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Attribution and Effectiveness of Cause-Related Marketing: The Interplay between Cause–Brand Fit and Corporate Reputation

1
School of Management, Jilin University, Changchun 130022, China
2
Social Marketing @ Griffith, Griffith University, Brisbane, QLD 4111, Australia
3
Department of Marketing, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung 402, Taiwan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8338; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208338
Received: 19 September 2020 / Revised: 3 October 2020 / Accepted: 5 October 2020 / Published: 10 October 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
In cause-related marketing (CRM) programs, the fit between the cause and brand is an important factor influencing consumer perceptions and behavior. However, the literature demonstrates that there is disagreement regarding the effect of cause–brand fit on consumer responses with varying corporate reputation. This study aims to examine the influence of cause–brand fit on consumer attitudes, attributed company motives, and the moderating role of corporate reputation. With a two (fit: high/low) by three (reputation: low/medium/high) experimental study, we reveal that consumers hold positive attitudes toward companies that engage in CRM campaigns. The effect of cause–brand fit on consumer-attributed company motives is moderated by corporate reputation. For low-reputation companies, a high cause–brand fit CRM campaign resulted in consumers attributing more negative motives to companies than low-fit campaigns. The opposite was true for medium-reputation companies. Meanwhile, high-reputation companies with a high cause–brand fit elicit greater value-driven attributed motives from consumers than other motives. Recommendations for implementing CRM programs and for future research are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: cause-related marketing; cause–brand fit; corporate reputation; attributed motives; consumer attitudes cause-related marketing; cause–brand fit; corporate reputation; attributed motives; consumer attitudes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, A.; Scodellaro, A.; Pang, B.; Lo, H.-Y.; Xu, Z. Attribution and Effectiveness of Cause-Related Marketing: The Interplay between Cause–Brand Fit and Corporate Reputation. Sustainability 2020, 12, 8338. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208338

AMA Style

Zhang A, Scodellaro A, Pang B, Lo H-Y, Xu Z. Attribution and Effectiveness of Cause-Related Marketing: The Interplay between Cause–Brand Fit and Corporate Reputation. Sustainability. 2020; 12(20):8338. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208338

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhang, Anran, Alex Scodellaro, Bo Pang, Hui-Yi Lo, and Zhengliang Xu. 2020. "Attribution and Effectiveness of Cause-Related Marketing: The Interplay between Cause–Brand Fit and Corporate Reputation" Sustainability 12, no. 20: 8338. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208338

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