Why csr contributes to brand preference: for the greater good, or for personal status?
Taşoluk, Burcu and Batra, Rajeev (2012) Why csr contributes to brand preference: for the greater good, or for personal status? (Submitted)
Two justifications have been suggested in the marketing literature for why a brand's corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputation helps raise attitudes towards it: “similarvalues” and “status-based” explanations. The former states that a brand's CSR activities are valued most by those consumers who have similar pro-social values of serving the “greater good,” by facilitating those consumers’ identification with such brands. The latter suggests that high-CSR brands are preferred because their public purchase and consumption provides consumers with social status, and not because consumers intrinsically care about pro-social causes. The authors test both these proposed relationships in a large-scale, multi-country study, examining whether a brand’s CSR reputation impacts brand attitudes more among those consumers that place a high importance on life-values (Schwartz 1992) reflecting status/achievement, versus universalism (concern for collective welfare). Using data from about 25,000 consumers on 26 brands in 7 product categories, the authors find situational support for both explanations, depending on the social conspicuousness of the product category as well as country-level egalitarianism and income inequality variables. Implications are drawn for researchers as well as corporate and brand managers seeking to increase the attitudinal impact of their CSR activities.
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