Bonnie Simpson is currently completing her PhD in Marketing at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary. She is a consumer behavior researcher, specializing in the field of sustainability. Her doctoral research takes a multi-method approach to understanding consumer perceptions of sustainability as a product attribute.
The research argues that given the increasing use of the term “sustainability” in relation to the marketing of products and services, and the current one-dimensional (green) focus of empirical sustainability research, there is a need for an understanding of the term sustainability from a consumer perspective. Her dissertation focuses on the use of marketing-controlled variables to counter consumer skepticism in the domain of sustainable product claims. Her further research interests include engaging consumers in sustainable behaviors through normative influence, and cross-cultural research in the context of sport and tourism marketing.
Bonnie has presented her work at conferences such as the American Marketing Association, Association for Consumer Research, Society for Consumer Psychology, and Travel and Tourism Research Association. Her work has been published in journals such as Journal of Business Research, Journal of Research for Consumers, and Journal of Sport and Tourism. Bonnie is supported in her doctoral research by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.
Bonnie is using Sawtooth SSI Web, CBC and HB softwares to examine whether consumers possess a multi-dimensional understanding of sustainability, and explore the situational influence of confidence and compromise on sustainable product choices. While existing research tends to focus on the environmental dimension, paying little heed to the economic and social dimensions, Bonnie's data indicates that consumers consider all three dimensions when making sustainable product choices, with the environmental dimension of sustainability as the most influential, followed by economic and social. The responses suggest three distinct segments of consumers exist, identified as Self Focused, Trend Motivated, and Reality Driven, that demonstrate significantly different characteristics in their approach sustainable products. The research demonstrates that firms must be aware that consumers differ in the importance they place on sustainability. The reality driven segment is the most attractive segment as they are highly engaged and are willing to invest time in understanding the complexities of sustainability. The trend motivated are more fickle with superficial knowledge, and the self-focused are self-serving in their orientations and use price as a key decision variable.
You can contact Bonnie via her twitter account @bonbonsimpson or on her LinkedIn account http://ca.linkedin.com/pub/bonnie-simpson/42/205/5b0