By Ya LIN
At the early 20th century, western scholars proposed the view of corporate social responsibility, which aims at doing good deeds for society and consumers.
After improving and practicing around one century, Corporate social responsibility is given more meanings, CSR strategies encourage the company to make a positive impact on the environment and stakeholders including consumers, employees, investors, communities, and others.1 Companies now focus more on humanism, sustainable development, and business ethics Companies can also improve competitiveness and consumers perception by taking social responsibilities.
Over the decade 2010-2020, Nestlé (the parent company of Nescafé) invests CHF 350 million to set up a Nescafé plan, which aims at making efforts to coffee planting, coffee production, and coffee supply in more than 10 countries around the world. Nescafé implement the plan mainly by 4 ways: training farmers on techniques, visit coffee planting area, purchasing coffee from farmers and distribute high-yield disease-resistant coffee plantlet. 2
From the Nescafé plan, Nestlé not only strengthens the communication of the coffee industry but also pave his way with the sustainable development strategy.
For the society, Nescafé plan is dedicated to improve the productivity of coffee production and decrease the cost of coffee production. Meanwhile, high productivity production can help to use less pesticide, conserve water, and avoid causing pollution. It also can reflect the sustainable development strategy of Nescafé.
For Nescafé itself, the company gets a great return from its initial investment. It strengthens the influence of Nescafé in the countries who implement the plan. It also optimizes its coffee supply chain instantly, Nescafé can purchase the coffee beans the nearest to avoid the freight charges.
In 1929, we all know the CEO of Nestlé was entrusted to sell the glut of coffee stocks by the Banque Française et Italienne pour l’Amérique du Sud, then “Soluble Coffee” came out for the easier storage. The initial idea of Nescafé soluble coffee is avoiding waste, solving the problem that supply exceeds demand and preserving the original taste of coffee beans.
Over the years, Nescafé never changes its mind. It uses the eco glass packaging which consists mainly of sand and adding recycled glass to the mix, in order to save the glass, water, energy and reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Nescafé always keeps its promises to society, slow the footprint to nature and committed to sustainable development related to his brand strategy.
Starbucks humanized management
In the part of the corporate social responsibility, Starbucks pays a great attention to the humanized management of employees. Starbucks has “Starbucks Bean Stock”, “Medical Insurance”, “Starbucks College Achievement plan” and lots of internal perks，which show us the humanism of Starbucks, it aims at creating a warm cultural and team belonging to employees, as well as giving a better working experience.
In Starbucks, human rights are highly valued, employees were called partners. Every partner who worked more than 360 hours for one year will have the opportunity to own the bean stocks. This investment is a successful activity, it shows us that Starbucks appreciate and respect the efforts of every partner.
Besides, Starbucks offers eligible partners the opportunity to earn a bachelor degree with 100% tuition coverage. Starbucks also has a CUP fund which is used to provide financial assistant to partners when they are in urgent situations. Starbucks offers partners the choice of multiple coverage levels for medical.3 In 2017, in order to redeem the negative effects of “Race Together” in the Chinese market, Starbucks launched the “China Parent Care Program”, which let them fight a beautiful comeback.
Starbucks also contribute to the unemployment issue. Starbucks provides career opportunities for veterans since 2013. it is a win-win policy, veterans have a higher overall quality, they are more persistence and organized, that helps Starbucks get the excellent human resources, as well as a good reputation in society. Another big surprise was Starbucks decided to hire refugees, Although Howard Schultz (CEO of Starbucks) admitted that it is one resistance for “Muslim Ban”, Leaving the political factors aside, hiring refugees still have its social meaning, it helps refugees increase their income and improve their living conditions.
Otherwise, Starbucks maintain strategic cooperation with lots of public welfares. Starbucks sets up a global network of farmer support centers in order to promote the development of the coffee economy.
Though the humanized brand strategies, Starbucks built one humanistic brand image in the consumer perceptions. Consumers are willing to choose one brand who take care of employees and contribute to society.
McCafé focus on consumers
The way that McCafé bear the social responsibility seems very different from the previous two companies. When Nescafé and Starbucks focus more on society and humanitarianism, McCafé focuses on customer experience and business ethics. They want to convey to consumers that they are not one profit-driven company, they are one company who want to make life easier for the people.
In order to enrich the customer experience, McCafé enriches its product line constantly. They have more choices on fresh and hot snacks which can match to the elaborate coffee. Besides, they have a simple ordering system and low-level prices which related to their business ethics.
At the beginning of 2018, in order to make convenience and have better services to consumers, McCafé expanded its retail presence by partnering with the Coca-Cola company to introduce a line of ready-to-drink McCafé Frappe beverages in three flavors.4 McCafé wants to keep the original taste, as well as transmit its specific cultural value to customers. McCafé also wants to develop ready-to-drink market as one of its core competitiveness.
In addition, McCafé had a big change in 2018, from the logo, packaging to machine, techniques, in order to catch the taste of their customers and offer the highest quality coffee for customers.
Besides, when McCafé designed the packaging of coffees or snacks, the environmental protection is always one of the best considering factors.
McCafé is still on the way to win the trust and approval from consumers, they want to create one brand image that they care about consumers and always takes the social responsibilities.
Different strategy in social responsibility
In recent years, some business magazines such as “Fortune” and “Forbes”, consider corporate social responsibility as one of the evaluation criteria. Every company gains his own specific competitiveness by different brand strategies related to social responsibility.
For the company, social responsibility requires that they should safeguard the dignity and welfare of employees. For society, social responsibility require that companies should play a positive role in public.
Consumers nowadays pay more attention to the social environment. If one company have a high sense of social responsibility, they will be identified by consumers, as well as increase brand influence and expand brand awareness.
In order to have more competitiveness, companies measure the different brand strategies which related to social responsibility. From the 3 brands above, Nescafe focuses more on sustainable development, Starbucks focus more on employees, and McCafé focuses more on consumer experiences. By taking social responsibilities, companies can get an exclusive brand effect that they cannot obtain by advertising.