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Short-term and long-term Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program planning

Updated: Dec 6, 2023

I love to refer to the 'Sustainable Marketing' book by Michelle Carvill, Gemma Butler, and Geraint Evans when explaining my ideas or marketing approaches that relate to sustainability. I have come across the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) since I was a Leo (A youth voluntary program initiated by Lions Club International) about 20 years ago when we were organizing a fundraising campaign that needed corporate sponsorship for charity.


"From a business perspective, CSR is generally understood as a 'framework' or series of largely self-regulated initiatives that a company engages with or implements in order to achieve a balance of economic, environmental, and social imperatives whilst at the same time addressing the needs of shareholders and stakeholders.", Michelle, C., Gemma, B., and Geraint, E., 2021, p.91.


It involves three parties:


1. Profit-oriented organizations (Companies or Brands),

2. Consumers, and

3. Non-profit organizations or Non-governmental organizations (Charities or Causes)


where the companies will contribute a specific amount to support a social cause initiated by the charities whenever there is profit generated from the consumers (Brink, 2006; Cheron, 2018; Enrique, 2010; Sisoda, 2013).


It can be a long-term partnership between the company and the charity to support a common social cause or a short-term campaign within a limited time period. Previous studies show benefits gained by companies from CRM are:


  • Positive brand image,

  • Greater brand awareness, and

  • Higher trustworthiness hence


better marketing performance in terms of sales revenue, as well as brand loyalty development and employee engagement (Brink, 2006; Gupta and Pirsch, 2006; Sisoda, 2013). However, there might be negative impacts as well if there is no proper structure in the planning, lack of transparency, or lack of company-cause fit (Gupta and Pirsch, 2006).


 

One of the case studies from my client, Jiang Chipao - A fashion brand from China that was expanding its brand presence and business in the United Kingdom has strengthened its brand awareness and image by introducing an exclusive product to support the global kids education program that initiated by the local charity in the United Kingdom. 10% of the profits from that exclusive product is donated directly to the local charity.


Exclusive Product under CSR Program
Exclusive Product under CSR Program

The company started its relationship with the charity through charity program sponsorship in China, which is one of the CSR approaches (short-term campaign) before extending its CSR strategy to a long-term plan with the exclusive product launching in the United Kingdom.


 



This is merely an example of charitable giving but there are also more CSR approaches such as:


  • Reducing carbon footprints;

  • Improving labor policies;

  • Participating in Fairtrade;

  • Volunteering in the community;

  • Corporate policies that benefit the environment;

  • Social and environmentally conscious investments.


I am also looking at the Impact Assessment by the B Corporation which is a great digital tool to assess the company's impact according to five categories: Governance, Workers, Community, Environment, and Customers. This also aligns with the pre-assessment according to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) when planning our sustainable marketing strategy.



 

References:

Bhargava, S. and Chakravarti, A. 2009. Empowered Consumers = Benevolent Consumers? The Effects of Priming

Power on the Appeal of Socially Responsible Products. Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. 831-832.


Brink, D., Schroder, G. O., and Pauwels, P. 2006. The effect of strategic and tactical cause-related marketing on

consumers’ brand loyalty. Journal of Consumer Marketing, 15-25.


Broderick, A., Jogi, A., and Garry, T. 2003. Tickled Pink: The personal meaning of cause-related marketing for

customers. Journal of Marketing Management, 583-610.


Cheron, E., Kohlbacher, F., and Tan, S. H. 2018. Cause-related marketing in Asia: The effect of consumer

involvement and gender. Social Business, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp.227-252.


Culotta, A., Cutler, J., and Zheng, J. 2015. Finding Truth in Cause-Related Advertising: A Lexical Analysis of Brands’.

Health, Environment, and Social Justice Communications on Twitter. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership.

Volume 8, Issue 2, Article 7.


Enrique. B., Rafael. C., Carla. R., and Silvia. S. 2010. Consumer behavioural intentions in cause-related marketing.

The role of identification and social cause involvement. Springer-Verlag, Downloaded from Academia.edu.


Gupta, S. and Pirsch, J. 2006. The company-cause-customer fit decision in cause-related marketing. Journal of

Consumer Marketing, 314-326.


Melero, I. and Montaner, T. 2016. Caused-related marketing: An experimental study about how the product type and

the perceived fit may influence the consumer response. European Journal of Management and Business Economics

25, 161-167.


Michelle, C., Gemma, B., and Geraint, E., 2021. Sustainable Marketing. Bloomsbury Business. London, The United Kingdom.


Rathore, A. 2014. Cause-Related Marketing - A Qualitative Exploration of TATA Brand. International Journal of

Management and International Business Studies. Volume 4, Number 1, pp. 17-22.


Reed. J, A. 2014. Customer Selective Pricing And Cause-Related Marketing: Does It Affect Consumers’ Incentive To

Give?. The Department of Marketing, Texas Christian University Fort Worthl, Texas.


Siodia, R. S., Vyas, R., and Maheshkar, S. 2013. Cause-Related Marketing: A PathMaker to Doing Socially

Responsible Business. Pacific Business Review International, Volume 5, Issue 11.


Sudha, R., and Elangovan, D. 2015. Factors related to influencing for choosing cause-related marketing (CRM)

products - factor analysis. Asia pacific journal of Research.


Sujo, T., Kureshi, S., and Vatavwala, S. 2020. Cause-Related Marketing Research (1988-2016): An Academic

Review and Classification. Journal of Nonprofit & Public Sector Marketing. Vol. 32, No. 5, 488-516.


Sundar, S. 2007. Cause-related marketing: Tactic or Strategy?. International Marketing Conference on Marketing &

Society, IIMK.


Xiaoli, N., and Heo, K. 2007. Consumer Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiatives: Examining

the Role of Brand-Cause Fit in Cause-Related Marketing. Journal of Advertising, Vol. 36, No. 2, 63-74.

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