Effects of Sustainability Messages and Origin Cues on the Perceived Green Brand Equity of Norwegian Salmon
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- Master Thesis 
This study contributes to research on how sustainability communication affects a brand’s perceived green brand equity. This builds upon findings in earlier research and theory stating that integrating sustainability with other drivers of choice in communication messages could generate a positive effect. Furthermore, the use of country-of-origin cues of a salient sustainable country is expected to enhance the sustainability associations and create spillover effects for the presented brand. The purpose of this study is therefore to gain a deeper understanding of how the integration of sustainability and country-of-origin cues could be used in communication to create positive effects on green brand equity. First, the study tested the effects of using messages that integrated sustainability aspects with a major driver for choice (taste). Secondly, hypotheses regarding whether adding a cue to an origin with salient sustainability associations (Norway) strengthens the effect of the sustainability message was tested. A 2 x 2 between-subjects design with message and origin as variables was used to test these hypotheses. Neither message (integrated vs separated sustainability message), the country-of-origin cue (Norwegian vs European), nor the interaction between the factors, had significant effects on the perceived green equity. One possible explanation for these lacking effects could be insufficient manipulations of the variables. However, unexpectedly, it was found that the country-of-origin cue had a positive effect on the perceived sustainability of the seafood category. These findings and further elaboration on the lack of support for the hypotheses are discussed. Lastly, directions for future research are suggested.