Doing Poorly by Doing Good: Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Concepts

17 Pages Posted: 12 Jun 2012

See all articles by Carlos J. Torelli

Carlos J. Torelli

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management

Alokparna Monga

University of South Carolina - Department of Marketing

Andrew Kaikati

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business

Date Written: 2012

Abstract

Although the idea of brand concepts has been around for a while, very little research addresses how brand concepts may influence consumer responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. Four studies reveal that communicating the CSR actions of a luxury brand concept causes a decline in evaluations, relative to control. A luxury brand’s self-enhancement concept (i.e., dominance over people and resources) is in conflict with the CSR information’s self-transcendence concept (i.e., protecting the welfare of all), which causes disfluency and a decline in evaluations. These effects do not emerge for brands with openness (i.e., following emotional pursuits in uncertain directions) or conservation (i.e., protecting the status quo) concepts that do not conflict with CSR. The effects for luxury brand concepts disappeared when the informativeness of the disfluency was undermined but were accentuated in an abstract (vs. concrete) mind-set. These findings implicate brand concepts as a key factor in how consumers respond to CSR activities.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility, CSR, values, luxury, brands, brand concepts

JEL Classification: C91, M14, M30, M31, M37

Suggested Citation

Torelli, Carlos J. and Monga, Alokparna and Kaikati, Andrew, Doing Poorly by Doing Good: Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Concepts (2012). Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 38, No. 5, 948-63, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2083322

Carlos J. Torelli (Contact Author)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Carlson School of Management ( email )

19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

Alokparna Monga

University of South Carolina - Department of Marketing ( email )

United States

Andrew Kaikati

Saint Louis University - Chaifetz School of Business ( email )

Cook Hall
3674 Lindell Blvd
Saint Louis, MO 63108
United States

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