Brand Equity in Cause-related Marketing: How Does It Influence Consumer Decision-making? An Experiment in Cause-related Marketing
Cause-related marketing is a relatively new field that has attracted scholars and practitioners’ attention because of its uniqueness. It is a triple win approach that can benefit corporate firms, non-profit organisations and consumers. One of the crucial aspects of CRM is fit that is defined as the perceived link or connection between the cause/charity and the commercial firm. In the literature of CRM there are inconsistent results regarding how fit influences the CRM outcome. Some authors concluded that high fit between the brand and cause can lead to positive attitude towards the campaign while others argued that fit is irrelevant and some even pointed out a possible risk of consumer’s scepticism when high fit. Therefore, this study explores the moderation effect of fit on the relationship between consumers’ cause affinity and purchase intentions in CRM campaigns. It also explores how brand equity moderates the moderation of fit in this relationship. The retrench method was an experiment that included eight conditions with a mix of two commercial brands and four charities. The study was undertaken in New Zealand, using online surveys to collect data. Results confirm that cause affinity has a positive effect on the CRM relationship. It also demonstrates that fit is one of the driving factors in the CRM relationship, rather than a moderator. For brand equity, there was no moderated moderation using the Hayes’ process, but results indicate a moderation of brand equity on the relationship in the conditions of high brand equity.