C2b: Motivating consumer-to-business transactions through environmental appeals

J. Ian Norris, Alexis M. Allen, John Pelola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Marketers have long incentiviled consumers in an effort to encourage them to sell their unwanted goods back, a behavior we label as consumer-to-business (C2B) behavior. Despite years of offering financial incentives, most consumers store unwanted items at home rather than sell them back to marketers. A trend toward greater environmental accountability, coupled with limited supply and increasing costs of raw materials, compels marketers to motivate C2B behavior. The current research introduces both appeal and incentive type as tactics firms can use to motivate this behavior. Specifically, we identify appeals that present environmental and economic outcomes as different benefits of C2B behavior, along with either hedonic or utilitarian incentives. Across four studies we find support for a licensing effect whereby an environmental appeal paired with a hedonic incentive is particularly effective at motivating C2B behavior. We demonstrate a boundary condition to this effect, where consumers high in pro-environmental attitudes respond positively to environmental appeals regardless of incentive, while other consumers are more likely to engage in licensing behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-69
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Association for Consumer Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 the Association for Consumer Research. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing


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