Transformative Topics

August's Transformative Topics continues to highlight research related to our Sustainability Summer theme. This week we feature an article that emerged from the 2017 TCR Dialogical Conference where Naz Onel and Avinandan Mukherjee led a track on sustainable consumption. The article is titled "Tell me your story and I will tell you who you are: Persona perspective in sustainable consumption." You can find full information for the paper on the TCR website here.


Naz reflects on the TCR conference and influence of this paper on this important research topic:  


 “This paper was developed from the TCR conference that took place in 2017 at Cornell University. With more than 200 participants in attendance, many from different countries, there was a lot of engagement and feedback we received on the paper that helped us shape this article. In this project, we adopted a unique approach and explored different consumer personas -due to the enhanced context and empathy it provides- to better explain and understand the holistic nature of sustainable consumption. By adopting this technique, we believe we were able to portray the “whole person” through personal identifiers of a consumer within contextual situations and open a new research stream on this important topic.”  


To find more work on sustainability, search the TCR archives, typing a keyword or author into the search box.


Citation:  Onel, Naz, Avinandan Mukherjee, Nicole Bieak Kreidler, Estela M. Díaz, Pia Furchheim, Shipra Gupta, Jessica Keech, Mitchel R. Murdock, and Qin Wang (2018). "Tell me your story and I will tell you who you are: Persona perspective in sustainable consumption." Psychology & Marketing, 35 (10): 752-765.


Abstract:  Although research in marketing and consumer behavior has tried to portray sustainable consumers in many different ways, a clear, consistent, and granular identification of these consumers is still not available due to the complexity of sustainable consumption. This study adopts personas as a way to better explain and understand the holistic nature and complexity of sustainable consumer behavior in terms of its various stages (i.e. acquisition, usage, and postuse) within four key behavioral functions of mobility, housing, clothing, and food. Different sustainability related functions of personas are seen to be fundamental lifestyle components and could be fulfilled by a variety of sustainable actions. This exploratory study uses a qualitative methodology, involving data collection through multiple in-depth interviews across several countries. The results reveal three different consumer archetypes with distinct sustainable consumption strategies: holistic sustainable consumers, transitional sustainable consumers, and restricted sustainable consumers. Managerial and theoretical implications provide practical recommendations for marketing managers and public policy planners, as well as directions for continued research in this area.


Sent on behalf of your TCR Digital Outreach Team

Laurel Steinfield -

Roland Gau -

Shauna Kearney -

Naz Onel -

Jane Machin -


If you have suggestions for articles or topics to feature please reach out to any member of the Digital Outreach Team 

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