Green Marketing and Branding: Combining Micro and Macro Perspectives to Achieve a Circular Economy

Green Marketing and Branding: Combining Micro and Macro Perspectives to Achieve a Circular Economy

Asli Kuscu
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8109-3.ch012
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Green products and services have become an important part of consumption, as consumers' knowledge and concern towards environmental sustainability has increased and they have started to concentrate on their environmental impact. Nonetheless, green marketing still constitutes a small portion of the overall consumer spending. This chapter aims to highlight the importance of marketing activities in the adoption and social normalization of green consumption by the consumers generating public support and economic benefits for the companies as well as environmental and social gains for the society in return. Combining both micro and macro-level determinants and consequences, a conceptual framework is suggested which aims to contribute to literature both theoretically and practically.
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The notion of the circular economy (CE) fosters “reduction, reuse and recycle” of all resources and materials and those three fundamental aims can be achieved through the interplay of both micro (single company and consumer) and macro (region and country) levels (Ghisellini, Cialani, & Ulgiati, 2015). A circular economy is defined as “an industrial economy that is restorative or regenerative by intention and design” (MacArthur, 2013, p. 14) and “…which aims to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value, at all times” (Webster, 2015, p. 16). More recently, Geissdoerfer et al. (2017) include that circular economy is “a regenerative system in which resource input and waste, emission, and energy leakage are minimized by slowing, closing, and narrowing material and energy loops” (p.763). They add that “this can be achieved through long-lasting design, maintenance, repair, reuse, remanufacturing, refurbishing, and recycling” (p. 763). Thereafter, more environmentally conscious and “cleaner” production and consumption models as well as regulations and laws that encourage such models are among the antecedents and results of CE. Hence, not only recycling, which is the primary focus worldwide particularly in the early stages of CE, maintained through regional and national policies and legislations in most of the countries, but consumers’ and companies’ awareness and responsibility towards production, consumption and reuse of more environment-friendly thus greener products/services are also main and inevitable concerns of the CE (He, Lü, Zhang, & Shao, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Green Value: Green value is the overall value consumers gain by using green products and services. Green value is the sum of the financial, environmental, social, information and functional benefits that a green product or service can provide to the consumers. Consumers evaluate offerings based on these benefits and form positive or negative attitudes.

Brand Equity: Brand equity is the overall value accrued to a brand. It is a perception that is formed within the consumers’ minds, but it can directly relate to the financial value and market success of a company. Consumers develop strong bonds with companies that have high brand equity. They believe that those companies’ offerings are better in generating functional, hedonic and symbolic values for them and are also willing to pay more for their offerings.

Segmentation: Segmentation refers to the identification of groups of individuals that share some characteristic with each other but are different from the others. In marketing, those groups are defined as market segments and are further used for targeting and positioning.

Marketing Mix: The four p’s of marketing – product, place, price and promotion – are referred as the marketing mix. The marketing mix is developed based on the overall strategy of the company.

Green Marketing: Green marketing refers to the marketing strategy and activities that are designed to promote and sell green, thus environmentally conscious products and services.

Green Consumers: Consumers who choose environmentally friendly products/services over traditional ones are termed as green consumers.

Social Normalization: It is a process where a new social norm is established. In some cases, it might take place by destroying the old normal acts of the society whereas in some cases it might just generate a new pattern of behavior which is in general accepted by the society.

Green Products/Services: Green products and services are offerings that are environmentally friendly and are not only manufactured in a way that does not harm the environment, but their usage and disposal does not harm the environment, as well.

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