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1.1 Background of the Study
As the world’s economy is rapidly developing, the global environment is increasingly deteriorating. Protecting environment, creating a harmonious living environment has become one of the most important concerns of consumers. In Nigeria, people’s ecological consciousness and environmental protection consciousness also have obviously improved. More and more people tend to choose green consumption. Driven by the green consumption, enterprises begin to take customer as the guide of the green marketing strategy. In the marketing process, they pay attention to the balance and coordination between enterprise and the consumer, social and environmental, as well as the sustainable development of the enterprises.
From the point of view of the enterprise, obtaining the corresponding green certification, printing the green label on the products and packaging, make it become an important clue for consumer to cognize green product attributes. It becomes a basic symbol to differ green products from the non-green products, which is a very effective green marketing strategy. (Kim and Choi, 2005:592), the use of the label of environmental protection is helpful for the enterprise products to make differentiation, to win competitive advantages in the market. At the same time, it helps enterprise to improve its corporate image and product image, so as to win the trust and favour of customers. From the consumer's point of view, the green label is a kind of strong signal, conveying some invisible characteristics of the products to consumers, such as the quality of the products and the intrinsic value. In addition, it provides convenience to consumers in the purchase discrimination on green products, reducing unnecessary trouble.
Packaging in modern terms can be defined as the designing and producing containers and wrappers for a product (Keller, 2009:187). Packaging is so important that most of the marketers believe it is the fifth P of marketing mix with other four Ps of product, price, promotion and place and it is considered to be an important element in product strategy (Philip Kotler, 2008:13). In today’s market it consists of three functions which include logistics, commercial and environmental functions (Rundh, 2013:1547) Linking Packaging to Marketing: how packaging is influencing the marketing strategy. Packaging is also an important factor of brand recognition as well as an important factor in creating positive brand associations (Keller, 2009:187). In a competitive market, packaging as a marketing tool could be an effective way to achieve marketing objectives and at the same time it satisfies the desires of consumers through its aesthetics elements which include package’s size, shape, text, colour, material and graphics and its functional elements as well (Rundh, 2013:1547). Packaging as an element of product strategy has become so important that when there seems to be a minute difference in the brands, innovative packaging may provide a competitive advantage (Keller, 2009:187). Packaging has developed itself from time to time and the factors that affected it include changing needs and demographics, changing needs of storing and transporting a product and technological advancement (Calver, 2007:32).
Due to the crowded marketplace of today’s world packaging has evolved as an affective communicator to get consumers attention and convince them at the point-of-purchase when compared with other traditional marketing mediums such as mass media advertising (Robert L. Underwood, 2008:207). Packaging conveys the meaning of a brand in non-durables and becomes a point of difference when other products of similar category just portray the functional benefits, thus eventually establishing a relationship between a consumer and a brand (Robert L. Underwood, 2008:207). Packaging is an important factor of brand recognition and creating positive brand associations (Keller, 2009:187). Packaging has now many functions from protecting the product, to transporting the product to the end consumer safely preserving quality and to persuade the consumer to buy the product by getting consumer attention while at the same time creating a positive impact at retail stores in a highly competitive environment The multi-faceted dimension of packaging marketing logistic or marketing tool?, (Rundh, 2005:670). Research has shown that consumers positively evaluate product’s packaging if it consistently and coherently conveys the meaning of that product through its packaging elements (Hannele Kauppinen-Raisanen, 2010:287). Therefore, the innovation of this paper is from the perspective of enterprise marketing, emphatically analyzing consumers’ psychological cognitive process of the green packaging, and how the green packaging affects the buying behaviour of consumers on different perception stages, so as to formulate effective marketing.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
Nigerian as a nation is challenged by the following issues which have been addressed as research problems in this study. They are inadequate green knowledge, lack of environmental consciousness, lack of government control, high price of green and distrust towards green products.
