Whatever People Say I Am That's What I Am: Social Labeling as a Social Marketing Tool
KUL Working Paper No. MO 0701
46 Pages Posted: 7 Jan 2007
Date Written: January 2007
In this paper, we present a procedure to apply the social labeling technique as a social marketing tool. With four studies, we tested its potential for the promotion of pro-environmental consumer behavior. The procedure first provokes an environmentally friendly act and, subsequently, invites the target to attribute that behavior to his personal values, by communicating a social label. If successful, consumers will act upon the resulting self-perception as an environmentally friendly person. Results indicated that social labeling is more successful when cognitive resources are distracted, either at the moment of processing the label, or at the moment of making decisions related to the content of the label. Second, we found that the social label not merely guides subsequent decisions, but motivates people to re-interpret their previous behavior.
Keywords: Social Marketing, Social Labeling, Persuasion, Ecological Consumer Behavior, Distraction Effects, Mindlessness in Consumer Decision Making
JEL Classification: D18, H41, I18, M31, Q28, Q38,Q48
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation