Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2010 (Revised September 2011)

The Dannon Company: Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility (A)

by Christopher Marquis, Pooja Mehta Shah, Amanda Elizabeth Tolleson and Bobbi Thomason

Abstract

At the end of 2009, The Dannon Company was considering pro actively communicating its CSR efforts to consumers. With the strong connection between Dannon's production of health foods and its commitment to health and nutrition-based CSR activities, communicating these activities to consumers could enhance the company's success, but risked tainting its deeply ingrained CSR as a marketing ploy. Dannon wanted to maintain its holistic approach to social responsibility and commitment to social values. Dannon's CSR focused on three areas: Nutrition and Health, People and Nature. The case follows the perspectives of various stakeholders within the organization, including members of the Marketing, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs departments. Some of the specific questions examined are: Should we communicate Dannon's CSR activities? What would be the best means to do so? Should it be a corporate or brand level campaign? How would the parent company, Danone, respond? Can CSR remain sincere when being leveraged for PR purposes?

Keywords: Decision Choices and Conditions; Nutrition; Marketing Communications; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Business and Stakeholder Relations; Risk and Uncertainty; Natural Environment; Food and Beverage Industry;

Citation:

Marquis, Christopher, Pooja Mehta Shah, Amanda Elizabeth Tolleson, and Bobbi Thomason. "The Dannon Company: Marketing and Corporate Social Responsibility (A)." Harvard Business School Case 410-121, April 2010. (Revised September 2011.)