عنوان مقاله [English]
Creating products that are different from competitors is becoming more difficult day by day (Zarei & Mahmoodi pachal, 2019; Nguyen & Toulouse, 2021); Because in today's world, the products are physically similar and the competition has increased compared to before (Mahmoudi Pachal and Zarei, 2017). From another point of view, since 1960, due to the restrictions that have arisen in the field of raw materials and energy, the competition between companies has increased, and in order to survive in this competitive environment, organizations must use their assets more effectively. have their own visible and invisible (Cassia & Magno, 2019; Hosni et al., 2012). Due to the increase in existing competition, companies have paid great attention to customer satisfaction and retention and have paid great attention to the importance of intangible assets in increasing their performance (Raj & Aithal, 2018); One of these intangible assets that is very important for organizations is the brand (Hosni et al., 2013.
Green marketing literature has led to the emergence of the category of green consumerism. Companies that implement green marketing orientation send a message to stakeholders that they care about society and the ecosystem (Norouzi Ajirlu et al., 1401). The idea of green products in design and packaging can give a distinctive face to products (Daraei et al., 1400). Providing green products also affects the overall perceived quality of the product by the consumer (Del Afrooz et al., 2016). Companies that pay attention to environmental issues in their production and marketing process will probably create more favorable images in the minds of consumers (Baghban Baghstan et al., 1400). Having a green brand causes the organization to be recognized as giving importance to the environment and makes the brand famous at the international level (Norouzi Ajirlu et al., 1401).
Understanding the effect of consumers' purchase decisions is important for companies and products (Rahbar & Abdulvahid, 2011) and according to the benefit of the environmental brand, the way consumers decide to buy environmentally friendly products may be different. Consumers who consider themselves as environmentally conscious consumers will prefer to choose products that are suitable for the environment and in this way show their support for the environment and their emotional needs as well. to satisfy (Ramadani and Tahshani, 2016). The results of recent studies show that consumers value green and pro-environment products more and are willing to pay more to buy these products than similar products (Leszczynska, 2014). Different researches have been done regarding green brands, but so far no research has been done to identify the basic prerequisites affecting green branding in the auto spare parts industry. Auto spare parts is one of the industries affecting air pollution, along with petrochemical industries, and this issue has added to some environmental sensitivities regarding this industry. Green branding can be a step towards protecting the environment on the one hand and the brand reputation of companies active in the auto spare parts industry on the other hand. Based on this, the current research seeks to identify the basic prerequisites needed for green branding in the auto spare parts industry in Iran.
The current research is applied in terms of its purpose and is considered as a qualitative research in terms of its approach. . Considering that the purpose of the research is to identify the basic prerequisites of green branding, it is therefore considered an exploratory research. The research participants were auto spare parts industry experts, academic experts and environmental experts. The data collection tool was semi-structured interviews, and considering that the criterion for determining the sample size was theoretical saturation, in total, theoretical saturation was achieved after conducting 17 interviews. Theoretical saturation means that no new findings are obtained in the final interviews and the researcher concludes that the codes resulting from the interviews have so-called reached the saturation level. Data analysis was done by theme analysis using Atlas.ti qualitative software version 9.1.7. Theme analysis includes three stages of open coding, central coding and selective coding. For the validity and reliability of the research, things like multiple coding, reviewing the text with the interviewees, and the detailed implementation of the interviews were used.
The interviewees of the research were 17 people in total, 7 people were experts in the spare parts industry, 5 people were academic experts and 5 people were environmental experts. 6 people had a bachelor's degree, 5 people had a master's degree, and 6 people had a doctorate degree. 5 were women and 12 were men. In terms of age group, 3 people were under 30 years old, 5 people were 30 to 40 years old, 4 people were 40 to 50 years old, and 5 people were over 50 years old.
The data of the interviews were analyzed using Atlas-TI software. The interview data were analyzed using theme analysis and open coding, selective coding and axial coding. Based on the results of the axial coding process, 110 open codes, 33 selective codes and 6 axial codes were obtained. Based on the results of the coding process, the basic prerequisites for green branding in the auto spare parts industry include the institutionalization of environmental and social values in the organization, proper product performance, consumer environmental knowledge and awareness, intra-organizational motivation, training and information and Knowing and paying attention to society's preferences and expectations.
The present study showed that the institutionalization of environmental and social values in the organization is one of the basic prerequisites for green branding in the auto spare parts industry. The identified sub-codes for the institutionalization of environmental and social values include green personal value of employees, green personal value of managers, instilling the priority of environmental protection, commitment to nature, commitment of company management, commitment to the environment, attention to health. The green thinking of top managers is attention to environmental requirements, benevolence, pro-environmental behavior of employees, being green as an organizational value, culture building, employees caring for nature and attention to the environment. Based on this, it can be said that the companies active in the auto spare parts industry should accept environmental values as the basic principles of their organization and spread them among their employees and managers for green branding. This requires internal organizational culture, and it can be said that for green branding and introduction of the company as an environmentally friendly company, it must first start from within the company. Organizational employees and managers must be completely coordinated with the culture of green production and appropriate to the environment and accept the environment as one of the organizational priorities and believe in it.
Another prerequisite for green branding that was identified in this research is education and information. The sub-dimensions of education and information include promoting environmental principles in the organization, attention to environmental education, employees' awareness of the environment. Based on this concept, it can be said that paying attention to the environment is not possible without necessary education. Therefore, necessary trainings and sufficient information in this regard should be at the center of the organization's activities. Recognizing and paying attention to society's preferences and expectations is one of the other prerequisites for green branding. Green branding is possible when it is interpreted appropriately by the target community and consumers. If the target society does not consider the brand as a green brand, the efforts of the organization will be meaningless. Based on this, auto spare parts companies should adapt their activities to the expectations of the target community while identifying the expectations and preferences of the society.
Proper performance of products is one of the other prerequisites identified for green branding. Based on the sub-codes identified for quality performance, product quality performance can be defined in both areas of overall quality and actual greenness of the product. Besides paying attention to the environment, consumers also pay attention to the quality of the purchased goods. Low-quality or low-quality products will not be accepted by consumers, even if they pay attention to environmental issues, so for green branding, it is necessary for the company's products to have sufficient quality.
The necessary motivation within the organization is one of the other prerequisites identified for green branding. Managers and employees of the organization should have sufficient motivation to promote green branding. Also, environmental knowledge and awareness of the consumer was identified as a prerequisite for green branding. Branding means creating a brand in the minds of consumers. In fact, the main activity of branding comes to a conclusion when the intended image is created in the mind of the consumer. A consumer recognizes a brand as a green brand when he has sufficient knowledge and awareness about environmental issues and, while having sufficient knowledge of the environment, reconsiders the issues related to it, and in the next step makes his purchase decisions. associate with it. If consumers are not familiar with environmental knowledge, they will be unable to distinguish real green brands from green claimants.