In today’s society is it becoming increasingly more difficult for companies to stay competitive in their industry. Even established brands eventually die out due to growing competition from other companies. Corporations are having a difficult time figuring out a strategy that keeps them at the top of their game. Recently, there has been an increased interest in the strategic value of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility). Corporate advertising is changing dramatically, appealing to consumer’s ethos using the causes that matter most in their lives. It is important for consumers to understand the manipulation that comes along with the CSR strategy. Skepticism about companies’ goals is crucial when making the right consumer decisions. Understanding CSR will help the consumer evaluate the affects of their consumption choices.
CSR currently has no universal definition, but it is commonly agreed that the strategy engages the business brand with a specific societal issue that relates to the company’s field of work. For example a car company might apply their brand with uses of green energy with the automobile. Businesses have noticed the benefits CSR can generate for their company. However, this strategy is most effective when the company commits their entire brand around the particular cause. The Whole Foods Market (WFM) is the perfect example of how the use of the CSR works for a company. To understand how stores like the WFM influence society’s move towards sustainability and healthy living, it is important to look at the stores CSR strategy portrayed through their advertising, such as their website. In my paper I hope to further the conversation about the use of the corporate responsibility strategy for businesses to help themselves and society. When stores market a societal issue, it brings much wealth and attention for the company and the cause. I believe that this strategy is key to further advancing society’s action on the issues we all face today.
Although CSR is gaining attention in the business world, there have been effective and ineffective approaches taken by corporations to the strategy. The idea of corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been around since the 1920s, but did not become known in the business world until the 1950s (Smith 10). In the past two decades CSR moved from “strategically disconnected philanthropic giveaways to an integrated business strategy” (McElhaney 30). Throughout the decades, CSR has been given many definitions between the academic and corporate discourse. Many experts believe there should be a consensus to one main definition, to successfully spread the idea globally and have an impact on society. In his graduate thesis, Richard Smith, presents a new definition for the CSR business strategy. He states “corporate social responsibility is a business system that enables the production and distribution of wealth for the betterment of its stakeholders through the implementation and integration...