Consumer Identification and Corporate Social Responsibility

glass-bottles-1041979-mCorporations are encouraged more and more to consider social responsibilities when producing their merchandise. But do the virtues advertised by these corporations actually affect consumers’ decisions? Dr. Rosa Chun studied The Body Shop and its customers to see how they were influenced by The Body Shop’s publicized ethics in her article, “What Holds Ethical Consumers to a Cosmetics Brand: The Body Shop Case” published in Business and Society.

BAS_v50_72ppiRGB_powerpointThe abstract:

Increasing numbers of brands position having corporate social responsibility (CSR) as their founding ideology. This article examines what makes ethical consumers develop a loyalty to CSR-led brands, using a questionnaire survey of The Body Shop consumers. Contrary to some existing work in marketing, the consumer self-brand congruence on the ethical character did not have a significant impact on brand identification, with the exception of the empathy virtue character. The structural equation modeling of the data confirms that the citizenship image of the brand is influenced by brand identification, which in turn is influenced by the empathy virtue congruence. Ironically, in the case of The Body Shop, while the empathy congruence is the most important indicator for consumer identification and citizenship image, the gap on the empathy virtue was the largest. If customers with a high-empathy character see a CSR-led brand lacking empathy, consumer loyalty will be reduced. The managerial implications of the findings are discussed.
This entry was posted in Competition, Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Engagement, Customer Satisfaction, Decision making, Ethics, Marketing, Social Issues, Trust and tagged , , , , by Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing. Bookmark the permalink.

About Cynthia Nalevanko, Senior Editor, SAGE Publishing

Founded in 1965, SAGE is the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. Known for our commitment to quality and innovation, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers, and students across a broad range of subject areas. With over 1500 employees globally from principal offices in Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, and Melburne, our publishing program includes more than 1000 journals and over 900 books, reference works and databases a year in business, humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. Believing passionately that engaged scholarship lies at the heart of any healthy society and that education is intrinsically valuable, SAGE aims to be the world’s leading independent academic and professional publisher. This means playing a creative role in society by disseminating teaching and research on a global scale, the cornerstones of which are good, long-term relationships, a focus on our markets, and an ability to combine quality and innovation. Leading authors, editors and societies should feel that SAGE is their natural home: we believe in meeting the range of their needs, and in publishing the best of their work. We are a growing company, and our financial success comes from thinking creatively about our markets and actively responding to the needs of our customers.

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