The importance of customer trust for social marketing interventions: a case of energy-efficiency consumption

Paul Blaise Issock Issock, Mornay Roberts-Lombard, Mercy Mpinganjira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine the importance of relationship marketing and particularly customer trust in energy-efficiency labels in social marketing interventions geared towards energy-efficient consumption. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual model was empirically tested on a sample of 517 users of electronic appliances living in South Africa. The study involved a cross-sectional design, and data were collected via a self-administered survey. Structural equation modelling and mediation analysis were used to test the hypothesised relationships. Findings: The results indicated that customer trust is influenced by customers’ perception of the price and quality of energy-efficiency products, their attitude towards such products and their level of satisfaction with the environmental performance of the products. Customer trust, in turn, showed a positive influence on the customers’ intention to purchase energy-efficiency products and their loyalty to such products. As a central variable, customer trust was found to be an important mediator in the conceptual model. Practical implications: The findings provide social marketers with important insights on the critical role that customer trust plays in achieving a long-term behavioural shift towards energy-efficient consumption. Originality/value: Focusing on customer trust in energy-efficiency labels, this study provides empirical evidence of the mediating role of trust in influencing the intention to purchase and the decision to remain loyal to eco-friendly products. Moreover, this paper provides greater clarity on various levers to be activated to enhance the trust that customers have in energy-efficiency labels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-286
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Social Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2020


  • Customer loyalty
  • Customer trust
  • Energy-efficiency labels
  • Purchase intention
  • Relationship marketing
  • Social marketing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing


Dive into the research topics of 'The importance of customer trust for social marketing interventions: a case of energy-efficiency consumption'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this