Corporate Social Responsibility and Brand Value in Luxury
One of the most important assets that luxury firms have is brand value, an intangible asset influenced by consumer and company-led actions. CSR is a company-led action, which depending on how it is managed, can either increase or decrease brand value. This research explores the role of CSR within luxury and how it, together with other factors, contributes to brand value in luxury. To conduct this work, a mixed methods approach was selected. A theoretical framework was built with input from the literature and interviews with key interviewees from the luxury industry. Then, the theoretical framework was tested quantitatively. The quantitative analysis was conducted with a dataset based on consumer panels, and additional secondary data including Bloomberg, CSRHub, Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), Interbrand, and company reports. The results were subject to ‘credibility checks’ with interviewees from the industry. The results from this research suggest that despite the importance of brand value within luxury; brand value is not widely understood by the industry and it is not measured, managed or leveraged. This research also suggests that CSR, company size, having controlled distribution, country of origin, marketing and research and development (R&D)/design, energized differentiation, esteem, and relevance; are critical factors to brand value. Consequently, luxury brands need to manage all these determinants to be able to create and preserve brand value. Nevertheless, while all these determinants are important, their importance can vary by brand; depending on brand size, brand category, target market, and whether the brand is heritage or non-heritage.