Can Ethics Be Used to Develop Effective Brands - Research Proposal Example

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The author of the following research proposal will attempt to evaluate and present information concerning the topic “Can ethics be used to develop effective brands” that will use Butlers Chocolates (2013) of Dublin Ireland as the subject company…
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Download file to see previous pages Butlers Chocolates is a family-owned company that has been in business for 81 years and employs over 250 people (Butlers Chocolates, 2013). It is located in over 35 countries and sold in 50 airports throughout the world (Butlers Chocolates, 2013). Butlers Chocolates makes luxury chocolates in the handcrafted tradition which are attractively packaged using high-end materials and design (Longman, 2011). The company’s products are positioned in high-end specialty stores internationally along with company-owned outlets (Longman, 2011). Products are priced affordably at $15 to $30 in packages that are part of their extremely broad assortment of confectionary items (Mostly Chocolate, 2012). In terms of market positioning, it needs to be understood that luxury items carry a higher level of expectations on the part of consumers (Vickers and Renand, 2003). The heightened degree of competition and scrutiny that accompany a luxury product means consumers pay more attention to the manner the company conducts all phases of its business (Knox, 2004). In terms of branding, it needs to be remembered the approach a company takes to conducting varied branding components (identity, image, equity, awareness, and other brand elements) are held to a higher standard and tend to be scrutinized more (Beverland and Farrelly, 2010). It needs to be remembered that companies which failed to align their ethical principles with branding have seen negative repercussions (Page and Fearn, 2005). The problems that result from missteps in terms of ethical issues that are not aligned with branding efforts is indicative of problems within the leadership and culture of a company (Werther and Chandler, 2005). Blockbuster in the United States suffered negative backlash over its late fee policies that were not honored in all stores despite this representing a part of its branding differentiation (Duncan, 2005). Dasani, a division of Coca-Cola, is another example of misaligned branding and ethics (Dupree, 2007). The brand advertised and promoted itself as ‘pure bottled water’ when in Britain it used treated tap water (Christopher and Gaudenzi, 2009). The ethical issues in terms of how the company approaches the varied facets of branding (identity, image, strategies, trust, and other elements) (Balmer and Greyser, 2006) are important in terms of a company meeting and keeping its promise to consumers. This represents product value, satisfying consumer expectations and adhering to the principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This area (CSR) has become an important aspect of corporate operations as it embodies conscience, citizenship and responsible business practices (Lindgreen and Swaen, 2010). In terms of the research problem, it is stated as ‘how does adherence to ethics aid in the development of effective brands’. Whilst this is highly similar to the topic heading, the difference lies in that fact the underpinnings of the topic has been changed to a statement that reflects the fact that ethics are a part of an effective brand. This is a result of the fact that corporate social responsibility has become inculcated as a recognized facet of corporate operations that represent the aforementioned corporate conscience, citizenship and responsible business practices (Lindgreen and Swaen, 2010). The number of corporate scandals concerning ethical principles has become a regular occurrence (Carroll and Buchholtz, 2011). ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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