Effect of Advertising on Car Sharing Use Intention
A Study on Dutch Millennials
Student: Lisa Giezeman (10793763)
Study: MSc Business Administration – Digital Business UvA Economics and Business
EBEC approval no.: 20210421030407 Supervisor: Michael Etter
Date: May 25th, 2021 (Final Version)
Statement of Originality
This document is written by Lisa Giezeman who declares to take full responsibility for the contents of this document.
I declare that the text and the work presented in this document are original and that no sources other than those mentioned in the text and its references have been used in creating it.
The Faculty of Economics and Business is responsible solely for the supervision of completion of the work, not for the contents.
This study examines the effect of different advertisement claims in regard to the attitude towards the consumers’ idea of car sharing and, ultimately, the intentions to partake in car sharing.
Numerous studies have been done in the fields of both advertising and car sharing. However, there is no emphasized answer in which advertisement claims have been most efficient in conveying the ideas of car sharing to people. There is an enormous increase in environmental awareness and concerns worldwide, causing a rise in green products and services. However, there is still an inconsistency between consumers’ attitude towards car sharing and their intentional behavior to use car sharing. Therefore, this study was created primarily to focus on how influential green advertising is in stimulating consumers to participate in car sharing.
Furthermore, the source from which the advertisements derive will be taken into account in order to investigate if governmental institutions or corporations score higher on communication
effectiveness. This research survey was distributed among 173 Dutch Millennial consumers. The results of the survey revealed that advertising claims had no direct effect on consumers’ intention to use car sharing and on the attitude participants had towards car sharing. Additionally, this study determined the mediating effect of attitude towards car sharing on the relationship between advertising claim and intention to use car sharing, and the moderating effect of the source of the advertisement on the relationship between advertising claim and attitude towards car sharing were both not verifiable. However, it became clear that there is very little awareness of what car sharing is, so the first step is creating a plan for bigger outreach to consumers in order to inform them about car sharing and possibly letting consumers experiment with car sharing to understand its benefits.
Keywords: Car sharing, green advertising, intentional behavior
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. INTRODUCTION ... 7
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ... 10
2.1 Impact of Advertisement on Consumer Behavior ... 10
2.1.1 Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behavior ... 12
2.2 Green Marketing ... 14
2.2.1 Corporate Social Responsibility ... 15
2.3 Intention ... 16
2.4 Mediating Role of Attitude ... 19
2.5 Moderating Role of Source of Advertisement ... 21
2.6 Millennials ... 24
2.7 Conceptual Model ... 25
3. METHODOLOGY ... 25
3.1 Experiment ... 25
3.2 Data Collection and Sample Size ... 27
3.3 Operationalization ... 28
3.4 Pre-test ... 32
3.4.1 Manipulation Check Pre-test ... 33
3.4.2 Familiarity ... 34
3.5 Procedure Main Experiment ... 35
4. RESULTS ... 37
4.1 Preliminary Data Analysis ... 37
4.2 Reliability and Validation Analysis ... 40
4.3 Correlation Matrix ... 41
4.4 Manipulation Check ... 42
4.5 Randomization ... 44
4.6 Testing Direct Effect ... 45
4.7 Testing Moderated Mediation Effect ... 46
4.7.1 A-path ... 46
4.7.2 B-path ... 47
4.8 Additional finding ... 47
5. CONCLUSION AND DISCUSSION ... 49
5.1 Conclusion ... 49
5.2 Discussion ... 52
5.3 Theoretical and Practical Implications ... 53
5.4 Limitations and Recommendations for Future Research ... 56
REFERENCE LIST ... 59
APPENDICES ... 71
Appendix A: Car sharing Advertisements ... 71
Appendix B: Set-up of the Main Experiment ... 72
Appendix C: Results ... 76
C.1 Data Inspection ... 76
C.2 Sample Composition ... 77
C.3 Randomization ... 78
LIST OF TABLES Table 1. 2x2 Between-Subjects Factorial Design ... 27
Table 2. Assessment of Trimmed Mean ... 38
Table 3. Demographic Data of Participants ... 39
Table 4. Cronbach’s Alpha for multi-item Measurement Scales ... 41
Table 5. Mean, Standard Deviation and Correlations of Study Variables ... 42
Table 6. Chi-squared Tests for Gender, Highest Education Level, and Monthly Income between Groups 45 Table 7. Overview of hypotheses and outcomes ... 48
Table 8. Descriptives Boxplot for Attitude Towards Car Sharing ... 76
Table 9. Descriptives Boxplot for Intention to Use Car Sharing ... 76
Table 10. Overview of Participants in Experimental Conditions ... 77
Table 11. Descriptives for Familiarity ... 77
Table 12. User frequency ... 77
Table 13. Age by Experimental Condition ... 78
Table 14. ANOVA (Condition à Age) ... 78
Table 15. Gender of Participants per Condition ... 78
Table 16. Chi-Square Test for Gender Distribution per Condition ... 78
Table 17. Highest Level of Education of Participants per Condition ... 79
Table 18. Chi-Square Test for Highest Level of Education per Condition ... 79
Table 19. Monthly Income of Participants per Condition ... 79
Table 20. Chi-Square Test for Monthly Income per Condition ... 80
LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 1. Conceptual Model ... 25 Figure 2. Check of Outliers in the Data Set ... 76 Figure 3. Boxplot for Familiarity ... 77
In contemporary society, environmental problems are considered problematic worldwide
(Earth.Org, 2020). Some examples of environmental issues are climate change, global warming, and pollution within our air, water and land. More than ever, people observe the enormous impact of climate change and feel the urge to change their current behavior to save the world.
The increase in environmental concerns and awareness causes consumers to switch to green products and services. However, that is what we assume, but in reality, there is no univocal consistency in what people say and what they do (Vermeir & Verbeke, 2006). Although consumers hold positive attitudes towards a healthier environment, it does not always result in behavioral intentions to buy green products or use green services. This means there is a negative correlation between attitude and action. So, although there is a need for people to change to more sustainable behavior, too many people stay behind. People seem to care about the environment, but they are unwilling to sacrifice their current ways to be more sustainable. Convenience, cost savings, lack of knowledge, and lack of feeling of their own responsibility are key motives for this (Nelson, 2019).
The sharing economy is an excellent example of how a “greener” and more conscious life for consumers can be easy and impactful. In the sharing economy, people split the cost and usage of goods and services instead of owning them (Hamari et al., 2015). It can be seen as a potential opportunity to sustainability (Heinrichs, 2013). Therefore, an effective way of communication is required to provide clear attention to the environment. For example, the use of green marketing can be effective; in green marketing, marketers enhance awareness of the environment and deliver a persuasive message. Nowadays, organizations recognize the need to provide
environmentally friendly innovations, mainly with the goal of staying ahead of their competitors.
