Taking “Doing well by doing good” to the next level: Introducing CSEs as brand extensions

Eli Anne Larsen

Student thesis: Master thesis


Recently, many countries have introduced legislations making CSR activities mandatory; leading to traditional CSR impacts being perceived as mere points of parity. Further, consumers’ perceptions of CSR initiatives are on a downturn, but contradictory they seem to demand that companies act ethically and responsibly. This puts companies in a difficult position where they are required to contribute to society, and yet their contributions might not impact the consumers’ opinion of the company. A new approach to “doing well by doing good” is the emergence of the CSEs; a CSE can be introduced as a subsidiary under the parent brand, i.e. a type of brand extension. This study looks into how the introduction of this type of CSE, will impact the parent brand, and how this attitude can be improved. A conceptual framework has been created based on the overall hypotheses stating that various factors will positively influence the attitude towards the CSE and subsequently the parent brand. Moreover, a comparison between two separately primed groups will be made, where the general hypothesis is that those who were exposed to the positive priming will have a more positive attitude than those exposed to the negative priming. A set of two questionnaires, one with positive affective priming and the other with negative affective priming, were distributed and overall analyses in SPSS and AMOS were conducted. The results showed that all of the factors were significant and positive across the overall model, but regarding the primed groups the differences were only significant for the communicated levels of social impact on the attitude towards the CSE and the attitude towards the CSE’s impact on the attitude towards the parent brand. Comparisons between several other types of groups were also included, due to the questionnaire opening for further evaluations. The results of this study suggest that a variety of factors impact the attitude towards the CSE and the parent brand, where the indubitable strongest effect is the attitude towards the CSE’s impact on the attitude towards the parent brand. Hence, a company should address the varying factors which impact both these attitudes, but they should also be aware of the vast spillover effects from the extension and onto the parent brand as these are two attitudes are closely intertwined.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2013
Number of pages103