Systembolaget’s social marketing
: A case study on Systembolaget from a consumer and employee perspective

  • Andreas Karlsson
  • Oscar Karlsson

Student thesis: Bachelor


During the 2000s, sustainability and corporate social responsibility have become increasingly popular. Sustainability is commonly used in the sin industry in the form of social marketing to justify the harmful products it produces and serves. One state-owned enterprise in the sin industry that uses social marketing is Systembolaget. The purpose of our study is to understand how consumers perceive Systembolaget's social marketing. The sub purpose is to understand how the employees at Systembolaget experience selling harmful products and how they perceive Systembolaget's social marketing. A conceptual model was created based on previous literature on social marketing and decoupling. Two consumer focus groups and two employee interviews were used to collect the empirical data. The findings led to six new insights. First, consumers' perception of Systembolaget’s social marketing was positive. Second, employees' perception of Systembolaget’s social marketing was also positive but for different reasons. Third, consumers thought that it was their responsibility when purchasing alcohol and they trust Systembolaget’s employees. Fourth, the employees thought that selling harmful products did not bother them directly because it was just a job. Fifth, it was shown that some consumers felt a dilemma when Systembolaget’s social marketing is different from the in-store practices. Last, Systembolaget does not decouple but there are indications of market-based decoupling. The thesis contributes to social marketing within the sin industry by showing consumer’s perspective on social marketing. It also shows how sin industry employees are impacted by the sin industry.
Date of Award2022-Jun
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorKarin Alm (Supervisor), Lisa Källström (Assessor) & Heléne Tjärnemo (Examiner)

Educational program

  • Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics

Courses and Subjects

  • International business and marketing

University credits

  • 15 HE credits

Swedish Standard Keywords

  • Business Administration (50202)


  • Sin industry
  • Social Marketing
  • Systembolaget
  • Decoupling
  • Six benchmark criteria theory
  • Upstream social marketing
  • Downstream social marketing

Cite this