The aim of the research was to understand the relationship between corporate poverty alleviation and brand image, and the moderating role of consumer awareness. This aim was broken down into four research objectives, to ensure that data saturation was reached. The four objectives covered attitudes towards corporate poverty alleviation, impact on brand image, impact on purchase intention and the influence of corporate communications. The research adopted a case study approach, using the case of Robert Bosch GmbH (Bosch). The aim was achieved through means of a mixed methods approach, comprising of quantitative research through a consumer survey with 323 participants and a semi-structured interview with one internal stakeholder of Bosch.
The findings concluded that consumers’ knowledge of corporate poverty alleviation initiatives influences their perception of a brand; both brand image and purchase intention are enhanced through awareness of such initiatives. It was deduced that those with a lower income, females and those aged 18-34 are more likely to purchase from a company with poverty alleviation initiatives. However, purchase intention is only influenced when price and quality meet the needs of the consumer. Corporate communications are crucial in facilitating awareness of poverty-focused
From the drawn conclusions, a number of implications are suggested for Bosch, other businesses and marketers. It is recommended that Bosch increases awareness of its poverty alleviation initiatives to add to the symbolic element of its brand, subsequently increasing sales to existing and potential customers. Furthermore, it is recommended that the wider business context takes advantage of the notion that large segments of socially-responsible consumers exist. From a marketing perspective, corporate communications concerning poverty alleviation should use channels of social media, company website and advertisements. The communications should be underpinned by a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
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