Learn how to promote your brand with ethical marketing to make a difference and earn value-based customers’ trust.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many realisations to businesses and consumers alike. One of these realisations is values or ethics. Because of the recent crisis, families became more united, employer-employee relationships were tested, and spending became wiser than before. In short, human values have been greatly challenged. As a result, many brands are now adopting ethical marketing practices as more consumers support values-based businesses.

What is Ethical Marketing?

According to Forrester, ethical marketing refers to:
“The process by which companies market their products and services by focusing not only on how their products benefit customers but also how they benefit socially responsible or environmental causes.”

Why implement Ethical Marketing?

Implementing the right ethical marketing strategies can enhance the customer journey and enable brands to make a difference. Ethical marketing instills trust and loyalty, bringing long-term value to brands. However, companies must consider complex factors to attain success. Brands should be committed and consistent, embedding their core values in all their marketing practices.

A Forrester report shows why and how brands should embrace ethical marketing practices to succeed. Adopting ethical marketing is essential because value-based consumers have high expectations regarding the environmental and social stances of the brands they deal with. Consumers prefer to purchase from companies that stand by their principles and core values instead of the latest trend.

Here is an example from China. The 2021 Forrester data reveals that metropolitan Chinese Progressive Pioneers support value-based brands or companies committing to social justice causes and environmental protection. This most empowered consumer segment gives high regard and loyalty to ethical brands.

Despite many similar products and services, value-based consumers stay with brands that make a big difference. However, businesses should make tough decisions. Heading in the opposite direction while everyone else goes to the same easy path takes a lot of courage, time, and resources. With the right ethical marketing strategies, brands reap the promising rewards of their hard work. Brands that make a difference win more loyal customers.

In addition, value-based consumers support companies that give back. Some examples of these brands that use profits for social good include Toms (which donates a pair of shoes to children for every pair sold) and Marriott (which allows converting points in their rewards programme as donations).

How to implement Ethical Marketing?

Brands should prepare their ethical marketing strategies to attract more customers and build a long-term relationship with them. First, it’s crucial to learn the four elements of ethical marketing: product responsibility, place or channel fairness, promotion with honesty, and price transparency. These elements serve as a foundation for businesses on how to plan their ethical marketing strategies.

Businesses should be able to find genuine answers to the following questions:

  • Why and when do we need to embrace ethical marketing?
  • What makes a product ethical? How do we make our product ethical?
  • Where and how do we source the raw materials to comply with ethical standards?
  • What is the reasonable price of an ethical product that will still give us satisfactory profits?

Brands should focus on one ethical ground at a time to make an impact. It is vital to implement ethical marketing to keep up with consumer demands such as the following areas:

  • Data Privacy
  • Environmental Protection
  • Respect For Country
  • Equality or No Discrimination
  • Children Protection

Ethical marketing is just a part of the vast marketing spectrum. Business owners need to make and stand their principles. Not all ethical marketing decisions will satisfy, balance, and bring business and consumer value. Hence, brands should conduct a cost and benefit analysis with keen consideration to consumer aesthetics (cultural differences), localization (ethical marketing targets and approaches), and compliance (to regulatory requirements).

Brands can make a difference by deploying ethical marketing tactics backed up by careful planning, goals, and technology. The road to success can be long and winding but the rewards are bountiful.