In the Shadow of a Product With a Sustainability Label:Will the introduction of a product with a sustainability label spill over on the perceptions of the mainstream product line,general attitude towards the company & perceived CSR image?
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- Master of Science 
Consumers and society are increasingly emphasizing the importance of new, green products. In response, companies are investing in developing more environmentally sustainable options. However, there is still a lack of clear understanding of the implications of these product introductions. Previous research in the field of spillover effects has found that sustainability labels elicit positive associations with consumers, which in turn might reflect negatively on mainstream products. Since brands are the most important asset for companies, negative associations with products can harm the perception of the mainstream product line. Our research offers insight into these implications, revealing that introducing a green product into a mainstream product line might not lead consumers to perceive the existing unlabelled products as negatively as initially thought. Thus, managers do not need to be particularly concerned about negative consumer perceptions for the rest of their mainstream product line when exposed to a product with a sustainability label. Based on a semi-structured interview an online, self-administered questionnaire constructed by pre-established scales from existing literature was distributed via social networks. The objective of the main study was to investigate the relationship between the introduction of a sustainability labelled product in an existing product line on perceptions of product quality, social and environmental performance, CSR image, and general attitude towards the company, moderated by environmental concern. Sunscreen and universal spray were manipulated with the Nordic Swan sustainability label. Our findings showed that the spillover effect of sustainability labels on consumer perceptions are unlikely. The study only showed significant spillover effects when tested with the moderating effect of environmental concern on two variables. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found that consumers with higher environmental concern rate the product they usually purchase with higher quality after being exposed to the labelled product. Thus, the hypothesis was disregarded. However, as hypothesised, there was a positive relationship between participants' environmental concern and their general attitude towards the company, suggesting that highly environmentally concerned consumers show positive attitudes towards environmentally and socially responsible companies.
Masteroppgave(MSc) in Master of Science in Strategic Marketing Management - Handelshøyskolen BI, 2021