It is important for these companies to deliver clear communication and show their environment- friendly efforts in an understandable way to our society.
Due to the increase in awareness and concerns of the environment, the number of green claims issued has increased significantly in recent years (Rahman et al., 2017). However, a significant proportion of companies use greenwashing. In highly competitive industries, organizations sometimes unfairly imply eco-friendly claims to stay in the race. We call this greenwashing, and this can cause mistrust by the consumer. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is very important to convince consumers to go for green products and services.
Consumers need reliable information on green products and services to make decisions. If consumers feel they get misled, they will lose their trust and will not return to this company. The company will also lose its brand image (Musgrove et al., 2018). There is still some ambiguity in the effectiveness of green marketing, so it is crucial to further explore how to get the consumer to the point they actually want to go ‘green.’ This will also help to change customers’ current behavior.
Services such as shared mobility are predicted to become more popular due to the increase of environmental awareness. Shared mobility is described as “an innovative
transportation strategy where you have temporary access whenever needed” (Machado et al., 2018, p. 5). It includes people sharing any type of transportation, such as a car or bike. (Shaheen
& Chan, 2016). By participating in the shared mobility, the user benefits in several ways. To start, individuals will have lower costs or share the costs because they do not have to buy their own transportation mode. Moreover, it is much better for the environment.
In the past few years, car sharing has grown exponentially in popularity. The number of
sharing enables people to use private transportation on an as-needed basis (Duncan, 2010). Car sharing has been praised as a sustainable solution. In Dutch urban cities such as Amsterdam, parking spots are scarce, and you have to pay the ultimate price. “Approximately 11% of the public space in Amsterdam is seized by parked cars. In a city which is becoming busier, this wrings more and more. Cars standstill, parked, most of the day. On a given day, over 40 percent of the cars of residents do not move” (Gemeente Amsterdam, 2020, p. 56). Therefore, the expectation is that car sharing will keep up the growing trend in the upcoming years, because with car sharing people do not have to worry about parking, maintenance, and insurance anymore. People have the flexibility to use a car when and where they want.
Incentives for the use of car sharing compared to owning your own car vary across consumers. There are three main motivators for consumers to participate in car sharing: car sharing is environmentally friendly, wallet-friendly, and convenient. According to Lane (2005), environmental relates to the impact car sharing can have to make the world more livable in the future. Financial is explained by the accessibility of various rates due to several different car choices and the option of short or long trips and low risk of loss. The last motivator, convenience can be explained by good and enough availability close to you, easiness to make a reservation, flexibility with pick up and return, and easiness to pay (Lane, 2005). Car sharing needs to make people’s life easier (Schaefers, 2013). Research shows that convenience is seen as a necessity before consumers even consider participating in car sharing. Consumers will not make use of it if car sharing lacks convenience (Connaway et al., 2011). This is the reason why the motivator convenience is not taken into consideration as a focus of advertising claim for this study.
There is a noticeable gap between a positive attitude towards car sharing and the intention to actually use it (Hamari et al., 2015). This results in less market potential than expected.
Reasons for this are the low knowledge that people have of car sharing, people do not believe in the positive environmental impact they can make, and people do not feel the need to change their manners (Kollmuss & Agyeman, 2002). This shows that, to date, marketers are not quite sure how to communicate their message most effectively to convert a positive attitude into the actual intention to use car sharing.
This study will focus on the main advantages of car sharing: environment and cost savings and investigate which advertisement claim has the most positive effect on the intention to use car sharing. In addition, this study considers the mediating role of attitude towards car sharing and the impact of the source of the advertisement. We examine if the message is more effective when communicated by the government or when communicated by a corporation itself.
This leads us to the following research question: To what extent do different advertising claims (environmental vs. financial) stimulate consumers’ intention to use car sharing, how does attitude explain this effect, and to what extent does the influence of the advertisement claim on the attitude depend on the source?
2. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
2.1 Impact of Advertisement on Consumer Behavior
Numerous studies have been done on the impact of advertisements on consumers’ purchase behavior (Chukwu et al., 2019; Tellis, 2003). Advertisement is seen as an unmissable and powerful strategy for businesses to deliver a persuasive message. Advertising is a way of communication and can be described as practices used to deliver any compelling message to a target group to make the product or service more attractive (Tellis, 2003). Consumers are
exposed to advertisements all day long without even realizing it. The goal is to attract customers
and affect customer’s attitudes and awareness, and in the end, the buying behavior (Chukwu et al., 2019). Effective advertisement can positively change consumer buying behavior and can even be seen as a driving force that changes the customer’s behavior positively towards your product (Malik et al., 2013). Therefore, this research investigates if certain advertising claims can positively alter a consumer's attitude and intention towards car sharing. Where the focus of most previous studies on advertising was done on a product, this research focuses on a service.
Where a product is physical and tangible, a service is not. Zeithaml et al. (1985) mention in their research that besides intangibility, the features inseparability of production and consumption, heterogeneity, and perishability differentiate services from products. Zinkhan et al. (1992) stated that there are different advertising strategies for services compared to products based on these different characteristics of products and services. Their research was focused on television commercials, and they found that there are unique marketing characteristics for both services and products. For example, in service advertisements transformational advertising is present and in service advertisements the aim is to convince consumers to try the service or make use of the service (Zinkhan et al., 1992).
These days, many corporations are testing ways to incorporate green marketing in its services. Nevertheless, it is still not found what makes green advertising effective, and there is ambiguity on what consumers respond to in green advertisements (D’Souza & Taghian, 2005). A recent study by Rahman et al. (2017) found that it is essential to lower prices and inform
consumers to influence consumers’ opinion about green marketing. In this study, advertising claims are used to promote car sharing. Car sharing is defined as “a model of short-term car rental” (Novikova, 2017, p. 28). So, you do not have ownership, but you can use it wherever and whenever you want.
