Guilt is a self-conscious emotion that strongly influences human behavior, namely consumption. Aware of this, many brands promote anticipatory non-purchase guilt to lead people to buy their products. However, fewer are giving attention to the question of purchase guilt, despite the fact that it may be an aspect that hinders people to repurchase a product and recommend it to others. According to Burnett and Lunsford (1994), feelings of consumer guilt may arise from different types of transgressions, leading to four different types of consumption-related guilt: social responsibility guilt, moral guilt, health guilt and financial guilt. This study has two main purposes. First it strives to identify which kind of purchase behaviors better explain purchase guilt, an emotion that brands would like to prevent. Second, it examines the potential importance of using social causes as a remedy for preventing purchase guilt, namely by brands that, for their nature, will tend to incite more guilt. The results of a survey-based study suggest that only financial guilt feelings are good antecedents of general post-purchase guilt. These results have important implications to marketing practitioners for products whose marketing should receive special attention when it comes to prevent the occurrence of purchase guilt as a deterrent of buying. The results of an experimental study with a sample of 840 individuals opened new vistas in the use of cause-related marketing strategies to cope with the purchase guilt, by proving that the inclusion of a social cause in a marketing campaign may decrease the feelings of guilt and regret and increase the probability of buying and recommending a product. These results have important implications to marketing practitioners for products whose marketing should receive special attention when it comes to prevent the occurrence of purchase guilt, as a deterrent to buying. We conclude by opening new vistas in the use of cause-related marketing strategies to cope with the post-purchase guilt that some products may display.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Dec 2017|
- Cause-related marketing
- Purchase guilt
- Purchase intention