our study fundamentally differs from the prior studies by (1) explicitly focusing on an organic label issued by an accredited institution; (2) combining branding and organic labeling and investigating whether an organic label is a successful differentiation strategy for different brand types, namely global, local, and private brands; and (3) taking the complete set of main purchasing motives of organic food in Germany as well as relevant variables of intended behavior into account. Three studies are carried out. In order to assess consumers' perceptions of brands bearing an organic label, it is necessary to examine the relevant perception variables that reflect the key drivers of organic food consumption in Germany, where our study is conducted. This leads to the research objective of study 1, in which in-depth interviews are used to identify the main drivers for organic food purchasing decisions in a German market environment. Based on these results, an experimental study (study 2) is carried out to test how the use of an organic label affects the perceptions of global, local, and private brands concerning the key motivational drivers of organic food purchasing behavior. More precisely, we investigate whether an organic label affects the perceptions of healthiness, hedonism, environmental friendliness, and food safety for global, local, and private brands. Finally, the effect of organic labels on brand-related outcome variables (study 3), namely consumers' purchase intentions and their willingness to pay a price premium, is examined. The results yield implications for marketing practitioners and suggestions for future academic research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This paper contributes to the literature by providing empirical support for the effectiveness of organic labels issued by an independent accredited institute as a source of brand differentiation. It is the first study to explicitly link branding to organic labeling as a relevant strategy in marketing practice. Our first study verifies the four key motivational drivers of organic food purchasing behavior in Germany. A qualitative study reveals the main purchasing motives: healthiness, hedonism, environmental friendliness, and food safety. The second objective is to investigate how organic labeling affects the perception of global, local, and private brands in terms of the identified four key motivational drivers of organic food purchasing behavior. The results of study 2 uncover that the use of an organic label leads to an increase in global, local, as well as private brand perception. Thus, companies can add value to their brands by organic labeling. The third research objective relates to the influence of an organic label on brand-related outcome variables. The results of study 3 offer evidence of predictive validity, showing that the addition of an organic label to the features of global, local, and private brands has a strong positive effect on purchase intention and leads to a significant increase in the consumer's willingness to pay a price premium for the brand. In sum, the findings of study 2 and 3 confirm that organic labels prove to be an effective instrument for global, local, and private brand providers in distinguishing their own brand from that of their competitors. Our findings further suggest that private brands are more adept at profiteering in the use of organic labels than global and local brands. More precisely, results suggest no significant difference across the three brand types within the organic food range. Nevertheless, this is not the case for the non-organic food range. Regarding this, findings suggest that in the conventional food range a private brand is perceived as less healthy, less hedonic, less environmentally friendly, and less safe compared to a local and global brand and, furthermore, shows a lower price premium and purchase intention. Continuing with the organic food range, our results reveal that a private brand catches up with the high rank of a local and global brand. A certified organic private brand is perceived as almost equally healthy, hedonic, environmentally friendly, and safe compared to a local and global brand and moreover shows an equal price premium and purchase intention. These results point out that a private brand benefits most from an organic label compared to local and global brands and underpins the different benefits a brand type may reveal by differentiating itself by means of an organic label. Thus, different brand types benefit differently, which makes a brand-type based analysis necessary when investigating the effects of organic labeling. This prompts the conclusion that in the organic market segment the brand itself is becoming less potent in the purchase-decision process. Obviously, it only matters to the consumers whether the product is organic or not: “Personally, I'd rather buy an imported organic apple than a local conventional one, even if it had to travel” (Sirieix, Grolleau, & Schaer, 2008, p. 512). Therefore, our results stand in contrast to the findings of De Pelsmacker, Janssens, Sterckx, and Mielants (2005) and De Pelsmacker, Driesen, and Rayp (2005) on ethical labeling which suggest that the brand is more important than the label and that manufacturers' brands are most adept at profiteering in the use of organic labels. Nevertheless, local brands are still evaluated more positively, although the differences are not significant. Therefore, local brand owners should not only communicate the organic mode of production, but also the local origin of the brand. In contrast, global and private brand owners should not communicate the global distribution of their brand or their private status within the range of organic food as this reduces the positive effects of organic labeling. The managerial implications recommend that providers of global, local, and private brands may successfully add an organic label to the brand's characteristics not only for the purposes of brand differentiation, but also for repositioning. Brand providers have to ensure that the organic label is communicated consistently, and they have to know how to exploit any spill-over effects that could be employed to develop further product lines in organic foods. Additionally, with organic labeling there is greater scope for pricing. Nevertheless, providers of strong brands have to critically assess whether organic labeling might erode the brand value of established products or cause the value to stagnate, since, as the present studies show, an organic label outshines the brand itself. The use of organic certification is therefore primarily suited to private brands as well as to providers of products of average and below-average brand strength, who would profit best from the organic-label effect. Future research might investigate whether the results hold for brands in other product categories and other organic labels (e.g., USDA organic seal). An exploration of potential cross-country variations into the effects of organic labels on global, local, and private brands is another valuable direction for future studies. Moreover, an investigation should be made as to whether individual specific factors, such as environmental consciousness, the product category, and the consumption context influence the effects of an organic label in achieving brand differentiation. Researchers are encouraged to address these questions.