2.1.1 Theory of Reasoned Action and Theory of Planned Behavior
Various studies have looked into effective ways to encourage sustainable consumption through the use of marketing and behavioral science. As previously stated, people are inconsistent when it comes to what they say they will do in comparison to what they really end up doing. Their actions do not reflect their intentions. Literature on consumer behavior and social psychology helps to understand the existing gap between attitude and intentional behavior. The theory of reason action (TRA) and the theory of planned behavior (TPB) are widely used and be of value to investigate the effects on behavioral intentions of consumers (Madden et al., 1992). The theory of reasoned action is focused on predicting behavior by looking at the behavioral intention (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). The Theory of Reasoned Action is based on the belief that people make decisions by estimating the potential pros and cons of their actions when individuals form their attitude toward their behavior. Therefore, TRA researches the cause-and-effect relationship between beliefs, attitudes, intentions, and behavior (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1980). TRA believes that behavioral intention is the most emphasized precedent of behavior. Attitude and subjective norms are two significant components to consider when determining behavioral intention. A person’s attitude is formed after evaluating the person’s subjective opinions about that given subject (Ajzen, 1985). To perform a particular behavior or not is determined by the degree of social pressure that an individual perceives. This is defined as subjective norms. So, if an individual evaluates it positively in combination with the support of important referents, it is presumable that the individual will perform a particular behavior. TRA is recently used by Karnowski et al. (2017) to examine the effects of motives, attitude, and intention on news- sharing behavior which is communicated on social media. Their target population was
consumers in Germany who use social media. As expected, their results revealed a positive effect
between attitude on news-sharing intention (Karnowski et al., 2017). In this study, just like in the research of Karnowski et al. (2017), TRA is also applied by looking for the effectiveness of advertising on intentional behavior of car sharing.
Icek Ajzen collaborated on the theory of reasoned action and introduced the theory of planned behavior. He included perceived behavioral control to the theory, which also directly affects behavioral intention (Davis et al., 2002). So, the intention to perform a certain way will be high if the person has high control over the performing behavior and the other way around.
While the theory of reasoned action assumes that behavior is controlled by the individual’s willingness to achieve a certain action. The impact of non-volitional factors on behavior is incorporated in the theory of planned behavior. In other words, the theory of reasoned actions assumes people make well-considered decisions. On the other hand, the theory of planned behavior presumes people’s belief in performing a given behavior. This is also known as this self-efficacy (Ajzen, 1985).
Car sharing has three main advantages: environment, cost savings and convenience.
However, as mentioned earlier, convenience will not be taken into account for this research since convenience can be seen as a baseline for decision-making. In general, these days, people argue if something is not convenient, people will not make use of it (Connaway et al., 2011).
Consumers prioritize convenience over other factors. It needs to meet consumers’ needs;
otherwise, the consumers will go to the competitor (BrandHook, 2018). So, the two types of advertisement claims that this research will be focused on are environmental and financial benefits.
2.2 Green Marketing
Other definitions for green marketing are environmental marketing and ecological marketing.
Since the start of the 21st century, companies see it as a necessary strategic change (Ankit &
Mayur, 2013). In general, green marketing includes changing the production process and packaging and modifying products and advertising. The emphasis is on environmental benefits (Bukhari, 2011). Educating consumers about the environment, ensuring long-term customer loyalty and sales by being genuine are crucial aspects of green marketing for companies (Ankit
& Mayur, 2013). It gets a lot of attention nowadays since consumers have more concerns about and are more aware of the environment. In the report of Lampert et al. (2019), it was stated that
“in 2019 77% of the people worldwide have concerns about the environment” (p. 6). The upward trend of green consumerism is of vital interest for businesses. It can be used as an important positioning strategy to operate in a sustainable manner (Goh & Abdul Wahid, 2014). Kotler et al.
(2010) mention that besides focusing on operating more sustainably, it is important to ponder new business models that stimulate and provide sustainable consumption. In the long term, this can increase profits. The sharing economy is a great example of this due to the option to access products and services instead of having to own them.
In green advertising is a focal point on the claim of sustainability in an authentic way (Chekima et al., 2016). The need to promote green products and services is essential, as stated there is still no clear answer on the most effective ways to convince consumers of green intentions. This causes an inhibition of development towards a more sustainable world. In the past, it was explicitly focused on green consumers resulting in only targeting a small part of the population. Recently, the need for marketers to aim their advertisements more towards a larger mainstream consumer base is highlighted (Visser et al., 2015). Research by Hartmann and
Apaolaza-Ibáñez (2012) shows the need to emphasize the psychological benefits of advertising besides the advantage of utilization and environmental concerns. Furthermore, Visser et al.'s (2015) research outcomes exhibit the existing positive effect of environmental attitude on consumers' green purchase intention. Regarding the sustainable value and how to get the
intention of consumers to buy the product or, in this case, to use the service of car sharing, more research should be done with as main goal to find the most efficient methods of communication.
2.2.1 Corporate Social Responsibility
Corporate social responsibilities (CSR) and ethical consumerism are important concepts related to green marketing (D’Souza & Taghian, 2005). CSR is defined as “management of stakeholder concern for responsible and irresponsible acts related to environmental, ethical and social phenomena in a way that creates corporate benefit” (Vaaland et al., 2008, p. 931). In short, organizations have social responsibilities. One of the key frameworks in CSR literature is Carroll’s pyramid of CSR, consisting of the following four elements: economic responsibility, legal responsibility, ethical responsibility, and philanthropic responsibility (Carroll, 1991). CSR is mainly based on economics. Profit is essential for businesses, but they have many more responsibilities. Businesses need to obey the law, do the right thing, and give back to society (Nalband & Kelabi, 2014). This framework explains how and why organizations should take and meet social responsibility. However, in reality, businesses do not always do what they declare.
Numerous studies in the CSR literature research the connection between CSR and the financial performance of businesses. The success or failure of companies and organizations are, to a large degree, dependent on CSR. Hsu (2011) states the importance of CSR actions to attract
stakeholders. This can help to build or maintain a reputation in the longer run. Companies aim for high profits to stay in a healthy condition. Due to the economic conditions, companies will
not always act in socially responsible ways because they want to stay ahead of their competitors.
Companies need to realize that they have to choose between either ethically doing the right thing or self-interest. Campbell (2007) focuses on the effect of economic conditions on corporate behavior and in specific the mediating role of institutional conditions. His research, for example, showed engagement in institutionalized dialogue with stakeholders would result in companies acting in a socially responsible manner.
Businesses try to fulfil the demands of consumers and the communication between the two parties is key. Plans and actions need to clearly and honestly be communicated with society (Punitha & Mohd Rasdi, 2013). This is to avoid claims that are perceived as misleading and contradicted by other products and practices of the company, also known as greenwashing.
Consumers’ skepticism of green claims can result in brand damage and negatively impact the company's sales (Bukhari, 2011). This causes the company's credibility to be shattered and is seen as a challenge that companies are facing. To summarize, green marketing can help you gain a competitive advantage over competitors but will only yield something if a company uses this strategy in the right way.
