The impact of corporate social responsibility on customer attitudes and retention: The moderating role of brand success indicators

Jenny van Doorn*, Marjolijn Onrust, Pieter Verhoef, M.S. Bügel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
597 Downloads (Pure)


Although many studies report positive effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on customer attitudes, recent literature shows that the effectiveness of CSR initiatives critically varies among consumers, brands, and companies. Using 1375 customer responses about 93 brands in 18 industries, we examine how perceived CSR relates to customer attitudes and actual retention 2 years later, and specifically how this relationship may be contingent on brand characteristics. Our results indicate that perceived CSR can indeed compensate for the absence of a strong brand or smaller advertising budgets, but not for lack of innovativeness. Companies that simultaneously do good and innovate are rewarded with more positive customer attitudes and higher levels of customer retention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-619
Number of pages13
JournalMarketing Letters
Issue number4
Early online date28-Jul-2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec-2017

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