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Consumer cynicism: an emergent phenomenon in fairtrade?

Gillani, Alvina, Yousafzai, Shumaila ORCID:, Pallister, John Gordon and Yani-De-Soriano, Marie Mirella ORCID: 2011. Consumer cynicism: an emergent phenomenon in fairtrade? Presented at: Academy of Marketing Conference 2011: Marketing Fields Forever, Liverpool, UK, 5-7 July 2011.

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This paper investigates consumer cynicism in the contest of Fairtrade. It explores the factors that give rise to this cynicism and its impact on the buying behaviour of consumers of Fairtrade products. A qualitative methodology employs four focus groups and eight semi-structured interviews in a grounded theory approach. A conceptual model of cynicism towards Fairtrade is proposed including two main antecedents, i.e., goal disconnect and value disconnect. Findings reveal that on the one hand, consumers are cynical towards Fairtrade due to consumers’ value disconnect, which stems from the fact that it leans too closely to charities, is yet another marketing strategy/ploy by the big companies, or, indeed, consumers’ perception that Fairtrade is not going to work in this capitalist world. On the other hand, goal disconnect is reflected upon in terms of consumers’ expectations and the functionality of Fairtrade products. Findings from this study will inform Fairtrade practitioners as to which cynicism antecedent to focus on in order to increase customer trust and thus accelerate the adoption of Fair Trade products by reducing or removing one of the major obstacles to its development, namely, cynicism.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Uncontrolled Keywords: Consumer behaviour; Fair trade; Consumer cynicism; Marketing and strategy
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Last Modified: 06 Jun 2023 19:42

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