Using Social Marketing To Change Winter Holiday Gift Giving Behavior And Improve Well-Being

Thesis · May 2018with 84 Reads
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Research has shown that not only does decreasing consumption support the environment; it is also good for our health and well-being. New Dream’s mission, as a national non-profit organization, is to empower individuals, communities and organizations to transform their consumption habits to improve well-being for people and the planet. In collaboration with New Dream, the overall goal of this research was to use social marketing to learn how best to motivate individuals to shift some purchases from material gifts to experiential gifts during the winter holidays. Specifically, the purpose of this study was to explore the attitudes, awareness, barriers, benefits, and any existing behavior around the topic of giving experiential gifts, along with current happiness levels. Respondents were segmented into six groups – participate in outdoor activities, greenminded, happiness level, millennial, income level, and race/ethnicity. Overall, study findings support that those with less material things are happier. In addition, significant differences between segments were found, so it is recommended that multiple messages, graphics and interventions be used to appeal to different priority groups. Although cost was not a top challenge, creating and sharing inexpensive experiential gift ideas would be useful as those with a high income were more likely to give an experiential gift than lower income individuals. Also, messaging around both top benefits associated with experiential gifts (e.g., lasting memories and uniqueness) would be important as they varied between whites and non-whites. Millennials were willing to use an online wish-list to share their gift requests with family. Promoting this ability on various digital channels would be useful. Additional research could include: 1) barriers to giving an outdoor experiential gift, 2) the role of social norms, 3) testing a public health messaging frame, and 4) how to decease consumption as income increases. The results of this research support the social marketing body of knowledge for use with waste reduction and its effect on the environment and health. These results will be provided to the public on New Dream’s website and will inform the development of a 2018 Simplify the Holidays social marketing campaign.

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