As a result of the globalization, every day a huge number of consumers stand in front of the well stocked store shelves of supermarket and find themselves exposed to hundreds of different product of different brands and labels from many countries and regions with different packaging's (Glass- bottles, PET bottles, Tetra packs, Bag-in-box, etc), different volumes and prices. One might think that this concentration of similar products at the same point of sale is due to the circumstances caused by the state monopoly of the beverages. According to recent research there were around ten thousand different brands only in the Nigeria market with three thousands of them competing on the shelves of the supermarkets (Sherman & Tuten 2011:21). Unless the consumer already knows what to purchase, they will go through a selection process. It is based on this premises that the researcher wants to examine the Effects of Green Packaging on Consumers Green Purchase Intentions and Actual Purchase Behaviour in Ebonyi State.
1.3 Purpose of the Study:
The main purpose for this study is to examine the Effects of Green Packaging on Consumers Green Purchase Intentions and Actual Purchase Behaviour in Ebonyi State” The following are the specific objectives of the study:
1. To ascertain the influence of Green advertising on consumers purchase behaviour.
2. To examine the influence of consumers’ understanding of green package on their buying behaviour.
3. To find out the impact of consumers preference of the green packages and their purchase behaviour.
4. To examine the impact of consumers’ trust on the green package and their purchase behaviour.
1.4 Research Questions
1. Do consumer’s perceptions of green package influence their purchase behaviour?
2. Do consumers’ understanding of green package influence their buying behaviour?
3. Do consumer’s preference of the green packages has impact on their purchase behaviour?
4. Do consumers’ trust on the green package influence their purchase behaviour?
1.5 Research Hypotheses
H1: Green advertising has positive significant relationship with customers’ purchase intention.
H2: Green packaging awareness has positive significant relationship with customers’ intention to use green products.
H3: Green packaging perceived value has positive significant relationship with customers’ intention to use green products.
H4: Green packaging trust has positive significant relationship with customers’ intention to use green products.
1.6 Scope of the Study
The scope of this study although very wide if it has been carried out in the entire population of Ebonyi State. For this reason, it is necessary to have a concentrated area of study which was restricted to the evaluation of the Effects of Green Packaging on Consumers Green Purchase Intentions and Actual Purchase Behaviour” using students of Ebonyi state university living within Ishieke campus as case study.
1.7 Limitations of the Study:
Due to limited time and resources, the research is only conducted within Ishieke Campus, Ebonyi state University. It only covers the educational area of Ebonyi state University. Therefore the results of this survey may not be generalized to the whole population of Ebonyi state.
Other limitation is that, this research only undertake the younger generation for survey. People from other age groups such as middle age, senior citizens might be interested to purchase green products.
1.8 Significance of the Study
This project work will contributes to academia by providing experimental evidence to the area of green marketing. More specifically, the authors do this by transferring traditional methods used in conventional marketing, to the area of green marketing. Moreover, the authors expand the understanding of how to communicate with green marketing effectively, to influence consumer behaviour efficiently.
Further, this study contributes with a deeper understanding of what motivates consumer behaviour in terms of ecology. Finally the study contributes to Companies understanding of how to communicate ecology via green marketing, as a means to strengthen the image of their private eco-brand.
On the current stage, the amount of researches about the green consumer behaviour based on the view of enterprise is relatively small, and the number of study about the specific marketing strategy on the influence of green consumption behaviour is also small. Therefore, the innovation of this paper is from the perspective of enterprise marketing, emphatically analyzing consumers’ psychological cognitive process of the green labels, and how the green labels affect the buying behaviour of consumers on different perception stages, so as to formulate effective marketing.
By investigating people’s perceptions about the role of packaging on consumer buying behaviour this study will help marketers to realize in which way the packaging influences perceptions of consumers while buying a certain product.
1.9 Definitions of Operational Terms
Green: The term "green", implies an underlying concern for preservation of the environment and a non-invasive lifestyle Kim and Choi, (2005:592).
Packaging: Packaging includes design and production of container or wrapper for a product. Packaging is the container for a product Hueber, (2000:6)
Green Packaging: Green marketing of products is offering a competitive advantage in the form of giving an alternative of products that can be less harmful to the environment. Kohl, (1991).
Green Purchase: Green purchase as a specific kind of eco-friendly behaviour that consumers perform to express their concern to environment, (Reitman’s, 1992:18)
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