Contemporary Issues in Marketing Branding/CSR/Digital Marketing

Introduction

The primary motive of this particular assignment is to demonstrate the contemporary issues in marketing operations by considering the context of a particular business organisation. Furthermore, in this case, the Benetton Unhate campaign will be undertaken. It can be observed that in the modern scenario most of the large-scale business organisations are taking risky but effective standouts to promote their business operations globally, by engaging various promotional campaigns. In addition to that, most of the business campaigns include social and political messages that may support the marketers of the organisation to establish a positive overview of the social appearance of the company within the community. The CSR applying theory can be defined as a specific and significant ethical framework that includes the concepts of economic, ethical and various legal obligations that creates a philanthropic approach for the organisation which is operating in the modern business scenario and corporate structure. Besides that, the influence of social media for improving the value of the brand will be demonstrated in the assignment by undertaking various contexts of social media controversial marketing. On the other hand, it can be understood that on the basis of impact of Unahet campaign, its impact upon various communities across the globe will be critically evaluated in the assignment.  

 

 

Question 1

A critical discussion of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) regarding its effect to develop a strategic vision of the brand

Grayson and Hodges (2017), have stated that the Corporate Social Responsibility or CSR is one of the most essential aspects that help the business firms to integrate such operational behaviour through which the social values can be maintained along with revenue-generating operations. Apart from that, CSR may include both environmental and economic concerns and values while taking specific business decisions. However, according to the observations of Crane, Matten and Spence (2019), it can be acknowledged that CSR can also deliver additional assistance to the organisations to enhance their strategic visions regarding the brand. CSR not only just create significant awareness of the brands, but leads the corporations to develop a positive brand image in front of the community. Based on this the promotional campaigns must be inspirational and must also become socially responsible in respect of the desires and demands of the stakeholders. Based on the above discussion, the “Stakeholders theory” can be explained that is one of the most specific concept of CSR theories. The stakeholder’s theory can be defined as a significant framework of organisational management that includes several ethics of business that allow the organisations to consider several constitutes which may deliver impact of the essential elements of a business, such as suppliers, managers, employees and the creditors (Friedman and Miles, 2006).    

As stated in Wang et al. (2016), it can be notified that the concept of "corporate social responsibility" has no longer just a mere term of the organisational setting as in the modern scenario it has become one of the most essential concepts for the business organisation that can help the administrations to gain a reputed position in the community. However, while developing a strategic vision regarding the brand. Arora and Ramesh (2017), have stated that CSR mainly depends on building the accountability of the stakeholders. The CSR helps the company to understand the communal approaches to build a prolonged approach for the brand. BY using the CSR, the organisations can get establish themselves as one of the unique brands in the modern community. Besides that, adopting the CSR may create significant conjunction by undertaking various branding operations so that a significant effect can be delivered to attract the people toward the services.

Besides that, from the perspective of an organisational business scenario, it can be stated that the corporate ethics are one of the most essential aspect that allow the shareholders of the company to improvise their operations and contributions towards the company so that the overall profitability can be increased. It can be stated that, due to immense sharing of the corporate data to a vast number of people of the society at some point the company may become vulnerable of a wide range of negative impacts on the business operations. The immense vulnerability can damage the reputation of the company in its current market due to which the price of market shares can be dropped down. Through acknowledging the CSR approaches a business corporation can gain multiple benefits such as lower operating costs, increase of sales and a great productivity. Besides that, the CSR can also help the organisations to enhance its overall reputation within the market. However, CSR can also be recognised as one of the specific way to return the contributions of the society back to them. Grayson and Hodges (2017), have stated that the corporate social responsibility also supports the employees a significant opportunity through which they can effectively serve the people of the community more specifically. Moreover, according to Galaskiewicz (2016), the business executives of the company grants several donations from various individuals from the society on behalf of the community in order to design multiple days for the organisational staffs to serve volunteer services for the local society. The benefits of CSR are described as below:

Employee engagement: The way through which a business organisation treat its community people describes the positive attitude of the customers towards its services. Besides that, as a business organisation stands out for good and com mendable deeds the media’s interest can also be gained. However, there are plenty of chances can be achieved by the organisation for social deeds which can make a positive image of the company within the society.

