Page 2: Interacting with stakeholders
Stakeholder engagement, building two-way relationships with its stakeholders, is a key aim for Kellogg’s. Two-way relationships help build trust between Kellogg’s and its stakeholders. Each stakeholder group has different needs. Engaging with each group individually helps Kellogg’s ensure these needs are met. As with any business, its owners are a major stakeholder group. However, Kellogg’s does not focus on pleasing shareholders at the expense of other stakeholders.
Kellogg’s uses a variety of strategies to maintain positive relationships with its stakeholders. For example, Kellogg’s commitment to its stakeholders and ethical practices is demonstrated through its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives. CSR focuses on improving the lives of communities in which the organisation operates. Kellogg’s has identified four pillars to its Corporate Responsibility strategy:
- Marketplace ambition - meeting the needs of customers. Selling them safe, high quality products whilst engaging in ethical and responsible marketing.
- Environment ambition - using scarce resources carefully whilst also reducing environmental impacts and supporting sustainable agriculture.
- Community ambition - contributing to the communities in which the company operates, concentrating on nutrition and physical fitness.
- Workplace ambition - supporting a talented and diverse workforce which values diversity and inclusion, abiding by best practice labour standards.
Kellogg’s focuses its CSR activity on initiatives that benefit stakeholders across these pillars. For example, Kellogg’s Breakfasts for Better Days campaign communicates important information about the benefits of starting the day with a healthy breakfast. It engages stakeholders across three of these pillars – customers, suppliers that provide the ingredients so Kellogg’s can guarantee the nutritional content of its products and also the communities in which it operates where the campaign’s messages are communicated. A key part of the campaign is Kellogg’s support for school breakfast clubs to ensure that every child in the UK gets a good start to the day.
An important part of managing the needs of stakeholders is understanding that different stakeholder groups can sometimes have conflicting interests. It is therefore essential for Kellogg’s to consider how it can best balance different stakeholder aspirations. Examples of conflicting stakeholder needs include:
- Government requirements for food content and consumer preferences. Kellogg’s recently changed the formula of Honey Loops to reduce the sugar content but this had an impact on consumer’s perceptions of the brand.
- Different interests of charity groups requesting Kellogg’s support. Kellogg’s current CR strategy focuses on breakfast clubs for children so conflict will occur when charities supporting other causes cannot be a focus for Kellogg’s at this time.