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Responsibility projects

With companies announcing massive employee lay-offs and introducing new cost saving mechanisms, it is widely expected that there will be even more cost cutting measures to be introduced in order to cope with the economic crisis. In fact, several companies have already announced that they will be cutting all funding to their charities and foundations and reprogramming those funds into other projects that are designed to keep the company afloat.

Yet, as Allen Anderson in his article entitled, Promoting Good Works in Bad Times, it is perplexing to see why several companies have not totally resolved to reduce their spending on Corporate Social Responsibility programs. As the author explains, companies such as Coca Cola and General Electric have elected to instead continue the funding for the CSR programs in an effort to appeal to the interests of the consumer. The Price Value is the prime consideration for most of the consumers these days.

Given the fact that there is really a reduced level of funds in the market, consumers are more wary of how they spend their hard earned dollars. It is no longer enough for companies to simply market their products with the claim that it is better than the next

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brand. There is a recognized need to take it a step higher and appeal to the other needs of the customer. This is exemplified in the example of IBM which has adopted a new corporate slogan of “build(ing) a smarter planet.

” Coca Cola and Clorox have also launched similarly themed campaign ads in an effort to show to the customer that they are more than just a brand but a consciousness that does good. The success of these campaign ads and corporate image restructuring can be explained by the Four Ps; Product, Place, Promotion, Price. The product is made more appealing by the fact that it shows that the company cares. It reveals that the company is not so much interested in turning a profit as it is in doing good deeds and making this world a better place.

Secondly, it tackles the issue of place because it the company is doing these good works in the local community, the consumer is more likely to buy the product due to the involvement factor and proximity. Third, the promotion is easier because most of these social projects involve partnerships with social groups and NGOs that inadvertently or even willingly act as marketing aides to promote the good works of these companies. Finally, the price is justifiable because the proceeds are perceived to go into promoting good. It is because of this that spending on Corporate Social Responsibility projects is justified.

As a whole, the article gave a fresh perspective on marketing. While there has always been an emphasis on CSR projects and programs, reaching out to the customer and allowing them to identify with the company is bold strategy. With the millions of dollars that is spend on advertising, it has taken the loss of billions for companies to realize that the key to success lies in putting the money where it matters. By investing in these programs and creating a brand awareness that the company is doing good works, companies are able to strike a chord with the customers.

It is simply not enough to reformulate items or add new features to existing products. In order to beat the economic downturn, companies should be able to give more to the consumers by giving where it can do the most good. Consumers are wary these days and they are loathe to let go of even the smallest amount. They feel that there is a need for these multinational companies to give back to the consumers that have allowed them to become so successful. By giving back, the company is actually able to earn more because more people will support their items. This is the beauty of promoting good works in bad times.

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