Loyal customers: The customers have a tendency to deeply think about the products and services that they are about to purchase. Although, it has been acknowledged that, more than half of the people from the society purchases the products from the companies that have a social presence and are positively rated from the people of the community. Therefore, it can also be stated that for the organisation that have a high brand value within the society cam have the ability to drive the social perceptions and acceptances.      

A positive attention from the publics: It can be observed that an active CSR model can make the organisation as a commendable leader of the community so that all the small-scale business entities can accept the business organisation as a specific role model of follow. Therefore, as the business organisation stands out for doing the good deeds and make positive stories that are worth to share.

            

 

 

Besides that, it is also been argued by Lucky and Nsikanabasi (2017), the marketers of a business organisation can feel specifically motivated and put their entire effort for promoting the service and the product if they have been stated by the administrators that, they are doing the job for good outcomes. However, corporate social responsibility indeed boosts up the recognition of the brand and enhance the morality of the employees of the company. Therefore, as a result, these aspects can enhance the productivity and profitability of the company within a specific timeframe.    

A broader discussion of the role of CSR with an organisation and building of the brand

Golob and Podnar (2019), have stated that CSR not only enhances the recognition of the organisation within the society but also develops a significant brand value. Apart from this the major role of the CSR within a business organisation may help to develop brand perceptions. It can be stated that through investing more attention to the community for supporting the local companies can easily set a significant brand value apart from earning higher profitability. Furthermore, in the case of several responsible business practices, public perceptions regarding the services can be tended to be developed so that the brand value can be enhanced as well. Moreover, if CSR manages to improve the brand value then the customer base can be enhanced and the overall sales figure can also be developed. Chouthoy and Kazi (2016), have stated that efficient implication of CSR can also deliver significant assistance to garner the attention of the investors so that the companies can become socially responsible and capable to deliver the acceptable communal approaches. Besides that, CSR also plays a significant role to enhance the brand value of the product and the organisation. The Corporate Social Responsibility also delivers additional assistance to the administrators of the organisation to create a significant landing price of the product so that the target customers can be easily reached. Apart from that, CSR not only develops a significant awareness of the brands among a specific consumer base but also help to attract the potential customers by creating a positive image for the brand within their minds. However, CSR also help the organisation to gain several investment opportunities in the market in which it mainly operates. 

The corporate social responsibility can also be recognised as a concept that can increase the accountability of the stakeholders and also enhances the transparency of the business. Besides that, through achieving a significant recognition for maintaining the social responsibilities, the business organisation can effectively deal with all the specific social obstacles and increase the sustainability. Furthermore, it also allow the organisations to develop a major trust within the community regarding the services and also enhance the overall reputation of the organisation. Apart from that, the CSR also refers to the steps that can allow the company to adhere the legal and ethical standards within the society in which the company is actually maintaining. On the other hand, the ethical concepts also includes national, local and global causes that can help to enhance the corporate ethnicity and develop a philanthropic approach within the business culture of the organisation. The CSR may also deliver additional assistance to control the production and marketing cost of the company so that organisational goals can be specifically achieved within a significant timeframe. Therefore, it help the company to recruit top-quality and skilled employees so that a long-term financial target can be easily fulfilled.          

 

 

Question 2

A critical examination of the role of social media to ensure the growth of the brand through establishing various social causes

In the modern scenario, it can be observed that social media can be recognised as one of the essential pieces of marketing strategy that can effectively promote the brand of the company. Besides that, social media can also ensure the overall growth of the brand. The social platforms can also help the marketers to connect the company along with all the customers so that the awareness can be spread among the customers. However, the modern scenario the customers are gaining savvier for discerning the type of promotions that is more beneficial for the organisation. The social media also strengthen customer engagements by using the social media platform. Besides that, the relationship and interactions between the customers and the business operators are getting widely accepted and have been recognised as one of the significant trends in the modern scenario.

