Ethical marketing essentially does what it says on the tin, it is when companies not only advertise the benefits their products have for the customer but also the positive social or environmental impact. Ethical marketing should be:
Customers are changing, these factors and social and environmental responsibility have become top of the list for the Tech Generations when it comes to choosing products. Studies show that 91% of Millennials are more likely to buy products from ethical companies and Gen Z is interested in racial, gender and income equality, as well as environmental issues. Companies now need to connect with their customers through shared values not only through the products themselves.
In this blog, we will be looking at some of the companies successfully leading the way in terms of ethical marketing.
This cosmetic retail giant has made its name through having social and environmental campaigns at it’s heart. Whilst the recent ‘Spy Cops’ campaign has caused controversy, Lush’s commitment to inciting change is what makes it such a well known brand (that, and it smells divine!). Products are 100% veggie and non-animal tested, facts that are advertised boldly over all their products and ad campaigns. They use their LUSH PLAYER (a forum of TV clips and podcasts) to educate their consumers on a variety of social issues, including the issue of the build-up of plastic waste in the world’s oceans. To raise awareness of this they opened their first naked store in Milan (products with no packaging) to coincide with World Oceans Day on the 8th of June. By raising awareness for these causes they are also very cleverly marketing themselves and their brand message.
This year LEGO will be launching it’s first range of sustainable bricks (‘botanical’ elements) made from plastic sourced from sugarcane. Partnering with WWF the range, made up of trees, leaves and bushes this is part of LEGO’s ambition to “make a positive impact on the world around us”. This runs alongside what they call their ‘Responsibility Ambitions’ which are highlighted on their website. As a toy manufacturer, they use fun interactive campaigns such as the LEGO Planet Crew to promote both their product and their values, using the slogan ‘help protect the planet with the power of play’.
TOMS was founded with corporate philanthropy as their core value and their powerful ‘one for one’ message is present in all marketing. The idea was born from witnessing extreme poverty in Argentina, where the children were living without shoes. TOMS have carried this social consciousness over to all newer aspects of the brand, with them now providing:
through their shoe, eyeglasses, coffee and bag sales. TOMS’ message is given equal emphasis to their products on all advertising, leaving customers in no doubt that in buying from TOMS they will be doing good.
Looking at these examples it’s clear that a customer’s desire to make a positive difference in the world cannot be underestimated when it comes to marketing, by promoting a brand’s values customers are able to connect and therefore tend to develop strong brand loyalty. Not only are these companies making the world just that little bit better, they are also cementing a customer base (Gen Z) that is expected to account for about 40% of all consumers by 2020.