The purposes of this study were first, to investigate the impact of four different types of cause-related business strategies (CRBS) on consumer responses to an apparel brand. The four strategies investigated were classified based on Pine and Gilmore's (1998) four realms of experience. They were labeled sponsored-linked marketing, transaction-based cause-related marketing, cause-related event marketing, and cause-related experiential marketing. The consumer responses investigated were drawn from Curra´s-Pe´rez, Bigne´-Alcaniz, and Alvarado-Herrera's (2009) conceptual model of consumer identification with a socially responsible company that identified brand image, distinctiveness, brand attractiveness, customer-brand identification, attitude toward the brand, and customer loyalty as important antecedents to brand loyalty. The second purpose was to examine the relative effectiveness of CRBS as opposed to a commonly employed strategy (i.e., celebrity marketing) to establish whether the effects of CRBS on consumers were significantly different. Data was collected from consumer panels (n = 344) and undergraduates (n = 415). This process resulted in responses from 759 individuals that were used for primary data analysis. For each type of CRBS, there were significant positive relationships between corporate social responsibility image, brand distinctiveness, credibility, and attractiveness, customer-brand (C-B) identification, attitude toward the brand, and customer loyalty. The relationships of the variables were significantly different between each type of CRBS. Specifically, the effect of CSR image on brand distinctiveness, the effect of brand distinctiveness on brand attractiveness, the impact of brand attractiveness on C-B identification and the impact of C-B identification on attitude toward the brand were strongest in the cause-related event marketing condition followed by transaction-based cause-related marketing, cause-related experiential marketing, and sponsorship-linked marketing conditions. Third, the relationships of the dependent variables were significantly different between all types of CRBS and celebrity marketing suggesting participant's response to CRBS and celebrity marketing was different. Specifically, the effect of corporate social responsibility image on brand distinctiveness, credibility, attractiveness, C-B identification, attitude toward the brand, and customer loyalty was stronger for each type of CRBS condition than for the celebrity marketing condition. Theoretical and managerial implications and suggestions for future research based on the findings were provided.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August, 2013. Major: Design. Advisor: KiM K. P. Johnson. 1 computer file (PDF); xii, 207 pages, appendices A-B.
Lee, Ji Young.
Consumer response to cause-related business strategies: sponsorship, transaction-based, event, and experiential.
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