Valos et al. (2016), have stated that social media have become a powerful channel of marketing that can help the company to achieve the desires of the customers by initiating various social works in the electronic media. The social media can ensure the growth of the organisations through hitting three measure areas, such as Brand building, Business growth and strategic engagement of the business channels. The organisations can also easily attract a huge number of customers and engage them in one specific social work my using the socials media platform. It also attracts the attention of the customers. Ramanathan, Subramanian and Parrott (2017), have stated that social media also makes it's quite easier for the customers to find the right survives from a wide range of service providers.

Besides that, in the context of the effectiveness of social media on brand development, it can be stated that numerous organisations use social media to promote their offerings. Through using an Omni social media channel the customer service can be improved. In addition to that, to ensure the productivity of the team and the marketing department of the company various issues regarding the customer service can be solved and their loyalty can be improved. Furthermore, to ensure the growth of the brand through social media the following aspects can be followed by a business organisation.

  • All the issues that are connected along with the customer service must be accounted and the promotional scenarios must be acknowledged. It can be observed that, if the passive complaints of the customers are remained untouched and unanalysed a significant rift can be observed between venders and the customer base.
  • The social conversations and interactive sessions of the company with the customers must be analysed their perception over the social campaign can reflect their loyalty upon the organisation and its services. However, it will also demonstrate the flaws and weaknesses of the company and will show the way of how customer service can become more superior.
  • The organisation must become available to serve the customers via social media by acknowledging an instant support system (Libert, Beck and Wind, 2016).

 Apart from the above discussion the social media campaigns for promoting the brand can be perfectly done acknowledged by following various constraints. The very first priority would be the establishment of social media services in the most renowned and easily accessible platforms, in this case, the platform can be Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Shareable content regarding the brand and the social work can be uploaded on the internet that must contain advertorials. However, through cultivating the feedbacks of the customers through social campaigns can also help the marketers to ascertain the most significant customer base in the social media platforms.

In the modern scenario the controversy campaigns are one of the most significant aspects that can easily make the brand value of the products to a considerable level within the market and also have provided a specific competitive advantage within the industry in terms of popularity. In this case the context of “Bikini Luxe” can be addresses that have faced several complications to operate its business and maintain its brand value due to using the sexual content in promoting the brand in the social media (Myers, 2020). However, the controversy have also paid off Candice Galek (founder of Bikini Luxe) to get a huge amount of visibility of various social media platforms across the entire globe.  It can be stated that, one of the most specific industry that have facing several security issues in the current scenarios are the pharmaceutical industry at a global arena. The first TV commercial of a drug names as Rufen is one aired in the year 1983 that claimed it have the element into it which can instantly reduce the pain of the patient. The federal government have pulled out the advertisement after 48 hours of its false claims as the product had several harmful ingredients which can create negative impact on the human body. The controversy marketing can be addressed as an essential element in the modern era that can help the organisations, to attract the attention of the customers towards the services (Ellis, 2017). As the viewer’s attention have been gained, it becomes quite easy for the organisation to influence them for purchasing the products.

However, it has been stated by Myers (2020), that brands are using several controversial issues outside of their niche. Based on this, while discussing the context of Galek, it can be stated that, there is a message that she has tried to give to the society through her swimsuit advertisement which states she just sells swimsuits so naturally just like other specialised garments for women. As discussed in the magazine of Forbes for the year 2015, the controversial advertisement of brands in the social media either help the business to achieve tonnes of revenue or can hurt the reputation and make the company disappear from the market by losing its market positions. The social media controversial campaigns may help the company to become noticeable in the market and can also assist in gaining a competitive business position.             