Companies aim to make a profit and gain market share to survive in the highly competitive atmosphere. To compete in the car industry, car sharing companies need to convince people to rent a car by using the service of car sharing. It is important to emphasize the urgency of car sharing to keep the environment alive and in the end the world livable. In the context of this study, a way needs to be found to use green marketing to make consumers choose car sharing.
With this research, the focus will be on the intention of consumers to use car sharing as a result
of being exposed to green marketing versus exposed to traditional marketing focused on cost savings.
The investigation into the consumers’ intentional behavior and motivators of car sharing has been of high interest to researchers. For example, Hamari et al. (2015) divided the motivators of collaborative consumption into intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. Intrinsic motivation can be defined as the motivation to engage in a behavior for its inherent satisfaction, whereas extrinsic motivation refers to reward-driven behavior (Sansone & Harackiewicz, 2000). Extrinsic
motivation is an incentive from external factors. Having fun using the service and encouraging the environment were categorized as intrinsic motivators, whereas on the other side, economic benefits and reputation were categorized as extrinsic motivators. Hamari et al. (2015) researched that when individuals were environmental aware it had a positive effect on their attitude.
However, the results of his study showed that a positive attitude did not turn into intentions to participate in collaborative consumption. At the same time, economic motivation showed to have a remarkable influence on the intention but not on the attitude. This shows the disparity between attitude and intentions mentioned in the introduction. Hartl et al. (2018) concluded in their research that sustainability is perceived as a bonus rather than a reason to participate in car sharing. Cost savings are seen as most important for consumers, followed by flexibility and ease to use. Hartl et al. (2018) alert marketers to consider sustainability as a side effect when
considering advertisement. Lane (2005) showed in his research done for a new car sharing program in Philadelphia that most consumers ranked convenience as the most important factor to participate in car sharing, followed by affordability, and personal freedom. Only an insignificant number of people consider car sharing primarily for environmental reasons. On the other side, in Switzerland, the first consumers joining car sharing mainly participated because of
environmental friendliness (Muheim & Reinhardt, 1999). All evidence indicates that individual consumers rated non-green factors and green factors differently. In contemporary society
environmental concerns and awareness play a more conscious role in consumer decision making than in the past. Furthermore, in the above-mentioned studies no specific age group was
investigated. However, this study will focus specifically on Dutch Millennial consumers since this age group is known for their environmental awareness (Hopkins, 2016).
The rational choice theory explains the minor role of green motivators in consumers’
choice for car sharing. This theory is associated with maximizing the self-interest of an
individual. In other words, before making a decision, individuals evaluate the pros and cons to choose the best option for themselves. Wittek (2013) acknowledges three key assumptions for this theory: individuals have selfish tendencies in which they exploit to maximize their own benefits, and after having all the information, act individually. Therefore, it is important to emphasize the environmental benefits of car sharing. Car sharing can help reduce global warming, air pollution, and climate change. Carsharing can help to save the world and keep the world livable for every individual. This way consumers feel responsible for contributing. To conclude, this shows again the urge to use green marketing in the right way to avoid
Research by Smith (2010) confirms the assumption that all over the world, consumers have concerns about the environment. The researcher chose Millennials as the target audience since there has not been that much research on this age group. Notable was that more than 50%
of the individuals stated that they sometimes decide to choose the green option. However, the question remains if an advertising claim focused on the environment or cost savings has more effect on the intention to use car sharing.
To conclude, green advertising can be a useful technique to enhance consumers’
motivation towards going green. This research will explore the effectiveness of green marketing by looking into the effect on consumers’ intention to use car sharing. The following hypothesis can be made:
H1: An advertising claim focused on the environment, leads to greater intentional use of car sharing, as compared to a financial focused advertising claim.
2.4 Mediating Role of Attitude
Attitude is considered an essential influence on people’s behavior (Ajzen, 1985). Literature on consumer behavior and social psychology helps to understand why there is a difference between people’s attitude and eventually their intentional behavior. Research on the theory of planned behavior, which has already been introduced, successfully understands people's behavioral intentions in several fields. This section is focused on the (mediating) role of consumers’ attitude towards car sharing. This research focuses on predicting the effect of the advertisement claim on attitude towards car sharing and the influence of attitude on the intention to use car sharing. The discovery of advertisement effectiveness on (positively) changing consumer attitude was already found (Tellis, 2003). Consumers are exposed to advertisements all the time and will form a certain attitude depending on this advertisement. Research by Kalafatis et al. (1999) was focused on green marketing, and results showed the (positive) impact of green marketing on the attitude.
Therefore, this study will investigate the effectiveness of clear and understandable green marketing on consumers' attitude towards car sharing. This leads to the following hypothesis:
H2: An advertising claim focused on the environment, leads to a more positive attitude towards car sharing, as compared to a financial focused advertising claim.
Much research has been done on the mediating role of attitude, especially with purchase
intention as the dependent variable. Kalafatis et al. (1999) used the theory of planned behavior as their theoretical framework in their research. The main focus of their study was the effect of the component attitude on intention towards environmentally friendly products. They tried to research the suitability of the theory of planned behavior within green marketing and used a cross-market examination. The results showed a higher accuracy of the theory for well-
established markets. Kim et al. (2018) researched the impact of attitude on the intention to use sharing services in Korea, and their results showed that people’s attitude have a big effect on people’s intention. The framework of the theory of planned behavior will also be used for this study. The assumption will be made that advertising claims can influence a consumer's beliefs, and beliefs or attitudes can influence the intentions towards car sharing. So, based on the prior research, the expectation is that attitude towards car sharing is likely to intervene in the
relationship between an advertising claim and the intention to use car sharing.
Although a lot of research has been done already and theories have been developed concerning consumer behavior and social psychology, limitations are still there. We still perceive a significant gap between attitude and intentional behavior, telling us that a positive attitude does not always lead to buying the product or using the service. Therefore, this study will investigate if the focus of the advertising claim causes the consumer to form a certain attitude about sharing and, if this attitude is positive, do consumers have greater intentional use of car sharing? The following hypothesis can be made:
H3: The relationship between different advertising claims and consumers’ intention to use car sharing is mediated by the attitude towards car sharing.
2.5 Moderating Role of Source of Advertisement
Over the years, marketing has been utilized to serve different purposes. The source of the
message is crucial to convince the receiver of the marketing message (Ayeh, 2015; Pornpitakpan, 2004).
