Product-Cause Fit occurs when consumers perceive a natural association between a cause and a company’s products, services, or mission. For instance, it would be natural for a pet store to host stray-adoption events. Similarly, it would be natural for an auto insurance company to promote free safe-driving resources for teenage drivers.
This research provides a basis for understanding how the content of media coverage about CSR activities relates to the fit between these CSR activities and the organizations’ core activities. 513 news articles about organizations’ CSR activities were analyzed. The results reveal that while CSR fit does not influence tone, it does partly impact the framing of the media coverage, as CSR fit leads to a positive framing of organizations and their CSR activities. However, vice versa, CSR misfit does not necessarily lead to a negative representation of organizations and their CSR in the media coverage.
One field and one laboratory experiment show that customers are more likely to buy a conventional over a green product when the former is bundled with a campaign that is offsetting an unrelated problem rather than a problem caused
by the product – unless the donation offsets the specific damage caused by the customers’ own consumption.
Consumers are more likely to donate and respond favorably toward the provider when practical services and frivolous goods are paired with causes perceived to have a strong functional fit. Conversely, consumers are more likely to donate and respond favorably toward the provider when frivolous services and practical goods are paired with causes perceived to have a weak functional fit.