 

 

 

Question 3

Discussion of a recent brand campaign to demonstrate a controversial approach

While discussing the controversial approach the campaign undertaken by Benetton’s has been considered that have faced several social obligations due to its perspectives. It can be observed that business organisations that create social campaigns have faced several issues from social activists due to their social contents. For addressing the political and social issues within the historical promotions, the Benetton Unhate Camping is one of the well-known, in terms of a controversial campaign. For example, at the AIDS crisis, the coloured condoms campaign was organised in the year of 1991. Besides that, the "Blanket Campaign" was organised for demonstrating the social acknowledgement and facilities provided for the homosexual and interracial communities. The Benetton Unhate Camping was introduced in the year 2011 and another foundations names as “Unhate Foundation" was established by considering as an innovative strategy for promoting the brand name of Benetton, by showing a mere sense of CSR within the community. The core aim of the foundation was to reduce the hate rate among the people of different cultural background. The theme of the campaign was a kiss amongst the religious leaders and political members worldwide (VOICES, 2020).

The Unhate campaign has been recognised as a communication project that also includes multiple series of events and initiatives that starts from publishing in the newspapers, websites and periodicals across the globe, in which the worldwide leaders have been portrayed kissing with each other. Besides that. A foundation of love and affection is tended to be created by the Benetton’s administrators in order to create a significant change within the world so that changes can be delivered among the citizens of the world. The young and enthusiastic generations of the globe has been targeted as the central players of this initiative. By using the global reach of internet and social media along with other digital platforms the message of Unhate Campaign has been transferred to the global citizens. Apart from that, It can be observed that, the Unhater campaign have marketed a further step in the communication of Benetton’s that have elicited a major intervention along with an action from each and every individual across the globe for establishing an open democracy and divergent world.    

However, the central theme of the campaign has been recognised as the “kissing” that is the universal symbol of love and affection. Therefore, Benetton have used this concept as a controversial approach by making the world seeing their leaders are kissing each other. The Palestine president Mahmoud Abbas have seen kissing the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Natanyahu that have made a huge controversy in the global scenario. The images and posters used in the campaign have been accounted as a symbolic image of reconciliation that have the significant touch of hope along with a constructive provocation. On the other hand, the campaign have also effectively managed to stimulate the reflections and scopes of politics, ideas and faiths. Therefore, it has been expressed that as the leaders are divergent and also mutually opposed with each other they also have the ability to lead the world according to their own terms of mediation and dialogue (Press, 2020). The Chinese leader “Hu Jintao” and “Barrack Obama” have seen kissing each other in the campaign. Apart from that, various other political leaders were also involved within the campaign such as “Ahmed Mohamed el-Tayeb” and “Pope Benedict XVI”. Besides that, the campaign has not contributed much impact on global diplomacy as it generated several controversies. The pictures of leaders in which Pope Benedict was also included have raised significant criticism and disputes amongst the catholic community of the entire globe. Due to the controversy, the White House has ordered Benetton’s campaign organisers to remove the picture of Brick Obama from the poster. A huge controversy in the catholic community has been raised by seeing the pope kissing an Egyptian Imam. However, the major controversy has been raised were many of the world leaders, who are in a conflict with each other have been portrayed as kissing each other in the campaign’s poster. Barack Obama, Hu Jintao, Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel have been portrayed in the campaign posters of Unhate. Due to the controversy with pope XVI, the Vatican people have protested the campaign across the globe. The Benetton’s have created a significant buzz across the world and even in the social media by incorporating this campaign. However, there are previous advertisements, in which the priests and nuns are kissing an AIDS patient. Therefore, based on the outcry of the campaign it can be acknowledged that Unhate campaign was also a huge success. Besides that, the Unhate campaign also tended to establish a culture globally that can make a contrast in between the hatred through promoting a closeness and friendly attachment with the powerful leaders across the globe. Therefore, by taking the leaders close to each other, people can also develop a mere faith, integrity and peaceful understanding with each other by creating a sense of motivation among each other. It will effectively develop a worldwide prosperity can also create a significant communication and interaction among the leaders of the world. The deputy executive chairman of the Benetton Group have said that a realistic objective has been tended to achieve through this campaign so that large hopes regarding love and prosperity can be developed across the globe and among various communities. 

