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When businesses take a stand

A thesis on brand activism presented at Ca’ Foscari

Companies whose commitment extends far beyond what they produce. Companies that have made activism within society and the local area their raison d’être, or simply the main tool of their commercial operations. The topic is an important one and little explored in the literature dealing with business management. And yet it is worth trying to understand it better. This thought is behind Camilla Francescon’s research work, which became a thesis discussed at Venice’s Ca’ Foscari university entitled Brand Activism nel settore agroalimentare. Un’analisi del contesto italiano (Brand Activism in the Agri-Food Sector. An Analysis of the Italian Context).
Specifically, she looks at a well-defined model of action – brand activism – which consists of the behaviour of companies with well-defined brands that, as Francescon herself explains, decide to take a stand on relevant social, political, economic or environmental problems affecting society, going beyond the achievement of financial goals (which are also often put in the shade).
Her research begins with a lucid framing of the model she is analysing, focusing on its origin, evolution and its range of possible expressions. Further exploration is then dedicated to the agri-food sector in general – and the Italian sector in particular. On the subject of the agri-food business, some major topics straddled by brand activism, such as environmental and social sustainability, as well as information transparency, are then looked at. The development of Francescon’s theory is also enriched by a series of interviews conducted within agri-food companies of different sizes, all of whom, however, are significant. They include Sgambaro (a mill and pasta factory), Bauli (confectionery), Melinda (fruit), Lattebusche (dairy), Pedon (horticultural products), Rigone di Asiago (jams), Molino Rossetto (a mill and pasta factory) and Morato (a bakery).
Brand activism, therefore, is positioned as a new and in any case original form of a corporate culture that evolves, changes and becomes more entrenched in the social environment it operates in, aware of its responsibility but also of the risks it takes in moving from “simple” production to something broader and more complex.

Brand Activism nel settore agroalimentare. Un’analisi del contesto italiano (Brand Activism in the Agri-Food Sector. An Analysis of the Italian Context)
Camilla Francescon
Thesis, Ca’ Foscari University, Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communication, 2023

A thesis on brand activism presented at Ca’ Foscari

Companies whose commitment extends far beyond what they produce. Companies that have made activism within society and the local area their raison d’être, or simply the main tool of their commercial operations. The topic is an important one and little explored in the literature dealing with business management. And yet it is worth trying to understand it better. This thought is behind Camilla Francescon’s research work, which became a thesis discussed at Venice’s Ca’ Foscari university entitled Brand Activism nel settore agroalimentare. Un’analisi del contesto italiano (Brand Activism in the Agri-Food Sector. An Analysis of the Italian Context).
Specifically, she looks at a well-defined model of action – brand activism – which consists of the behaviour of companies with well-defined brands that, as Francescon herself explains, decide to take a stand on relevant social, political, economic or environmental problems affecting society, going beyond the achievement of financial goals (which are also often put in the shade).
Her research begins with a lucid framing of the model she is analysing, focusing on its origin, evolution and its range of possible expressions. Further exploration is then dedicated to the agri-food sector in general – and the Italian sector in particular. On the subject of the agri-food business, some major topics straddled by brand activism, such as environmental and social sustainability, as well as information transparency, are then looked at. The development of Francescon’s theory is also enriched by a series of interviews conducted within agri-food companies of different sizes, all of whom, however, are significant. They include Sgambaro (a mill and pasta factory), Bauli (confectionery), Melinda (fruit), Lattebusche (dairy), Pedon (horticultural products), Rigone di Asiago (jams), Molino Rossetto (a mill and pasta factory) and Morato (a bakery).
Brand activism, therefore, is positioned as a new and in any case original form of a corporate culture that evolves, changes and becomes more entrenched in the social environment it operates in, aware of its responsibility but also of the risks it takes in moving from “simple” production to something broader and more complex.

Brand Activism nel settore agroalimentare. Un’analisi del contesto italiano (Brand Activism in the Agri-Food Sector. An Analysis of the Italian Context)
Camilla Francescon
Thesis, Ca’ Foscari University, Master’s Degree in Marketing and Communication, 2023