Being on the human resources side of the company Cicio emphasizes the power of

Being on the human resources side of the company

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the costs involved with CSR strategies. Being on the human resources side of the company, Cicio emphasizes the power of connecting with people. Internally, Cicio focuses on recruiting and retaining employees through educating them on the company’s mission of promoting healthy food (Marquis et al., 2011). Externally, this works by retaining and attracting consumers that see the company’s focus is on making individuals healthier. Cicio is correct to believe that corporations who focus on communicating sustainability efforts can attract and retain customers. He also is correct when understanding that sustainability does not have an automatic return on investment. His strategy of implementing a public CSR campaign on a small scale is one that is feasible. It allows for the campaign to be present, without making a large initial investment. Although difficult to measure, it would also allow the company to measure these CSR strategies in a live environment. Coming from a nonprofit background and being the only full time dedicated employee at Dannon to CSR, Gayle Binney, manager of CSR, has a unique perspective on the strategy. Binney understands the strides the company has made from their CSR perspective and is comfortable with the amount of transparency the company has allowed to the public on this matter. She understands that the company could have done more to advertise these efforts, but she wants it to be known that these efforts are an internal mission of the company, not a publicity stunt. Binney also believes that an advertising strategy around these missions might not tell the full story of the effort that is involved (Marquis et al., 2011).
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Binney’s beliefs are admirable and prove that she is committed to sustainability and not corporate greed. Their strategy does not allow financials and public image to affect the company’s mission of creating a better environment. This helps debunk any “green washing” and “pink washing” that critics might challenge Dannon on. Binney stated that the major con to a CSR advertising campaign would be aligning it with one put out by Danone. If Dannon created one, Danone would need to as well, and connections between the two must be made. This would cost time and resources (Marquis et al., 2011). This case does not suggest that a unanimous consensus has been reached. When interviewing executive leaders at Dannon, Neuwirth received both favorable and unfavorable responses about advertising Dannon’s CSR, and even the favorable responses came with a lot of concerns. After compiling the information from each interview, Neuwirth stated that he was even more confused about whether or not to propose this CSR marketing strategy at the last executive committee meeting of the year, as strong arguments were made from the executives for both sides (Marquis et al., 2011). In most business decisions, a unanimous consensus is never reached.
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