The credibility of the source is vital in the field of communication. Source credibility can be described as the degree of believability that affects the acceptance of the message by the receiver (Clark & Evans, 2014). Credibility helps to persuade consumers, and credibility contains of the following elements: source expertise and source trustworthiness (Hovland et al., 1953). Expertise is the degree of valid arguments that a source is able to provide (Hovland et al., 1953). Trustworthiness is described as the extent of being honest and believable (Ohanian, 1990). Research has been done on the impact of high and low credibility of the source on the effectiveness of changing beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. A highly credible source compared with a lower credible source is higher in the degree of persuasion (Clark & Evans, 2014). Persuasion means getting people to act or do something. This shows that consumers will be faster interested and persuaded if you have a more credible source, leading to a more positive attitude
In social influence literature, the authority principle is an important concept to consider when looking at source credibility. Research on the effect of authority in advertisements has been done. In the article of Cialdini (2001), who is the designer of the “Principles of Persuasion,”
seven different techniques to help affect behavior were described. One of them is authority.
Authority refers to the principle that people follow the lead of authoritative, credible, and
knowledgeable experts. It is in human nature to unconsciously obey authority. Furthermore, trust plays a central role. People tend to believe the directions and recommendations of authority
figures. Jung and Kellaris (2006) mention the authority principle. Their study showed that a higher level of authority will result in a more positive perception about the advertisement, product, and service. In addition, a higher level of authority also increases the consumers’
purchase intention. Furthermore, their results showed the (moderating) effect of credibility. The impact of authority on attitude and intention is more substantial with high credibility. In general, governmental institutions possess more legitimate power in comparison to corporations. This was found in research done by Harno (1925). Corporations do have the ability to control;
however, the government can always interfere. Governments have the power to impose laws and regulations on corporations, forcing the corporations to make adjustments in their processes (Harno, 1925).
Rijksoverheid is part of the Dutch government with legal duties on a national level. It is also called the central government of The Netherlands. Rijksoverheid runs several campaigns to inform the Dutch citizens. The report “Jaarevaluatie campagnes Rijksoverheid 2019”, conducted by Dienst Publiek en Communicatie, shows that “on average citizens in The Netherlands give a grade of 7.5 out of 10 as appreciation of the campaigns in the year 2019. The overall feedback from the participants was that the campaigns from Rijksoverheid were clear, believable and they found it pleasant to read” (Dienst Publiek en Communicatie, 2020, p. 6). This shows the
credibility and trust in the government. Furthermore, the report evaluated the effectiveness of the message and the report reveals that “more than 90 percent of the target group agreed that the message is clear and understandable” (Dienst Publiek en Communicatie, 2020, p. 7). The trustworthiness of governments is mainly based on the government’s intrinsic motivations. In general, governments use marketing to change people’s habits and behaviors, primarily to
stimulate people to stop certain bad habits related to their health and well-being, such as smoking
and alcohol. This stimulation via marketing is defined as demarketing and is used to inform and convince people to stop consuming certain products and services (Sibbick et al., 2007).
Consumers believe that the government has good intentions, meaning that the first intention of the government is to help people instead of persuading them to buy a product. Trust of the citizens for their country is not naturally there. However, statistics show that The Netherlands, together with Scandinavian countries, is at the top of countries where their citizens trust their governmental institutions and country the most. This is shown in a high degree of satisfaction and optimism (Schmeets, 2020). The trust in the Dutch government results in a high credibility.
In contrast, consumers express concerns about the credibility of corporations. Consumers associate corporations with commercial marketing and relate this with the urge to make money.
It is therefore believed that corporations only use marketing based on extrinsic motivations. If the corporation does not make enough money, the corporation will not survive. Extrinsic motivations will therefore overrule the intrinsic motivations meaning the intrinsic motivations come into second place for corporations. For corporations is it crucial to build a high corporate credibility and with that they are able to influence consumers’ behavior.
The goal of this research is to change behavioral intention. To change consumers’
perception and behavior it is key to build credibility. When a source is considered trustworthy and has excellent expertise, consumers are more likely to listen to the source. As mentioned above, governmental institutions are perceived as more trustworthy and have more expertise than corporations. Therefore, it is expected that when a consumer is exposed to an advertisement by a governmental institution, the advertisement will be considered more credible than an
advertisement communicated by a corporation. Considering all of the above, the expectation is that the source of the advertisement will moderate the effect of the advertising claim on the
attitude towards car sharing. This way, the effect will be more substantial when the
communication of the message is done by a governmental institution, compared to when a corporation communicates the message. Therefore, the hypothesis regarding the source of advertisement is:
H4: The effect of the advertising claim on the attitude towards car sharing is stronger when a public source communicates the message compared to when communicated by a private source.
Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996 and are born in a digital world, including the Internet, social media, and they are used to communicate online. Millennials are known for their openness to innovations and being dynamic to change their behaviors and habits if necessary (Colli, 2020). Furthermore, Millennials are known for their environmental awareness and considerations in making consumption choices (Hopkins, 2016). Marketers target this group of consumers and focus on the greenness of products and services and the positive effects it has to live a more sustainable life (Rosenburg, 2015). However, Diamantopoulos et al. (2003)
emphasize the existing gap between having a green attitude and the actual step towards green behavioral intention. So, there is still a lot to win for marketers to convince people to change their intentional behavior. Millennials are now between 25 and 40 years old, so they represent a large percentage of Dutch consumers. Knowing that Generation Y care more about the
environment, this study will focus on this age group and investigate what impact green marketing has on their intention to use car sharing.
2.7 Conceptual Model
Figure 1 clarifies the expected relationships, which will be tested using data in this research. It illustrates the relationships between the independent variable advertisement claim, the dependent variable intention to use car sharing, the mediator attitude towards car sharing, and the moderator source.
Figure 1. Conceptual Model
3. METHODOLOGY 3.1 Experiment
The most suitable research design is an experimental study. An experimental design is known for manipulating independent variables and observing the corresponding differences in the results of the dependent variables. Moreover, other variables need to be controlled. This research aims to find out and explain the results and, with that, increase understanding. Furthermore, this research allows the comparison of two settings by accounting for manipulating the variable of interest.
The focus is on establishing causality between two or more elements, called the dependent and independent variables (Haslam & McGarty, 2004).
This experiment will research the influence of environmental and financial claims in advertising on the intention to use car sharing. The focus will be on the mediating role of attitude towards car sharing in the relationship between the different sorts of claims and intention to use car sharing. Furthermore, we take the mediator source of the advertisement (public or private) into consideration.
An online experiment will be conducted to keep external validity as high as possible.
