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

See all articles by Gert Cornelissen

Gert Cornelissen

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB)

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB); BI Norwegian Business School

Vincent Yzerbyt

Catholic University of Louvain

Date Written: January 2007

Abstract

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

Cornelissen, Gert and Dewitte, Siegfried and Warlop, Luk and Yzerbyt, Vincent, Whatever People Say I Am That's What I Am: Social Labeling as a Social Marketing Tool (January 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=955285 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.955285

Gert Cornelissen (Contact Author)

Universitat Pompeu Fabra - Department of Economics and Business ( email )

Ramon Trias Fargas 25-27
Barcelona, 08005
Spain
++34 93542 27 31 (Phone)

Siegfried Dewitte

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Luk Warlop

KU Leuven - Faculty of Business and Economics (FEB) ( email )

Naamsestraat 69
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

BI Norwegian Business School ( email )

Nydalsveien 37
Oslo, 0442
Norway

Vincent Yzerbyt

Catholic University of Louvain ( email )

Place Cardinal Mercier 10
Louvain-la-Neuve, 1348
Belgium

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