The purpose of this master thesis has been to investigate the following: “To what extent can supermarkets’ corporate branding of CSR affect the Political Consumer?”. This was done by investigating the Political Consumers’ attitude towards CSR when used for corporate branding by supermarket corporations. The thesis structure starts with a theoretical review of the proposed theory and models useful for this thesis followed by a methodology section explaining the chosen research design for the empirical study. An analysis and discussion of the empirical findings leads to the concluding remarks of the thesis. The aim of the research conducted was to explain to which degree CSR-oriented branding could affect how Political Consumers perceive corporate brands in the supermarket industry. This was explored through a combination of qualitative and quantitative research consisting of a questionnaire and six in-depth interviews. This mix methods research design was chosen in order to establish a more accurate picture of the given hypotheses. The findings show that supermarkets’ corporate branding of CSR cannot affect the Political Consumer for several reasons. Firstly, the results has found a discrepancy between the Political Consumers’ intentions and actual behavior. Secondly, the Political Consumers in the study shows distrust towards corporate communication from supermarket corporations when it is regarding CSR. Finally, the Political Consumers have stronger connections with the chain brands of the supermarket corporations and therefore find it difficult and irrelevant to identify themselves with the corporate brand. Therefore, a significant barrier exists for corporate brands in the supermarket industry, thus also their corporate branding of CSR initiatives. Furthermore, the study has found that CSR has such great importance for The Political Consumers that it influences both their choice of supermarket and their loyalty towards their preferred supermarket. However, deeper analysis reveal a shift in opinions and importance. The Political Consumers in the study disagree on whether the responsibility for practicing CSR lies with the consumers or the supermarket. This indicates further barriers in branding corporate CSR initiatives successfully. From these results, it is possible for this thesis to conclude that the FMCG sector will have difficulty in branding corporate CSR towards the political consumer. Particularly in regards to the identified gaps attitude and behaviour. Consumers of FMCG goods are showing stronger relations with chain brands and are not related to, nor interested in corporate brands, why CSR-oriented corporate branding cannot effect a non-existent relationship between the consumer and the corporate brand.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||110|