S window of opportunity especially the fi xed in fl

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s window of opportunity , especially the fi xed in fl uential factors that the consumer cannot control. The in fl uence of the price of a product is a heavily debated topic in literature when it comes to the discussion of purchasing behaviour. Ethics and sustainability acts as a catalyst to this discussion, as many consumers have to forsake responsible purchasing behaviour in favour of more affordable products. Cowe and Williams ( 2001 ) believe that price dominates the majority of decisions made by consumers and that there is regularly a trade off of ethics for improved price points. In addition Fig. 4 Rest ( 1986 ) consumer purchasing process The Role of the Retailer 7
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to price it is believed that there are a number of other factors that consumers consider prior to buying an ethical brand, including; brand awareness, the product criteria and the convenience of purchasing an ethical product (Davies 2007 ). The prioritised list of considered elements on the part of a consumer has been named the purchasing hierarchy, with many authors again developing differing models of these in fl uential factors. Price is thought to be the most important purchasing criteria, closely followed by value, quality and brand familiarity (Carrigan and Attalla 2001 ). Considering ethics and sustainability are not mentioned here, it can be assumed that consumers do not prioritise these factors. Many attempts have been previously made to increase consumer awareness and knowledge of social responsibility through the application of initiatives and labelling campaigns (Bray et al. 2010 ). However, the development of too many labelling initiatives has consequently resulted in scepticism of the true meaning behind these labels on the part of the consumer. In addition to the meaning, the effectiveness has also been questioned, providing a certain amount of doubt on how useful, if at all, social labelling can be. This negativity is also thought to have spread towards the retailers and the brands behind the labels, with consumers holding them responsible for their initial scepticism. This common approach from consumers is thought to be having a negative affect on the ethical market, with Cowe and Williams ( 2001 ) believing that a generation of disinterested consumers could kill off the ethical movement. The in fl uence of the scepticism of ethical product labelling, however, does assume there to be two very distinct markets; that of socially responsible goods and one that is not. Again this assumes that these two markets are available to the consumer rather than just the one morally correct option (Niinimaki 2010 ). Whilst there remains to be two distinct markets, consumers will continue to have a choice to make during the purchasing process, whilst taking the more integrated approach as previously mentioned by Arnold ( 2009 ) would eliminate a choice situation. This scenario would see brand and retailers incorporate socially responsible values into their core business, resulting in a more ethical and sustainable offering to con- sumers. This approach, however, would very much rely on retailers and brands
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  • Fall '19
  • Business Ethics, Corporate social responsibility, Alana M. James, Bruce Montgomery

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