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Cause-related marketing strategy types: assessing their relative effectiveness

Ji Young Lee (American Might Apparel Company, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA) (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)
Kim K.P. Johnson (University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Article publication date: 28 February 2019

Issue publication date: 18 June 2019




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of four types of cause-related marketing (CRM) strategies on consumer responses to a fashion brand and to assess the relative effectiveness of each.


An experiment was conducted with young adult consumers (n=344) and undergraduates (n=415). Using a between-subject design, each participant was randomly assigned to one of four CRM scenarios and completed a questionnaire.


Across all CRM conditions, the effect of CRM strategy on consumer responses (e.g. perceived brand distinctiveness/credibility/attractiveness, customer–brand identification, brand attitude, customer loyalty) was significant. The effect of corporate social responsibility image on perceived brand distinctiveness was strongest for cause-related event marketing, followed by cause-related experiential marketing, transaction-based CRM and sponsorship-linked marketing.

Practical implications

By providing information about the relative effectiveness of four types of CRM strategies, this research aids fashion marketers in their selection of the CRM strategy that generates the best performance. Adding an event component to their CRM activity would increase the effect of CRM strategies on consumer responses.


This research contributes to the extant literature on CRM by identifying types of CRM strategies, their relative effectiveness, and key variables (e.g., C–B identification) that explain the impact of CRM strategies on consumer responses.



Lee, J.Y. and Johnson, K.K.P. (2019), "Cause-related marketing strategy types: assessing their relative effectiveness", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 23 No. 2, pp. 239-256.



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