Corporate social responsibility as a branding element: A case study of Norwegian cod export to the Danish market

Morten André Hansen & Morten Stange Bye

Student thesis: Master thesis


This thesis’ mission is to investigate the potential CSR has as a branding element in the branding strategy of Norwegian cod in Denmark. The research question has its background in the increasing competition from cheaper white fish substitutes Norwegian cod experience, and is thus believed to constitute a possible counterattack to this market challenge. Based on a theoretical foundation consisting of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and branding, and a methodology focusing on expert interviews with various representatives within the Norwegian cod value chain and secondary sources of information, the research is carried out. It is concluded that CSR does not have a good enough potential to be part of the branding strategy of Norwegian cod in Denmark. The vast gap between the attitudes and behavior of consumers, is the main argument for the conclusion. Consumers’ attitudes show that their buying behavior is positively influenced by CSR initiatives. On the contrary, their actual behavior showed that CSR initiatives had more or less a non-existing influence on them. Since coping with the market challenge demands behavior in terms of consumers buying more Norwegian cod, it is concluded that the potential of CSR as a branding element is not sufficient. However, this conclusion is based only on the present market situation. The future (5-10 years), depicts a much brighter potential for CSR as a branding element in the branding strategy of Norwegian cod. As the thesis also aims to contribute to the Norwegian Seafood Export Council’s (NSEC) branding strategy, it suggests that, at the present time, they should not engage much in branding focusing on CSR. But as there is depicted a positive future, they should carefully monitor the market to prepare for the future of CSR as a branding element.

EducationsMSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2009
Number of pages170