fusion point research Marketing Research Reports

Marketing to Corporate Social Responsibility Leaders in CPG

Understanding Their Role

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a company’s intent to act ethically and responsibly towards the society within which it operates.1 Most large CPG companies have a CSR function, publish an annual CSR report,2 and address CSR specifically in their shareholder letters.3 CSR includes initiatives to abandon harmful or exploitative practices, and efforts to engage in positive social acts such as funding charities.4 Corporate social responsibility programs in the consumer products industry include:

 

  • Sustainability – reducing the companies’ environmental impact, lowering greenhouse emissions, eliminating hazardous waste from manufacturing, etc.
  • Improving Health – providing clean drinking water, efforts to improve sanitation, programs to improve nutrition in diets, etc.
  • Economic Investments - micro-finance loans, grants, training systems and, of course, more jobs.
  • Social Practices – promoting human rights, providing disaster relief and other philanthropic efforts.5

 

CSR theory is that positive social behaviors on behalf of the company will solve a societal issue while also increasing the company’s competitive advantage. Increasingly, companies are tying CSR programs to the corporate strategy, using social programs as business opportunities, and linking CSR to the overall brand image and values.6

“…we wanted CSR to be an integral part of our business, embedded in everything we do, and so activities formerly isolated within CSR became strategic initiatives directed toward nutrition, water, hygiene, health and self-esteem.”

- Unilever CMO Keith Weed 7

1 Pharr, Jennifer R., and Nancy L. Lough. “Differentiation of Social Marketing and Cause-Related Marketing in US Professional Sport.” Sport Marketing Quarterly 21, no. 2 (2012): 91 – 103. EBSCOhost(77536960).

2 Gibbons, Giles. “What Became of CSR?” Management Today, no. 7 (2014): 50 – 52. EBSCOhost(97222172).

3 Caplan, Dennis, Saurav K. Dutta, and Raef A. Lawson. “Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Across the Value Chain.” Journal of Corporate Accounting & Finance (Wiley) 24, no. 3 (2013): 15 – 24. EBSCOhost(85630843).

4 Tybout, Alice M. and Calder, Bobby J., ed. Kellogg on Marketing. 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2010.

5 See, as examples: www.coca-colacompany.com/topics/sustainability, www.unilever.com/sustainable-living/the-sustainable-living-plan, us.pg.com/sustainability, www.jnj.com/caring/citizenship-sustainability

6 Tybout, Alice M. and Calder, Bobby J., ed. Kellogg on Marketing. 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons, Inc., 2010.

7 Morse, Gardiner. “Reinventing the Chief Marketing Officer: An Interview with Unilever CMO Keith Weed.” Harvard Business Review. July 2014. Available at: http://hbr.org/2014/07/reinventing-the-chief-marke...

 

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Copyright © 2016 Fusion Point Research, Inc.

Corporate social responsibility uses CPG companies’ vast resources and talent to promote societal improvements. CSR programs becoming more and more integrated with CPG companies’ business strategies and values.
fusion point research Marketing Research Reports
Corporate social responsibility uses CPG companies’ vast resources and talent to promote societal improvements. CSR programs becoming more and more integrated with CPG companies’ business strategies and values.
  • Sustainability – reducing the companies’ environmental impact, lowering greenhouse emissions, eliminating hazardous waste from manufacturing, etc.
  • Improving Health – providing clean drinking water, efforts to improve sanitation, programs to improve nutrition in diets, etc.
  • Economic Investments - micro-finance loans, grants, training systems and, of course, more jobs.
  • Social Practices – promoting human rights, providing disaster relief and other philanthropic efforts.