The way in which companies do business has changed in the last two decades. Our capitalist and consumption-based society seldom look at ethics when we want a product or service. We believe in highlighting our product with flashy, neon signs that blink every second, urging people to buy.
As a result, the following things happen:
- We consume a lot of that product or service
- We end up buying things we never needed in the first place
- We buy things that were produced ‘unethically’ by harming the environment
It is quite clear that many companies in this era will hardly make any effort to become synonymous with ‘ethical’ or ‘sustainable,’ but some of us have started raising voice.
If we do not look into ethical branding or a sustainable way to do business, the situation will raise an inevitable question: are all brands harmful to society? Should these be stopped?
There are brands in all walks of life, and in every field, there are some companies who are now shifting to ethical branding.
Ethical branding refers to the brands that are created by people who truly care about the impact on society. It includes the laws, legislation, environment and us humans as a top priority. An ethical brand will never put competitive advantage or temporary success over the betterment of the society and environment.
The consumers want you to be more ethical:
In the coming months, you will notice a spike in demand for more ethical branding. The consumers are on the receiving end of your service, and they are demanding to put an end to unfair branding. Innovation should be very important to your company, but it should not put a dent in the surroundings.
Due to many factors in the past year, consumers are now voicing their opinions over ethical branding. WE Communications surveyed in partnership with YouGov. The survey revealed these alarming insights from consumers:
- 97 percent of consumers expected the companies to use technology ethically while maintaining innovation
- Rational and emotional drivers play their part when consumers are making buying choices, so it also motivates them to look at the sociopolitical situation
- 84 percent of respondents feared that their data is not secure anymore
- 54 percent of respondents were afraid of losing their jobs to artificial intelligence
- 67 percent of buyers were afraid of being left a pedestrian if they didn’t buy autonomous cars
- 94 percent of respondents believe that the government should intervene if a brand is not being ethical
The customer can ignore you if you are not ethical:
Apart from the fears that drive the consumer away from your brand, other forces come into play. Global issues like political unrest and data theft are a big fear for any customer. Brands will have to work hard now if they want customers. They have to portray the image of a responsible entity in the business world.
If you want to earn loyal customers and need a breakthrough, work hard on becoming an ethical business. Be clear about what you provide your customers, how you will manage it and what will be the consequences.
This is not an impossible feat if the CEOs and CFOs of brands pay more attention to accountability. They need to examine the current sociopolitical situation and potential factors that may affect the customer’s buying decision.
This requires courage. It is not easy to break free from years of the usual drill and become a pioneer of ethics. Most people will laugh at you at first, but in the coming year, you will see that you made the right decision. Be innovative and work with people to change the way business is done on a global level.
Examples of ethical brands:
With the rising demand for being ethical and conscientious, these companies have already joined the movement for a better tomorrow:
People love their TOMS. What we don’t know is the story behind TOMS. It was created by Blake Mycoskie on his trip to Argentina where he saw people without shoes. He couldn’t believe some people didn’t have shoes!
TOMS came into being with the mission to give. TOMS shoes have donated millions of shoes to children around the world, and their eyewear has been donated to visually impaired people who don’t have access to healthcare. This is a perfect example of ethical branding. Learn more about TOMS the brand.
It is no doubt that solar power has been incorporated into many operations around the globe. People and companies opt for solar power to reduce the waste we create in the world. Scoop Solar is a company that takes this mission to another level by turning these solar installations to work in a more automated way.
The scoop.solar brand abides by ethics and urges their partners to look for a reduction in cost and increase in quality through automation and streamlining the operations. They also promote the following values in their customers and partners:
Communication should never cease between two parties doing business. It is unethical to do so when you are working with someone. Fluent communication enables the flow of more ideas and builds the foundation of a good working environment
You must have access to the relevant data if you are doing business with someone or writing down a pitch. Scoop.solar has started the trend of data security and data management to save the customer from the worry of data theft. It is a great example of a responsible brand.
The company does not sell a ‘one size fits all’ plan to people. They do not lie or deceive the customer, rather, build a partnership with customers to grow together in the solar power business.
Raise your values high:
Ethical branding might become the marketing buzzword in the future, but for now, it is the need of the hour. It requires you to have an in-depth knowledge of your niche and the power to change things around. You do everything a usual business does but in a socially responsible way.
The example of companies quoted above is just a little inspiration for you to become a more responsible business entity. This way, you will be able to promote the true value of your work which will sustain for years.