CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY AS A STRATEGIC INDICATOR OF CONSUMER LOYALTY IN THE NATIONAL ECONOMY
Keywords:corporate social responsibility, consumer loyalty, company image
The article provides insights into the concept of corporate social responsibility. The key factors and incentives that encourage entrepreneurs to undertake activities to enhance the level of corporate social responsibility have been identified. The study discusses the key advantages of corporate social responsibility which contribute to the increase in financial performance, enhance company reputation and consumer loyalty, increase sales, reduce staff turnover and foster motivation in the workplace. The relevance of the research is underpinned by the need to substantiate the following aspects: a loyal customer is a consistent source of revenue over the years, based on the customer’s priority choice of a certain company and its affection to a brand; loyalty is an indicator to be statistically processed, thus requiring more active use of mathematical tools to analyze repurchases and the factors that shape buying preferences in favor of a particular company, since there is always profound data analysis on customer loyalty behind the process of building any concept, which effectiveness evaluation is often being questioned. Traditionally, loyalty is understood as consumer satisfaction which is from our perspective a mistake. The difference between satisfaction and loyalty provoked some contradictory interpretations by some of the authors. Given the above, the article explores the existing loyalty definitions which by their nature cover various aspects of the concept. The findings reveal that loyalty can manifest itself at different levels: at the level of the environment; at the level of behavior; at the level of ability; at the level of belief; at the level of values and at the identity level. It has been reasoned that within the context of the national economy, loyalty as a strategic indicator is achieved if a number of conditions are met, i.e.: a consumer should perceive a strong advantage of a certain brand against other competitors; have a desire to repurchase and continue to buy goods of a particular company; the consumer should have a sense of satisfaction with a certain brand. Thus, corporate social responsibility, as an indicator of loyalty, envisages long-term and mutually beneficial relationships between a company and a client which contribute to improving the company's image.