Addressing gender differences in green consumption : does communication of effectiveness make a difference?
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- Master Thesis 
Purpose: Existing literature has established that, to consumers, there are several drivers and barriers behind the adoption of environmentally friendly products. We explore gender differences in perceived environmental friendliness, effectiveness and choice of product for a strong and gentle product category when the centrality of green attributes is altered. Further, we investigate whether the degree of explicitness in communication of effectiveness can break down the barrier of perceived effectiveness and if the perception of the communication is different for men and women. Methodology: To explore gender differences in the barriers to adopt environmentally friendly products, we perform a set of analyses on secondary data. By conducting a field experiment where the communication of effectiveness of a drain opener is manipulated, we aim to explain how different degrees of explicitness increase perceived effectiveness and, thus, increase the probability of choosing a green product. Results: We find that there are differences in how men and women perceive environmental friendliness and quality of green products and that this impacts which product they choose. The results show that women are more positive to environmentally friendly products than men, and there are more differences for the strong product category. Further, we find that the perceived effectiveness of a product in the strong product category impacts the probability of choosing a green product, and the effect is stronger for men than women. However, the degree of explicitness in communication is not the factor which impacts the perceived effectiveness. Discussion: The perception of the effectiveness of green products is important for the choice of green products. Men especially need to be assured of the performance of green products to be more likely to purchase green products, as women are more positive to such products than men. Further research on communication of effectiveness is needed to address this issue to ensure that green attributes does not make a product less attractive to consumers.