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Special Issue "Sustainability Marketing: the Use of Sustainability Messages, Labels, and Reports in the Marketing Communication"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 4624

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Paweł Bryła
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of International Marketing and Retailing, University of Lodz, Lodz, 90-131, Poland
Interests: consumer behavior; food marketing; organic products; regional products; sustainable consumption; ethnocentrism; country-of-origin effect; health claims; nutrition claims; food choice criteria
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers addressing sustainability in marketing. It will focus on the use of sustainability messages, sustainability labels, and sustainability reports in the marketing communication of companies. The scope of this Special Issue is related to the research questions listed below. They concern the frequency, effectiveness, abuse, optimization, and perception of marketing communications appealing to sustainability. This Special Issue aims to advance our understanding of various aspects of sustainability marketing, particularly the promotion of environmentally friendly and socially responsible products, practices, and brand values. It is situated in the marketing communication literature stream, with important insights from strategic marketing, brand management, and consumer behavior.

Some key research questions are as follows:

  1. What is the frequency of the use of sustainability messages, labels, or reports in marketing communication (advertising, product packages, merchandising, public relations, company websites, social media marketing, e-commerce, etc.) in selected countries or industries? How does it change over time? International comparisons are also welcome.
  2. What is the effectiveness of the use of sustainability messages, labels, or reports in marketing communication? What metrics can be used to measure this effectiveness? Both methodological and empirical papers are invited.
  3. How serious is the problem of inappropriate use (abuse, including the phenomenon of greenwashing) of sustainability messages, labels, or reports in marketing communication? To what extent can this problem be solved by government regulations or codes of conduct? Which practices are considered illegal or unethical?
  4. How can companies optimize their use of sustainability messages, labels, or reports in their marketing communication? Which aspects of sustainability should be emphasized, and in what way and under what conditions? What are possible synergies and conflicts between sustainability communications and other types of messages used by the same company (e.g., sustainability and health, sustainability and quality)? Which consumer segments are sensitive to which types of sustainability messages, labels, or reports?
  5. What is the role of the country-of-origin effect (COOE) and consumer ethnocentrism in the perception of sustainability messages, labels, or reports? Marketing communication referring to sustainability is perceived as more or less credible if it originates from which countries? What is the impact of the host country culture on the perception of sustainability messages, labels, or reports?
  6. What causes a brand to be perceived as following the principles of sustainability or distinguishing itself as sustainable? Which company practices are considered by consumers as violating sustainability? How can companies achieve successful brand positioning based on communicating sustainability? How can they regain consumer trust after a breach of sustainability pledges is revealed?

Dr. Paweł Bryła
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainability marketing
  • marketing communication
  • sustainability labels
  • sustainability messages
  • sustainability reports
  • advertising
  • labeling
  • product packages
  • merchandising
  • public relations
  • company websites
  • social media marketing
  • e-commerce
  • greenwashing
  • country-of-origin effect
  • consumer ethnocentrism
  • branding
  • brand management
  • brand positioning
  • brand values

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Looking for the Sustainability Messages of European Universities’ Social Media Communication during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1554; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031554 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1449
Abstract
Organizations in general, and higher education institutions in particular, had to face many challenges during the pandemic in order to carry out their usual activities. Since communications and interactions between universities and students were required to take place online, the messages sent by [...] Read more.
Organizations in general, and higher education institutions in particular, had to face many challenges during the pandemic in order to carry out their usual activities. Since communications and interactions between universities and students were required to take place online, the messages sent by universities on their social media platforms held greater importance. In this regard, the purpose of the paper was to identify the promotion strategies used by European universities on Facebook and Instagram in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, we were interested in identifying differences and similarities in the types of messages European universities sent on the two social networks, regarding the way they communicated about sustainability. The method used in order to conduct the research was content analysis, while having as an instrument a content analysis grid. We analyzed the activity of 20 European universities included in the World University Rankings 2021. The results of the research revealed that universities communicated more on Facebook than on Instagram, that the most frequent messages regarding sustainability were the ones about the actions carried out by universities in order to protect the environment, and that they registered a higher engagement rate on Instagram than on Facebook. Full article
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Article
Critical Success Factors to Improve the Business Performance of Tea Drink Chains
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8953; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168953 - 10 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2209
Abstract
By determining critical success factors (CSFs), this study intends to identify indicators and offer suggestions for existing owners or operators to improve their critical works in business management, as well as for newcomers interested in investing or studying the chain business. To achieve [...] Read more.
By determining critical success factors (CSFs), this study intends to identify indicators and offer suggestions for existing owners or operators to improve their critical works in business management, as well as for newcomers interested in investing or studying the chain business. To achieve the purpose of this study, document analysis, expert interviews, and the Delphi technique were used to verify that there are five-dimension indicators to explore the CSFs for tea drink chains. The critical success items in this study are as follows: (1) Regarding “brand image management”, the most critical factors unanimously agreed by the professionals are the certification of raw materials and the guarantee of food safety, which are mainly affected by the recent food safety crisis. (2) Regarding “quality and cost control”, the sub-items of raw material supplier’s stability and timeliness are the most important factors. (3) Regarding the “location of business”, the most important factors are the sub-items of visibility, convergence of people flow, and the structural consumption characteristics of the population in the area. Although these are not considered to be the most important factors in the questionnaires by professionals, the professors considered these sub-items to be the most critical factors in the dimension and should provide valuable references for CSFs. (4) Regarding “personnel training and customer satisfaction”, the sub-item of maintaining hygiene in shop fronts is the most important critical factor, followed by the attitude and affinity of the staff, as well as their clothing, appearance, and cleanliness. (5) Regarding the “marketing mode and promotion mode”, the two important sub-items include new product tasting and the irregular launch of new seasonal products. Full article
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