The effects of triple bottom line and message framing on consumer’s wishful identification and willingness to act



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The different types of messages framing have been used in social science and behavioral research for a long period of time. Due to the current crisis about sustainability, researchers are using different message framing types to promote sustainability-related activities and to involve all the stakeholders in these activities. Textile and apparel retailers and brands also strive in keeping competitive advantages in the market by incorporating this sustainability concept. Therefore, promotional activities containing different types of message framing are one of the many ways to reach, inform, and persuade consumers to practice sustainability. Nevertheless, there are some inconsistencies in consumers' shopping motivations and behaviors, even consumer know how to act as a responsible consumer. Based on two theoretical foundations (i.e., social cognitive theory and dual-process model), this present study developed a research model to investigate how message framing and different sustainability aspects can engage and persuade the textile and apparel consumers to participate in sustainable behaviors. Therefore, this research examined the effects of different sustainability aspects-based message framing on consumer emotions, as well as the effects of emotions on sustainability motivation, brand pleasure, and arousal, which in turn influencing consumers’ wishful identification and willingness to act. A questionnaire was developed in Qualtrics, an online survey platform. A Qualtrics panel was recruited for the data collection and a total of 423 were collected and used for statistical analyses. For data collection, several screening questions were used including, age above 18 and previous apparel product purchase experience within the last two years. Statistical analysis methods including descriptive statistics, independent sample t-test, Analysis of Variance (ANOVA), and correlation were used as primary data analyses using SPSS 26. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to find the underlying structure of the variables used in this study. Later, regression analyses were used to determine the relationships among variables used in this study including emotion, sustainability motivation, brand pleasure, brand arousal, consumers’ wishful identification, willingness to act, automatic action, and deliberate action. The findings of this study showed that message framing types influenced consumers' positive and negative emotion significantly, although the result did not show a significant difference in emotions based on the different TBL aspects (i.e., person, people, and planet in this study). The finding also disclosed that emotion has a significant influence on sustainability motivation, brand pleasure, and brand arousal. Consequently, consumers’ wishful identification and willingness to act are influenced by brand pleasure and arousal, however, sustainability motivation did not affect wishful identification and willingness to act. Finally, consumers still have the tendency to purchase because of their automatic behavior more than deliberate behavior, even though automatic action and deliberate action both affect willingness to act significantly. An important theoretical implication of this study is that this study filled the current research gaps in the literature regarding how sustainability-based effective framed messages influence consumer buying attitude and action. Another essential implication of this study is the theoretical framework used in this research that can explain and provide a guideline of how an advertisement affects consumer purchase behavior by using emotion, sustainability motivation, and brand romance. Besides, the negative messages showed better results than positively framed messages, thus, textile and apparel retailers can use negative message framing along with appropriate visualization and this may bring the expected results to engage and persuade consumers to act sustainably in their shopping behavior.

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Message framing, Triple bottom line, Consumer buying behavior, Social cognitive theory, Dual process model