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Importance of cause-related marketing on consumer behaviour and brand consciousness: a University of KwaZulu-Natal student perspective.

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The study focuses on the impact of cause-related marketing (CRM) on consumer behaviour and brand consciousness from a UKZN student perspective. The study aims to uncover the effect of CRM on consumer attitudes towards brands, as well as whether or not CRM influences purchase decisions. Additionally, the study aims to determine whether or not CRM enhances the image of brands, creates brand awareness and encourages brand trial. Furthermore, the study aims to uncover whether or not consumers would consider switching to a brand that is affiliated to a CRM initiative, given price and quality were inconsequential to their purchase decisions. The study also aims to uncover the effectiveness of CRM in building and maintaining brand loyalty, as well as the influence of brand communication on social media on purchase decisions. Lastly, the study will determine what influence word-of-mouth (WOM) and electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) have on UKZN students’ purchase decisions of brands that support certain causes. A sample of 261 students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Westville Campus were drawn using the convenience sampling technique. The data was collected through questionnaires, which were analysed accordingly using descriptive and inferential statistics. The results of the study show that there is a significant positive relationship between CRM on students’ attitudes towards brands, the influence on their purchase decisions, their perceptions of brand image, their awareness of brands and brand trial and their brand switching behaviour. The results of the study show that CRM is effective in building brand loyalty and that social media brand communication, as well as WOM and eWOM about CRM initiatives have an influence on UKZN students’ purchase decisions of brands that support causes. Recommendations from the results of the study provide insights into how marketers can adopt creative strategies that may provide companies with a competitive advantage for successfully implementing cause-related marketing initiatives.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.