Doing Well by Doing Good : - En studie i hur CSR kan påverka svenska modeföretags anseende
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AbstractCorporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept that is growing increasingly important, with more and more companies acknowledging that they have an obligation to the environment in which they operate. We were interested in inquiring into why companies chose to do so, even though there are no laws that condition them to engage in CSR. One answer to this might be that companies use CSR as a way to distinguish themselves from the competition as well as to gain trust and goodwill from the stakeholders. When it comes to Corporate Social Responsibility, the question is no longer whether or not companies should engage in it, but how they can gain competitive advantage by doing so. This study aims at providing a framework for possible ways of integrating CSR and branding, as well as different strategies for CSR-communication. We also tried to define how, and why, consumers respond to CSR-initiatives. We based our case study on the Swedish fashion brands Gina Tricot and Nudie Jeans, two companies that have both chosen to undertake CSR- and sustainability efforts. The study’s foundation lies on material from our conducted in-depth interviews and quantitative survey, as well as former studies on the subject. We sought to understand how and why companies engage in CSR-activities, how the two companies have chosen to incorporate CSR in their branding, how they communicate this both internally and externally, and finally how the CSR-efforts are perceived by the average consumer and influence their view of the brand. The theoretical framework relies on earlier studies and research regarding CSR, branding, different strategies for CSR-communication, as well as theories regarding how the consumers respond to CSR. Our analysis highlights the way our chosen companies have underestimated the degree to which consumers want to learn about the companies’ CSR-efforts, as well as how they wish to be informed. The result from our survey implies that the consumers have an interest in learning about companies’ CSR-programs and that such efforts for the most part will be beneficial when it comes to the stakeholders’ view of the company.