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EMAC 2019 Annual Conference

Adding effort can make green products more attractive to males: The moderating effect of gender identity strength

Published: May 28, 2019


Constanze Gathen , Universität der Bundeswehr München ; Sandra Praxmarer-Carus, Universität der Bundeswehr München


green marketing; gender identity; products requiring effort


Previous research demonstrates that male consumers are less likely to engage in eco-friendly behaviors than females because they perceive such behaviors to be feminine and unmanly (Brough et al., 2016). This research tests whether a green product may become more attractive to male consumers if it requires some effort (e.g., splitting firewood for a wood-burning heating system). As expected, we find that, on average, effort reduces a green product’s attractiveness. However, male consumers with high gender identity strength find a green product that requires effort, compared to one that does not, (1) to be more congruent with their self-perception and therefore (2) more attractive. Thus, adding some effort to an eco-friendly choice may increase its attractiveness among males. This finding is relevant because motivating consumers to make eco-friendly choices is important and, in this regard, males are a challenging target group. We provide suggestions for future research.