What effect does a brand’s ethics have on its consumers, you ask? Well, ethics can be a potentially powerful source of influence when it comes to consumer and their decisions. So much so that if a brand’s ethical credentials are strong, it can do wonders for its sales and on the other hand, if it gets off on the wrong foot ethically, no matter what it does and where it goes, it will in all likelihood, face the repercussions of it.
Let’s have a look at some brands that are acing ethical marketing:
Japanese brand, stands for self-transformation and the brand truly believes that being healthy is a holistic phenomenon that involves not just being physically healthy, but mentally and emotionally as well. With the dizzying number of western and traditional medicinal options available today, Kensho has partnered with Wiley “the world’s largest academic publisher” to help consumers get more conscious and make better, more informed choices when it comes to their health, creating a “true, trusted home for holistic health”
Warby Parker has an ethical marketing strategy that is both innovative and inclusive. The company does two simple things – offers prescriptions glasses online and donates a pair of glasses for each pair sold. It’s how it does this that makes an even bigger difference. The company puts forth its customers as the program focus and encourages them to make a difference to the lives of the less privileged suffering from an impaired vision. It also shares stories of how its customers are making a difference to the lives of millions – since its inception in 2010, they have managed to distributed 4 million pairs of prescription glasses through their ‘Buy a Pair- Give a Pair’ program. Their emotional, narrative marketing results in the customers feeling more connected to the brand and makes them feel like a part of the brand’s efforts at giving back.
While brands across the world are getting increasingly vocal about ethical issues, there are some that are taking a step ahead and acting out of their values even if it means losing consumers with a different set of values and evoking the wrath of politicians and governments.
American ice cream manufacturer, Ben & Jerry’s released its limited edition ‘Gimme S’more Renewables’ flavour in Australia and sent out tubs of it to prominent politicians in an effort to change their views on climate change. Not for the first time though; previously the brand banned consumers from getting two scoops of the same flavour of ice cream, in an effort to highlight the unfairness of old Australian laws preventing same-sex marriages!
The bottom line is, brands need to take ethics seriously, without seeing it as an isolated issue. In order to stay in tunes with times, it is imperative for brands to understand that ethics are not merely a new social trend to adapt to, rather indicative of a deeper social shift.