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CHOCOLATE CONSUMERS FEELING GUILTY FOR THE WRONG REASONS

This brief case study highlights the risks a company might face if it makes the wrong call in relation to its ethical marketing policies.

The case study discusses the case of Cadbury substituting palm oil for cocoa butter in its chocolate in order to cut cost.

On the one hand Cadbury were trying to build a global ethical platform for its key Dairy Milk brand with Fairtrade certification.

Unfortunately and in the same time they were undoing all their efforts with a scandal involving switching to palm oil as a key ingredient in its flagship (most important) brand.

The discussion of the consumer psychology and behavior processes involved in this paper highlights the complexity of trying to understand consumer behavior in relation to ethical marketing.

In the given paper/case study, while the various psychology and behaviour perspectives were presented in separate sections, in reality of course they all operate together in exerting a powerful influence on consumer reactions. Despite this complexity, what is clear is that the same factors come into play regardless of whether consumers are attracted to an ethical brand or avoiding an unethical one.

With so many organizations now jumping on the CSR bandwagon (trend), companies need to be extremely careful not to be seen as just another pretender. Non genuine ‘Fairtraders’ may well face longer term boycotts and wrath (intense anger) from consumers. Clearly Cadbury NZ needs to monitor this dimension in its brand health tracking surveys.

Assessment problems
:

problem 1: Why do people eat chocolate?

problem 2: What is the relevance of self concept to Marketing?

problem 3: What other strategies have confectionary and food managers used to overcome motivational conflict?

problem 4: Why did consumers seem to get so excited by Cadbury’s use of palm oil when there are so many other manufacturers out there using it?

Recommended points to research

1) What are the adverse effects of palm oil? Any benefits?

2) CSR and Fair-trade?

3) Find about the self-concept and consumer behavior?

4) Motivation and Maslow

5) Why Consumers feel guilty for the wrong reasons. 

Self Concept:

Self-concept refers to an individual's perception of "self" in relation to any number of characteristics, such as gender roles and sexuality and racial identity.

It is an internal model which comprises self-assessments. Features assessed include but are not limited to: personality, skills and abilities, occupation(s) and hobbies, physical characteristics, etc.

For ex, the statement "I am lazy" is a self-assessment that contributes to the self-concept. However, the statement "I am tired" would not be part of someone's self-concept, since being tired is a temporary state and a more objective judgment. A person's self-concept may change with time as reassessment occurs, which in extreme cases can lead to identity crises.

Another model of self-concept contains three parts: self-esteem, stability, and self-efficacy (self confidence). Self-esteem is the "evaluative" component—it is where one makes judgments about his or her self-worth. Stability refers to the organization and continuity of one's self-concept. Is it constantly in flux? Can singular, relatively trivial events drastically affect your self-esteem? The third element, self-efficacy, is best describeed as self-confidence. It is specifically connected with one's abilities, unlike self-esteem.

Solomon 1999, states that self concept represents a belief that a person holds about his/her attributes, therefore this impacts on how he/she evaluates those qualities.

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