level.123 In order to reach this goal, it has been decided that CSR coordinators are to be appointed in all stores by January 1st 2009124. These in turn should ensure that every department has a contact person for CSR initiatives.125 This constitutes an important issue as, if co-workers feel that IKEA is responsible and are proud of being part of the company, this feeling can be conveyed to more customers.126 Furthermore, Åsa Fredriksson (CSR coordinator at Barkarby store) sees that especially young employees derive great satisfaction and feel good about being involved in local projects, regardless of IKEA’s initiating role in these projects. To improve the internal CSR communication, an integrated internal communication channel is supposedly in the planning stages127.
4.7.2 External marketing communication The prime components of IKEA’s general marketing mix are: advertising, IKEA Family Club and
magazine, the IKEA catalogue, stores, its product range and low prices and the web site. Standard advertising only represents 5 % of the overall marketing mix.128 IKEA does not want to make CSR a substantial part of its marketing, but would rather external partners communicate the joint projects as it does not want to “brag” about their CSR successes.129 The risk of CSR communication being perceived as “green-wash”130 or “marketing gimmick”131 is also a factor in this tacit approach132. The partnerships with NGOs are meant to be communicated by the NGOs themselves, offering legitimacy by association.133 In its relationships with NGOs, IKEA claims to be very interested in interaction in order to learn from them, especially when it comes to their dialogue partner Greenpeace, who is not afraid to state its negative opinions.134 However, IKEA notes that NGOs are idealistic in their perspective on CSR, forgetting that “IKEA is still in the business to make money”.135 IKEA136 does not label its donations of proceeds of soft toys going to UNICEF projects as cause-related marketing; however, UNICEF uses this term when it comes to these joint projects. Nevertheless, this project constitutes only a drop in the ocean amongst all IKEA’s CSR projects; thus it cannot be said that IKEA engages in cause-related marketing to any great extent. Nevertheless, this project was mentioned as one of the most obvious and well-known examples of IKEA’s CSR commitment by all of the interviewees at IKEA.
4.7.3 Brand Many of the interviewees mention how important CSR is for sustaining IKEA’s “good” brand137. CSR
is important to the IKEA brand for several reasons, one being the protection of the brand. IKEA’s CSR efforts have also been very important for risk management, as these have enabled the company to defend its position and its brand in lieu of a crisis.138 CSR also serves as an enhancement of the
123 124 125 126 127 128 129 130 131 132 133 134 135 136 137 138
Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13, Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10. Interview, Fredriksson, Å., 2008-11-10, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Stål, Å., 2008-05-13, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Bergmark, T., 2008-05-26. Interview, Ahlgren, K., 2008-10-27. Interview, Bergmark, T., 2008-05-26, Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05, Interview Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Stål, E., 2008-05-13. Interview, Gylhenius, A., 2008-11-10. Interview, Hrdlickova, I., 2008-11-23. http://www.ikea.com/ms/sv_SE/about_ikea_new/our_responsibility/partnerships/unicef.html. Interview, Koerfer, S., 2008-10-22. Interview, Heidenmark-Cook, P., 2008-12-05, Interview, Gylhenius, A., 2008-11-10.