This research aims to investigate whether corporate social responsibility (CSR) would help brands to protect their brand image in the event of a crisis. CSR has been increasingly recognised as an effective tool to create a positive impact on the brand image. Despite the debate around its financial cost, CSR has been considered by companies in various occasions as a strategy to enhance brand reputation with its ability to create a strong “socially responsible” brand identity. However, existing literature proves that the customer’s reactions to CSR is very complex. It depends on various variables such as the timing of CSR and the motivation behind conducting CSR activities by a company. Hence, this research will investigate what will happen to the brand image when the negativity of a crisis hits a positivity of a CSR. Will it amplify the crisis impact and make the issue even worse? Or insulate and protect the brand image from such negative effects? Is it possible to regain positive customers’ perception via CSR after a crisis? Or is it rather going to add more complication to the situation, and customers are going to punish the brand harder due to its CSR activities? This research adopts Carroll’s (1991) framework of CSR, which distinguishes between four main categories of CSR: Economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities. Not only because it is being widely used and agreed to in the literature, but also because it is in line with the focus of this study on the impact of CSR on brand image from a stakeholder’s perspective. An experimental study on the fashion industry in the UK is proposed for the purpose of the data collection.
|Title of host publication||Proceedings of the 49th Academy of Marketing Conference, AM2016: Radical Marketing|
|Place of Publication||Newcastle|
|Publisher||Academy of Marketing|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 1 May 2016|