External validity is described as the generalizability to different measures, groups, and situations (McDermott, 2011). Reips (2000) states a few advantages and disadvantages of this type of experiment. An online experiment is suitable for this research because of the lower costs and the ease of getting enough responses in a short period. Furthermore, the respondents can do the test whenever and wherever they want without the researcher’s presence. First, a pre-test will be conducted to ensure the different claims are perceived as environmental and financial focused and the sources of the advertisements (public and private) are clear to the participants. In other words, the manipulations are tested. After the pre-test, the online questionnaire will be launched.
The between-subject design experiment is selected to get insights into the differences in outcomes between the different groups. This contrasts with within-subject design experiments where researchers look for the differences in reactions of individuals (Budiu, 2018). So, with the between-subject design experiment for this research, participants are exposed to different
conditions. A 2 (environmental vs. financial) x 2 (public vs. private source) between-subjects factorial design is applied to test the hypotheses. At multiple levels testing the effects of two manipulated variables (the independent and moderating variable) is feasible (Mitchell & Jolley, 2012). Each participant is randomly assigned to only one treatment group meaning four different groups have four different treatments (see table 1). Random distribution of participants is
important to minimize influences beyond the researcher's control (Reips, 2000). So, each participant has equal chances to get assigned to each condition. In the end, the groups will be compared. This study uses PROCESS macro to analyze moderation and mediation effects.
Finally, the results will show which advertisement claim combined with which source of advertisement is most effective.
Table 1. 2x2 Between-Subjects Factorial Design
Public Source Private Source
Environmental Group 1 Group 2
Financial Group 3 Group 4
3.2 Data Collection and Sample Size
The online questionnaire program Qualtrics is used to design and conduct the experimental questionnaire. The technique of convenience sampling is applied to access the target group. This technique is costless and makes it possible to collect data easily and fast. Participants were reached through the following social media platforms: Facebook, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp. A message with a short explanation and link to the questionnaire was included on Facebook and LinkedIn. It has been researched which day and time is most effective for social media platforms to post (Coosto, n.d.). For Facebook, there is evident fluctuation during the day regarding
interaction. This means interaction starts to grow during the morning but goes down early in the afternoon but will go back up later in the afternoon. The interaction will drop again towards the end of the day. Following this trend, it would be wise to post early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Furthermore, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday are the best days to post on
Facebook. Using this information, it has been chosen to post the message for this research on Tuesday at 8:30 am. Looking at LinkedIn, there is no fluctuation, however there is a continuous activity between 9:00 am and 7:00 pm. On average, Thursday would be the best day to post on LinkedIn. Therefore, it is decided to post early on Thursday morning so people can view the post during the entire day (Coosto, n.d.). Lastly, a one-on-one approach on WhatsApp is chosen to target a large part of the social contacts. To enlarge the number of participants, the participants were asked to share the survey with their network, also called the snowball method.
The target population exists of Dutch Millennial consumers. Millennial consumers are open to innovations and use mobility dissimilar to other generations (Hopkins, 2016). Since we target the Dutch population, the survey is conducted in Dutch. Moreover, a familiar Dutch governmental authority (Rijksoverheid) and car sharing company (Greenwheels) are used as the public and private source, respectively.
This chapter discusses the measurements of the independent, dependent, mediating, and moderating variables. The independent variable is the advertisement claim, the dependent variable is the intention to use car sharing, the mediator is the attitude towards car sharing and, lastly, the moderator is the source of the advertisement.
Random assignment of participants to one of the four experiment groups is implemented (see table 1). Manipulation is used for the independent variable (advertisement claim) and the moderator (source of the advertisement) through four different advertisements. The
advertisements are self-designed illustrations in the visual brand of Greenwheels. Their main colors (green and red) and font are retrieved in the advertisements. Participants of experiment
group 1 were exposed to an environmentally focused advertisement claim communicated by a public source. Whereas group 2 was also exposed to an environmentally focused advertisement claim, but here it is communicated by a private source. Group 3 and 4 are both exposed to a financially focused advertisement claim, but for group 3 the advertisement was communicated by a public source, whereas for group 4 the advertisement was communicated by a private source. Appendix A shows the different advertisements.
Advertisement claim. The independent variable in this study is the advertisement claim.
There were two identically used advertisement claims focused on the environment and two identically used advertisement claims focused on the idea of cost savings: “Car sharing. Help save the planet” and “Car sharing. No more costs of owning a car.” The textual information encourages consumers to participate in car sharing, but two different arguments are used. The first motivator used is that consumers should use car sharing to keep the environment alive and the world more livable. Meanwhile, the second motivator is that car sharing is wallet-friendly, and with that, no more worrying about maintenance, parking, and insurance.
Attitude towards car sharing. Attitude towards car sharing is the mediator in this study.
Attitude towards car sharing was assessed utilizing four evaluative 5-point semantic differential scales (Bauer, 2008). The semantic differential is often used to measure a person’s attitude towards something. On the left and right of the scale are polar opposite adjectives. This scale lacks a “neutral” answer. Scores to the right are seen as high scores meaning the positive end of the scale. Bauer (2008) looked at students' attitude towards the subject matter of chemistry and focused on the relationship between attitude and behavioral intention. Items of the subscales
“interest and utility” such as useless/worthwhile and “emotional satisfaction” such as
unattractive/attractive were chosen as endpoints for this study. The Cronbach’s Alpha reported
for these subscales were .83 and .79, respectively. This is an acceptable reliability level since both correspond to a Cronbach’s Alpha score above .7 (George & Mallery, 2010).
Source of the advertisement. The source of the advertisement is the moderator in this
study. This variable was manipulated by adding a logo of the source on the right bottom of the advertisement. Advertising works efficiently if you take the “Z-pattern layout” into consideration (Babich, 2020). Marketers should place something that leads consumers’ eyes at the top,
followed by something striking in the middle, and the logo should be placed at the right bottom.
The public source that was selected for this study was Rijksoverheid. As mentioned earlier, Rijksoverheid is a governmental institution in The Netherlands that runs several campaigns yearly, and it mainly focuses on the well-being of society. The motto of Rijksoverheid is: “De Rijksoverheid. Voor Nederland”, which means that the priority of Rijksoverheid is to take care of The Netherlands (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties, 2018). Its mission statement mainly focusses on equal rights, and to have a venturous and sustainable environment for citizens in The Netherlands. Rijksoverheid is formed by all ministries. The main duties of the ministries are to develop policy plans and to control the law. Its content is focused to inform and direct citizens to strive for specific goals. Rijksoverheid consists of 116.000 civil servants (Ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken en Koninkrijksrelaties, 2018). Some examples of civil servants are police officers, soldiers and inspectors. A present and frequent campaign that Rijksoverheid is addressing is COVID-19. One example of a campaign is: “Alleen samen krijgen we corona onder controle,” meaning “only together we can get
COVID-19 under control.” With the main goal to teach the citizens to individually take their own responsibility so that everyone can return to their normal lives.
