The idea behind ethical marketing is booming in business. So much so, 56% of Americans refuse to purchase from a brand they find unethical. Vice versa, 92% of Millennial buyers feel more comfortable purchasing from ethical companies. But what is ethical marketing and how can it benefit your company?
To begin, it’s vital you look at ethical marketing more as a philosophy rather than a strategy. It’s a way in which your company lives in order to not only for the advantage of the consumer but society and the environment alike. Ethical marketing is when you incorporate a variety of factors, such as honesty and trust, into your advertising and develop a worthwhile relationship with your customers.
Ultimately, this philosophy comes down to the moral merit of your company and the values of your consumers. By integrating it into your marketing standards you hold the potential to:
Boost customer retention as trust is a key factor.
Continue to expand your company to consumers looking for a brand to trust.
So, how do companies go about incorporating ethical marketing? What are the strategies you need to take in order to benefit you and your consumer?
Below, we’ve outlined three companies who use ethical marketing as well as offer insight as to how they involve them into their companies.
1. Conscious Coffees
Coffee is a huge industry which has maintained the ability to support the subsistence of around 25 million impoverished people worldwide. It’s also growing at an alarming rate, around a 7% growth each year. Therefore, competition is pushing this business into new directions.
Yet, there’s one important factor that much of the business is desperately trying to avoid. Coffee agriculture is predicted to fall due to the effects of climate change. Many companies are taking note and beginning to develop ethical marketing.
A perfect example of this is Conscious Coffees for they not only implement ethical marketing in their strategies but in their company as a whole. The following are examples of what Conscious Coffees does in order to create an ethical brand:
Use solely fair trade commerce - this is the act of going straight to the farmer to purchase beans (giving them full profit) rather than a middleman.
Incorporates the CAFE Livelihood program as a means of training and giving guidance to coffee business owners.
Makes regular donations. Particularly, to a local Community Cycle program.
Is apart of the Farmer-to-Farmer program.
Obviously, it’s important to make these aspects of your company aware to the consumer. A modern technique Conscious Coffee uses is the incorporation of blogs on their webpage as a means of striking attention. Potentially even from people outside their area.
Still, when it comes to a ethical marketing, Conscious Coffee is a prime example of how to put your efforts in the right direction.
2. Dr. Bronner’s
Emanuel Bronner not only developed an environmentally friendly soap with much potential for ethical marketing. He’s also been a major influence for a variety of activists across the country.
In one example, Bronner’s grandson, David, was prosecuted in 2012 for cultivated hemp near the White House. For those unaware, hemp has become a major cash crop in recent years due to the 2014 Farm Bill. Though Bronner’s grandson can be thanked for taking his own risks, it’s Dr. Bronner’s consumers who took to the streets and protested. Furthering government’s opinion to legalize hemp.
It’s moments like this that ultimately add to a bigger picture. Though your goal is to place a product on the market and sell it to the masses, it’s vital to remember that if you want to incorporate ethical marketing, your product must be apart of a greater movement.
In the example of Conscious Coffee, their goal is to give back to the farmer’s producing the beans. In the example of Dr. Bronner, their company desires to spread what Bronner defines as “the Moral ABCs”.
The company was founded on the idea that it should give back to the world in a variety of ways:
Keeping their product environmentally friendly.
Giving to communities across the world.
Giving to the workers who produce their products.
There’s one simple advertising aspect to TOMS which separates it from other companies - the One for OneⓇ. Promoted on the company’s website and within stores alike is the slogan, “With every product you purchase, TOMS will help a person in need.”
Seeing that, you might wonder, how has TOMS helped other people in need through your purchases?
Well, the company has taken multiple initiatives within impoverished countries and done the following:
Donated over 60,000,000 pairs of shoes to children.
Given over 400,000 pairs of glasses for those without access to proper eye services.
Supported projects which develop clean water for those without access.
Helped over 25,000 women have a safe birth.
There are so few companies putting in this much effort to help areas in need and this is why TOMS stands out to consumers. Furthermore, the company offers vegan options as it’s aware of changing beliefs across the country.
With that in mind, it’s important to mention how politically active a business as such is when developing an ethical marketing practice. They keep aware of what the public desires and what the public’s against. But more than just awareness, they act upon these ideas.
If you’re a start-up company looking to develop a better marketing strategy, there are a variety of ways you can incorporate ethical marketing into your plans. If you’re an already developed company seeking to reach more consumers, now’s the time to incorporate ethical marketing.
Many Millennials solely seek out companies with ethical marketing practices as it makes them feel better as a consumer. It makes them feel as though they’re giving back rather than solely receiving.