Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2017
Master’s Programme in Strategic Business Development
Purpose: The purpose of the research is to investigate the relationship between CSR and a brand image in branding process of a firm. The research studies weather and how corporate social responsibility can create advantages for brand image and help increase brand awareness of a firm.
Methodology: Qualitative research methodology was applied through semi-structured interviews and news research. Data was mainly collected through 6 semi-structured interviews, partially through news on media and social media. Interview participants were customers, top managers and employees of a small and medium-sized company in Vietnam. The study was based on theories of stakeholders, brand management and corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Findings: The relationship of CSR and brand image was found to be positive. The company gained trust, reputation and other competitive advantages through CSR activities. The empirical findings indicated that consumers appreciate the brand’s value and personalities which were illustrated by long-term CSR commitments. Employees were satisfied with the brand image and proud of it. They tended to share about its missions and CSR activities to friends and families. The findings showed that employees’ connection with the company were strong due to CSR programs. The empirical results explained positive impacts of CSR on financial performance of the brand. However, there was a caution in adopting CSR in the future due to a lack of practices of business leaders. Furthermore, CSR concerns, CSR initiatives, CSR topics and other CSR characteristics in Vietnam were identified in the research.
Practical implications & limitations: The study shows the positive linkages between CSR and a brand image. It provides practical experiences for firms to adopt strategic CSR in brand development and management. The findings explained how to effectively adopt CSR in branding. Possible risks in CSR adopting were identified with suggestions. Although the study has limitations in terms of theory, methodology, data collection. The study hopes to encourage business leaders in Vietnam and elsewhere in getting more engaged with CSR in doing business.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), brand, brand image, branding, brand awareness.