Greenwheels was the private source that was used for this study. Greenwheels is the market leader in The Netherlands and has over 25 years of experience in car sharing. Over 2000 cars are distributed across the country and located at permanent parking spots providing a wide availability and range of cars. Rijksoverheid and Greenwheels were chosen since they should generally be well-known under the Dutch population.
In addition, source credibility was measured by reviewing Clark and Evans’ (2014) 4- item perceived source credibility of the communicator scale. The scale of Clark and Evans (2014) reported a Cronbach’s Alpha score of .87. The source credibility of this study will be recorded using a 5-point Likert scale (1= completely disagreed, 5 = completely agreed) where consumers need to indicate their agreement with 4 statements (e.g., “To what extent they believe that the source of the previously seen advertisement is a credible source of information?”).
Intention to use car sharing. Intention to use car sharing is the dependent variable in this
study. In the study of Zhang and Li (2020), the focus group was Chinese college students. The study researched the college students’ intention to use car sharing. The intention was measured by three items. The theory of planned behavior was central in their study as well as in this study.
Acknowledging the reliability (Cronbach’s Alpha score of .91) of the measurement of the intention to use car sharing in the analysis of Zhang and Li (2020), the assumption can be made that the same items can be used in this study. These items are combined with items chosen from Kim et al.’s (2018) intention to use sharing services 5-point Likert scale (1 = completely
disagreed, 5 = completely agreed). The Cronbach’s Alpha score reported by the authors was .932. Scores above .9 are considered excellent (George & Mallery, 2010). In this study, participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they disagree or agree with several statements using the 5-point Likert scale (1 = completely disagreed, 5 = completely agreed).
Questions such as “I am willing to use car sharing” and “I am not going to buy private cars but use car sharing for travel” were included.
Before the main experiment, a pre-test was conducted to appraise the validity and reliability of the experiment concerning the manipulation levels (Berry, 2008). The pre-test will be conducted to ensure that the different advertisement claims are perceived as environmental and financial focused, and the sources of the advertisements (public and private) are perceived as different by the participants.
In total forty participants took the pre-test, and they were randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups; each experimental group would be disclosed to one of the four
advertisements only. The questionnaire started with two questions to check whether the participants had been exposed to the concept of car sharing and the frequency of usage of the service. Afterward, participants were randomly shown one of the advertisements and asked to take their time to look at the advertisement thoroughly. At the beginning of the survey, the participants were notified that they would not be able to see the advertisement later on again.
Subsequently, the participants were asked to indicate how much they agreed/disagreed with the following statements: “This advertisement is focused on the environment,” “This advertisement is focused on cost savings,” “I think this advertisement was communicated by a governmental instition,” “I think this advertisement was communicated by a corporation,” and “I am familiar with the source of the advertisement.” Lastly, gender and age were incorporated into the
3.4.1 Manipulation Check Pre-test
A one-way ANOVA test showed the focus on the environment and the cost savings in the advertisement claims were significantly different (F(1, 38) = 29.45, p < .05). In total 19
participants were exposed to an advertisement focused on the environment, and 21 participants were exposed to an advertisement focused on cost savings. Looking at the results of the question
““This advertisement is focused on the environment,” the advertisements focused on the environment were perceived by the participants as environmentally focused (M = 4.37, SE= 0.83) and the advertisements focused on financial were, on the other hand, correctly perceived as focused on financial (M = 2.57, SE = 1.21). Even in more depth, condition group 1 had a higher mean score than group 2 (M = 4.55 and M = 4.13 respectively), meaning the group by which the advertisement was communicated by a public source scored higher on mean. Another one-way ANOVA test showed that the source of the advertisement was appropriate to use for the main test, which means that the sources were significantly different as well (F(1, 38) = 63.12, p < .05).
In total 22 participants were exposed to an advertisement communicated by a public source, and 18 participants were exposed to an advertisement communicated by a private source. The results of the question “I think this advertisement was communicated by a governmental authority”
revealed that the advertisements communicated by the public source were perceived as coming from a governmental institution (M = 4.77, SE = .43). On the other hand, the advertisements communicated by the private source were perceived as coming from a corporation (M = 2.44, SE
= 1.29). Considering this, it shows that the manipulation was successful, and the advertisements could be used in the main study.
The use of two statements for each manipulation was considered unnecessary. If the participants were only provided with one statement about the focus of the advertisement claim,
participants would perhaps not agree on both options. This is what a few respondents did. The same goes for the source of the advertisement. So, for the main study, some minor alterations in the questioning of the manipulation check are made. In addition, some feedback provided by participants included the presence of the color green in the advertisement. People can
(unconsciously) associate the color green with the environment. Despite that the text of the advertisement claim focused on the financial benefits is clear to participants, they can question if the environment does not also play a role since half of the claim is in green. Therefore, to prevent deception, the whole text will be in black instead of partly green in the main experiment.
However, the green area at the bottom will be kept since green is one of the main colors of the visual brand of Greenwheels.
In general, the results of the pre-test showed that the manipulation was successful. However, striking was that a quarter of the participants were not familiar with the term car sharing. Hence, in the main test, a description of the term car sharing will be provided to everyone after the introduction. Moreover, participants were asked to indicate their familiarity with the Dutch source which was provided to them on a 5-point Likert scale (1 = completely unfamiliar, 5 = completely familiar). The pre-test revealed that participants were familiar with the sources. There was significant difference in familiarity between groups (F(1, 38) = 4.12, p < .05). The public source had a high mean score for familiarity (M = 4.09, SE = 1.15), whereas the private source scored lower (M = 3.22, SE = 1.56). The results indicated that Greenwheels is not so well known as Rijksoverheid. There is a chance that people not living in The Netherlands took part in the pre-test since the pre-test was conducted in English. This can cause a lower familiarity score than if just Dutch citizens would take part in the test. The main study is focused on the Dutch
Millennial consumers. Therefore, the main test will be conducted in Dutch. Due to the notable fact that a significant number of people are not familiar with car sharing and two-thirds never used the service, familiarity will be considered as a control variable in the main study.
