Case Study: Starbucks Marketing & Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
I have chosen this subject because over the past year this philosophy of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) keeps coming up for debate in many of my graduate classes as well as within my work industry. I am actually surprised at how much attention it is getting. In my humble opinion the fact about these initiatives shouldn’t cause contention and debate but rather we should rejoice in the fact that it is growing from just societal realms into the corporate realms as a positive benefit for everyone. This is where consumers can genuinely experience and engage with a business.
What is Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?
It is a companies’ acknowledged responsibility to society for positive advancement with improving lives and empowering people. This concept has been around for many years in many industries, and just in the last decade have experts started labeling it CSR. The NBA cares, the March of Dimes, the Special Olympics, and When You Wish upon a Star organization’s have been around for a long time. Here are some points to think about. The questions causing debate are: * Should companies have an obligation to CSR?
* Is it really ethical marketing for them to promote their brand through this CSR work? * With businesses involved in social initiatives, could the decision-making process be affected by pressures put on non-profit organizations to support certain decisions?
A model example who incorporates CSR & has brilliant marketing strategies in their business model is Starbucks Coffee Co. They have a marketing plan, and brand identity that has always been very integrated into their CSR and community involvement activities. In fact, they change their causes monthly sometimes, and tie this cause to product promotions, for free coffee, or other product development. They are successfully sending a message that not only are they the premium coffee shop on...
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Kanter, Rosabeth Moss. 2011. Starbucks’ Howard Schultz and how to Restore confidence. Harvard Business School http://blogs.hbr.org/kanter/2011/09/starbucks-howard-schultz-and-h.html (accessed April 2012)
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Starbucks Corporation. 2012. Being a Responsible Company page. http://www.starbucks.com/responsibility (accessed April 2012)
Starbucks Corporation. 2012. Global Month of Service. http://www.starbucks.com/ (accessed April 2012)
Starbucks Corporation. 2012. Shared Planet Youth Action Grants. http://www.starbucksfoundation.com/index.cfm?objectid=525D51E7-1D09-317F-BBF9A860BE884D22 (accessed April 2012)
Starbucks Corporation. 2012. Starbucks Cup Magic for Valentine’s Day. Starbucks Corporation via Youtube.com. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nvqOzjq10w (accessed April 2012)
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