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How much to give? — The effect of donation size on tactical and strategic success in cause-related marketing

Sarah S. Müller, Anne J. Fries and Karen Gedenk

International Journal of Research in Marketing, 2014, vol. 31, issue 2, 178-191

Abstract: In cause-related marketing (CM), companies promise a donation to a cause every time a consumer makes a purchase. We analyze the impact of the size of this donation on brand choice (tactical success) and brand image (strategic success). Our results reveal different effects of donation size on these success measures. For brand choice, the effect of donation size is moderated by a financial trade-off for consumers, whereas the effect on brand image is moderated by donation framing. Specifically, we show that donation size has a positive effect on brand choice if consumers face no financial trade-off; i.e., if they do not have to choose between triggering a donation or saving money. The effect is negative if a trade-off exists such that higher donations come at higher costs. Brand image is enhanced by larger donations if the framing is nonmonetary (e.g., the campaign promises the provision of vaccinations), whereas donation size has a negative effect if donation framing is monetary (e.g., the campaign states the Euro amount). If campaigns use a combination of both frames, the effect of donation size on brand image has an inverted U shape. Our results suggest that CM enhances tactical and strategic success only if firms select the right donation size, taking into account donation framing and financial trade-offs.

Keywords: Cause-related marketing; Donation size; Donation framing; Promotion; Choice experiment (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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