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Corporate motive and fit in cause related marketing

Dirk C. Moosmayer (Department of Marketing, Entrepreneurship and Tourism (MET), Nottingham University Business School China, Ningbo, China)
Alexandre Fuljahn (imug GmbH (Institute for Market – Environment – Society), Hannover, Germany)

Journal of Product & Brand Management

ISSN: 1061-0421

Article publication date: 24 May 2013




Cause related marketing (CrM) has gained popularity in Europe within the past decade. Therefore, the authors aim to investigate corporate motive and the fit of a company brand with the CrM cause as determinants of CrM campaign success.


Conjoint analysis is applied to campaign evaluations from 278 students in Germany. Campaigns attached to laptop purchases supporting an African hospital with either medical (low fit) or IT (high fit) infrastructure and were based on altruistic, neutral, or profit‐oriented company motives.


The authors find that altruistic motives increase consumer evaluations. In contrast to their hypothesis, campaigns are evaluated more positively, when product cause fit is low.

Research limitations/implications

Based on their findings, the authors suggest exploring the fit of CrM campaigns in more detail: future research might explicitly consider the congruence of a CrM donation with a company's product, with the brand's claim and philosophy, and with the supported NPO.

Practical implications

Companies should think twice before using CrM as means of profit maximization. When selecting an adequate cause, attention should be paid to the company brand and to a product's potential impact on society. Moreover, the donation type (money versus product) should be chosen in a way to clearly support the cause and to avoid potential allegation of aiming at an increased distribution of own products.


The authors apply conjoint analysis to corporate motive and cause‐brand fit; this integrated consumer evaluation appears more realistic than most existing studies. Based on their results, the authors develop diverse perspectives on fit in CrM. These may be applied in future research.



Moosmayer, D.C. and Fuljahn, A. (2013), "Corporate motive and fit in cause related marketing", Journal of Product & Brand Management, Vol. 22 No. 3, pp. 200-207.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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