Familiarity is related to the knowledge of something. For marketers, it all starts with expanding the knowledge about the product or service. Knowledge is essential to cause effective changes in the behavior of consumers. People need to know and be aware of it to form an attitude, increase intentional behavior, and in the end, change behavior (Ishak & M. Zabil, 2012). This is
summarized in the knowledge-attitude-behavior (KAB) model. The variable familiarity aims to measure the extent to which participants are familiar with car sharing. This is measured based on familiarity scales used by Dursun et al. (2011). The reported Cronbach’s Alpha scores was .78.
The questionnaire regarding familiarity in the main study would consist of three items. The participants were asked to rate how familiar, experienced and knowledgeable they see themselves concerning car sharing.
3.5 Procedure Main Experiment
The setup of the main experiment was equal across all groups. First, an overall introduction was provided about the research and the guarantees of anonymity for respondents. Answers would only be available to the researcher, and the data obtained will only be used for this research.
Afterward, a short description of car sharing was shown. This to ensure that all respondents knew what car sharing referred to. After giving this information, the study will start. First, participants were asked to indicate how familiar, experienced and knowledgeable they are regarding car sharing, with the main goal to check the variable familiarity. Furthermore,
participants were asked how often they make use of car sharing. Subsequently, every participant is randomly assigned to one of the four treatment groups and therefore will only see one of the
four advertisements. Participants were asked to carefully look at the advertisement. They were notified that they would not be able to see the advertisement later during the questionnaire again if they clicked on the next page. The next part consists of several questions to measure the mediation, moderation, and dependent variable. The questions are related to the attitude towards car sharing, the intentions to use car sharing, and the credibility of the source of the
advertisement. For attitude, the semantic differential scale was used. In contrast, for intention to use car sharing and source credibility, several statements were provided which participants had to rank in terms of agreements with the 5-point Likert scale (1 = completely disagreed, 5 = completely agreed). In the next part, people were asked to recall the advertisement they were exposed to in the beginning. Participants had to pick one of the three possible answers provided to them. The following two questions were asked: “The text of the previously shown
advertisement I was exposed to was focused on:” and “The previously shown advertisement I was exposed to was communicated by:” The expectation is that participants perceived the focus in the advertisement claim (environmental or financial) and the source of the advertisement (public or private) correctly. This was done to check whether the manipulations were successful.
Afterward, the participants were asked to indicate the extent to which they disagree or agree with the following statement: “I am familiar with the source of the advertisement.” At the end of the questionnaire, demographics were gathered by asking respondents their gender, age, highest completed education level, and monthly income. Lastly, the participants were able to leave a comment or question. The translated version of the survey is shown in Appendix B.
4.1 Preliminary Data Analysis
An online-based experiment was used to gather the data. The survey was online from May 18th, 2021 till May 25th, 2021. Therefore, it took eight days in total to collect the data. Statistical Programming Software SPSS was used to analyze the data.
A total number of 243 respondents took part in the experiment. A preliminary inspection of the dataset revealed that 25 respondents did not meet the requirement regarding the age group of between 25 and 40 years old. This was important since the target group was Dutch Millennial consumers. As already mentioned, the questionnaire in the main experiment was conducted in Dutch. This to make sure that only Dutch people responded. Moreover, 45 participants did not fully complete the questionnaire and were therefore deleted. This made the final sample 173 (N = 173). Analysis of a boxplot of the mean scores for the variables attitude towards car sharing and intention to use car sharing showed possible outliers. Five univariate outliers are revealed, all for the variable attitude towards car sharing (see Appendix C.1). However, the output of the 5%
trimmed mean shows only a difference of .0278 for the variable attitude towards car sharing and .0198 for the variable intention to use car sharing with the traditional mean of these variables (see table 2). The 5% trimmed mean is calculated by excluding the lowest and highest 5% of the data. Buzzi-Ferraris and Manenti (2011) stated that if the difference between the traditional mean and the trimmed mean is low such as in this study, the univariate outliers do not have to be excluded from the data set. Analyzing the data set can be continued since the outliers will not affect the next steps of the analysis. In this study, the mean and standard deviation of the variables prove the existing gap between attitude and behavioral intention. The results show a difference close to a whole point on the 5-point Likert scale that was used for both variables.
Table 2. Assessment of Trimmed Mean
Mean 3.5910 2.7066
5% trimmed mean 3.6188 2.6868
Std. Error .66529 1.0070
Among these 173 respondents, 63.6% were female (n = 110), 35.8% were male (n = 62), and one person did not prefer to answer this question. The mean age of the respondents was 28.38 (SD = 4.34), with the youngest respondent being 25 and the oldest being 40 years old.
Observing the level of education, 86.7% of the respondents (n = 150) have completed either a bachelor’s or a master’s degree. This shows that the sample population exists of highly educated people. The majority (70.5%) of the participants earn up to 3000 euro per month. This could be explained by the fact that the average age is 28.38, so most people are in the final phase of their studies or just started working. To conclude, these demographic factors may be caused by the fact that the participants were primarily from the researcher’s network. The results of the demographics are shown in table 3.
Table 3. Demographic Data of Participants
Gender Age Highest level of education Monthly Income
Female 110 Min 25 Primary School 4 2.3% <€1000 26 15.0%
Male 62 Max 40 Secondary School 16 9.2% €1000-2000 32 18.5%
to answer 1 Mean 28.38 Senior General
Secondary Education 0 0.0% €2000-3000 64 37.0%
Total 297 SD 4.34 University of Applied
Sciences 68 39.3% €3000-4000 17 9.8%
Education 82 47.4% €4000-5000 8 4.6%
25-30 79.2% Doctoral Degree 3 1.7% >€5000
31-35 9.8% Not willing to
share this data 15 8.7%
Furthermore, there were two compelling observations. One concerns the low mean score of the scale familiarity with car sharing (M = 2.17, SD = 1.04). The midpoint of the scale is a score of three, which depicts a neutral standpoint towards car sharing. Scores below three imply consumers are unfamiliar with the service. The sample population in this study turned out to be unfamiliar with, unexperienced and had limited knowledge of car sharing. This confirms the results of the pre-study, where one out of four participants showed to be not familiar with car sharing. The other interesting observation was about the frequency of use. The statistics on car sharing usage show that 84.4% of the respondents (n = 146) do not use the service at all. Of the remaining 27 respondents, one person uses it daily, three people weekly, eight people monthly, four people every half a year, and 11 people only once a year. Each experimental condition had been assigned to a minimum of 40 participants and a maximum of 47 participants. Therefore, the condition groups were approximately equally divided in size. In appendix C.2 is a more detailed overview of the sample composition.