Thesis Proposal


Green marketing has grown to be the most prevalent concern for organizations (Wu & Chen 2014; Bailey, Mishra, & Tiamiyu, 2016). Green marketing provides companies with tools to put in exercise their eco-friendly intervention and thus respond to the increased public concerns on climate change and global warming. According to Wu and Chen (2014), consumers today are more aware of their environment, health, and the need to make the environment more sustainable for future generations. Consequently, the consumers are more conscious of the efforts by firms to make environments more sustainable. At the same time, companies have realized the benefits of working in line with the interest of the consumer and society as success and long-term performance depend on them. As such, most organizations have implemented green marketing strategies such as eco-labeling, eco-packaging, and design of recycled products, among others.

Statement of the Problem

Green marketing strategies are essential as they not only benefit business but also help the environment. According to Bailey et al. (2016), there is an increasing market for sustainable and socially responsible services and products. Green marketing strategies, such as eco-friendly packaging, reduce pollution to the environment, and firms can appeal to a broader range of consumers at the same time.

However, it is challenging for consumers to accurately confirm their perception of the level of dishonesty presented in green marketing advertisements (De Jong, Harkink, & Barth, 2018). This, therefore, creates an issue on how much knowledge the consumers have about green marketing efforts. Nevertheless, consumers generally agree that green marketing strategies are essential to ensure the sustainability of environments.

Green marketing awareness has significantly increased that the general population is now changing their consumption behavior (Bailey et al., 2016). There is a need to consider consumer behavior towards green marketing strategies and, thus, inform companies on the strategy that customers prefer and which, consequently, contributes to more significant outcome in environmental conservation.

Research Aim

Consumer awareness and motivation towards sustainable environments will continuously change that marketplace. The decision of consumers to make a purchase decision that leans towards environmentally friendly decisions can help in reversing the damage to the environment. This study aims to investigate the sustainable factors that are most important to the consumers regarding green products, which consequently influence their purchase decisions.

Research Question

What are the most important green communication strategies that influence millennials in purchasing products?

Literature Review

In their study, Wu and Chen (2014) found that consumer green marketing awareness has had higher impacts on the purchase intentions of green marketing strategies such as environmental cleanser and energy saver lamps compared to the perceived value of innovation. Consequently, firms have increased green marketing strategies to meet consumer expectations. Similarly, Tezer and Bodur (2019) say that companies that incorporate green products with conventional goods increase the consumption experiences of customers. Notably, there is an increased perceived value, which heightens appreciation of the products.

Unfortunately, firms do not always succeed in their green marketing strategies. Marketers are not well equipped with tools and strategies needed to identify marketing consumer segments that best fit their green marketing strategies (Gonzalez, Felix, Carrete, Centeno, & Castano, 2015). For this, Gonzalez et al. (2015) performed a study to investigate pro-environmental behavior and found that there is a need to incorporated attitudes and demographic variables as opposed to an exclusive focus on high or low adoption of environmental behaviors. Therefore, there is a need to understand the variables that affect consumer behavior on green products and thus implement strategies that will ultimately lead to sustainable performance.

Research Gap

While research provides that green marketing strategies are fundamental and mostly used by companies not only to promote environmental sustainability but also to increase organizational performance (Wu & Chen, 2014; Tezer & Bodur, 2019), there is limited information on effective green marketing strategies. While Gonzalez et al. (2015) provide a need to combine attitudinal variables with demographics in green marketing; no research has investigated factors that are most important for customers, which are incorporated in their purchase decisions.

Research Methodology

To assess the trade-off that consumers make when evaluating different green communication strategies, the research use a quantitative design. Specifically, an experiment will be carried out using a 2×2 factorial design to evaluate millennials’ perception of two environmental attributes and the interaction between them. These elements are the presence, or not, of recycled plastic in the packaging and the presence, or not, of the EU ecolabel.

The population will be millennials in Italy.


Bailey, A. A., Mishra, A., & Tiamiyu, M. F. (2016). GREEN consumption values and Indian consumers’ response to marketing communications. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 33(7), 562-573.

De Jong, M. D., Harkink, K. M., & Barth, S. (2018). Making green stuff? Effects of corporate greenwashing on consumers. Journal of Business and Technical Communication32(1), 77-112.

Gonzalez, E. M., Felix, R., Carrete, L., Centeno, E., & Castano, R. (2015). Green shades: A segmentation approach based on ecological consumer behavior in an emerging economy. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice23(3), 287-302.

Tezer, A., & Bodur, H. O. (2019). The greenconsumption effect: How using green products improves consumption experience. Journal of Consumer Research.

Wu, S. I., & Chen, Y. J. (2014). The impact of green marketing and perceived innovation on purchase intention for green products. International Journal of Marketing Studies6(5), 81.