Marketing animal-friendly products: Addressing the consumer social dilemma with reinforcement positioning strategies

Lenka van Riemsdijk*, Paul T.M. Ingenbleek, Hans C.M. van Trijp, Gerrita van der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


This article presents a conceptual framework that aims to encourage consumer animal-friendly product choice by introducing positioning strategies for animal-friendly products. These strategies reinforce the animal welfare with different types of consumption values and can therefore reduce consumers’ social dilemma, which is a major barrier to animal-friendly consumer choices. The article suggests how animal-friendly products can use various types of consumption values (functional, sensory, emotional, social, epistemic and situational) to create an attractive position relative to their competitors. It also explains why some consumer segments, such as those with a specific thinking style, may experience a stronger effect of some strategies, giving directions on how to approach different types of consumers. Finally, building on research asserting that animal welfare is a credence product attribute, the article proposes moderating effects of two factors that help consumers to evaluate the credibility of animal welfare claims, namely corporate social responsibility strategy and the role of stakeholders. Here it concludes that companies selling animal-friendly products need to be aware of the impact of their overall strategy on the effectiveness of positioning strategies for individual products and that, to gain consumer trust, they may need to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, such as media or animal-interest organizations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number98
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 14 Dec 2017


  • Animal-friendly products
  • Consumers
  • Marketing
  • Positioning strategies
  • Social dilemma

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