Monday, January 16, 2017

Puff Up Maleness for Wind Energy Acceptance

Worldwide, interest by consumers in renewable energy sources like wind power has grown notably less quickly than interest in other environmentally conscious products and services, such as organic foods. Based on results from a study of 434 households’ electricity contracts, analysts at the Swiss Federal Office of Energy and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences conclude that the explanation is in what psychologists call identity signaling: People using electricity generated by wind power want to be able to signal to others their worthy actions, but those selling them wind-generated electricity do not make the choice or the significance of the choice sufficiently visible. The analysts suggest providers increase the visibility. Knowing about the past studies on identity signaling, the analysts also suggest that providers involve consumers in initiatives to persuade others to use wind-generated electricity.
     Research at Utah State University, University of Notre Dame, Seattle University, University of Illinois-Chicago, and Peking University indicates this is particularly likely to succeed if the initiatives are portrayed with characteristics men consider to be masculine. Such characteristics include discipline, stability, seriousness, and decisiveness. Green behavior—environmentally conscious actions—tend to be associated with femininity in the minds of both sexes. However, because men are more concerned with gender identity maintenance than are women, marketing wind-powered electricity as masculine will add to men’s motivation to a greater extent than it will detract from women’s motivation to embrace wind power.
     Not all consumer behavior research concludes that men avoid green behaviors because of fears about identity signaling. Studies at University of Helsinki, University of Vaasa, and Jyväskylä University found that men in Finnish urban settings who professed their love of organic foods earned additional respect for being altruistic and affluent. This was not true for men in rural settings, perhaps because eating organic is not at all unusual in farm country, so no distinctive identity is being signaled.
     In all these instances, the retailer’s attention to identity signaling acknowledges a distinction between psychological risk and social risk in customers’ decisions. The psychological risk question is, “Does using this product or service conflict with the image I want to maintain of myself?” The social risk question is, “If the people I admire know I’m using this product or service, am I in danger of falling out of favor with them?” The two types of risk are related, but they’re not the same. Identity signaling concerns social risk.

For your profitability: Sell Well: What Really Moves Your Shoppers

Click below for more: 
Hook Going Green to the Excitement of Nature
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