Conclusion

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that corporate social responsibility can be recognised as one of the most essential elements for the company that can easily enhance the acceptance of the products to the customers. Additionally, some various scholars and analysts have criticised the concept of corporate social responsibility in respect of various organisational scenarios. However, different companies around the world have utilized the CSR according to their abilities and perceptions for getting acknowledged within society. Besides that, while describing the context of Benetton Unhate Camping it can be stated that due to this the company have faced several criticisms from the social analysts as it has been stated that the company is promoting unsocial and sexual contents openly among the community. In addition to that, the controversial approach by Benetton has presented an international social message to the social influencers regarding the unprivileged and ignored people of the community. Apart from that, a sense of Human rights and World peace has also been demonstrated through this campaign. The interconnection of various social religions of the community has been represented by Benetton through the camping. The study has also discussed the role of CSR in developing the strategic brand value of a business organisation.   

 

References

Arora, H. and Ramesh, S., 2017. Corporate accountability to internal stakeholders.

Chouthoy, S. and Kazi, R., 2016. En route to a Theory-Building Consumer Brand Commitment through CSR Reputation. Global Business and Management Research, 8(3), p.67.

Crane, A., Matten, D. and Spence, L. eds., 2019. Corporate social responsibility: Readings and cases in a global context. Routledge.

Ellis, D.L., 2017. Sects and Violence: The Politicization of the Awakening. In Politics and Piety (pp. 92-124). Brill.

Friedman, A.L. and Miles, S., 2006. Stakeholders: Theory and practice. Oxford University Press on Demand.

Galaskiewicz, J., 2016. Social organization of an urban grants economy: A study of business philanthropy and nonprofit organizations. Elsevier.

Golob, U. and Podnar, K., 2019. Researching CSR and brands in the here and now: an integrative perspective.

Grayson, D. and Hodges, A., 2017. Corporate social opportunity!: Seven steps to make corporate social responsibility work for your business. Routledge.

Grayson, D. and Hodges, A., 2017. Corporate social opportunity!: Seven steps to make corporate social responsibility work for your business. Routledge.

Libert, B., Beck, M. and Wind, J., 2016. The network imperative: How to survive and grow in the age of digital business models. Harvard Business Review Press.

Lucky, A.T. and Nsikanabasi, O.A., 2017. Information Resource Management and Use by Marketers of Business Organisation. Asian Journal of Economics, Business and Accounting, pp.1-10.

Myers, C., 2020. Embracing Controversy: How This Bikini Startup Went Viral On Linkedin In All The Right Ways. [online] Forbes. Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2020].

Press, M., 2020. Benetton Group - Corporate Website. [online] Benettongroup.com. Available at: [Accessed 12 May 2020].

Ramanathan, U., Subramanian, N. and Parrott, G., 2017. Role of social media in retail network operations and marketing to enhance customer satisfaction. International Journal of Operations & Production Management.

Valos, M.J., Habibi, F.H., Casidy, R., Driesener, C.B. and Maplestone, V.L., 2016. Exploring the integration of social media within integrated marketing communication frameworks. Marketing Intelligence & Planning.

VOICES, Q., 2020. Huffpost Is Now A Part Of Verizon Media. [online] Huffpost.com. Available at: [Accessed 5 May 2020]

Wang, H., Tong, L., Takeuchi, R. and George, G., 2016. Corporate social responsibility: An overview and new research directions: Thematic issue on corporate social responsibility.

 

 

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