Morality and business do not always go hand in hand. The way you market your brand can often come off as too good to be true or conceited. Marketing means always having your best foot forward. Maybe even exaggerate it for the purpose of gaining sales. There is a tendency for business owners to lose themselves in the process, to lose sight of the ideals they truly embody and become another version of corporate puppets just to keep the business afloat.
But that does not have to be the case for your online business. You can still do effective marketing without compromising your values and identity. Making sales is as crucial as it is difficult. This aspect of business is dreaded. However, there are ways in which marketing activities can be enjoyable and still be able to provide great services to your buyers.
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Good branding and service are key ingredients for ensuring customer loyalty. These will give you the leverage to have customers who will stand by you in every new product launch and give you positive reviews. They won’t just be your customers, they’ll be your allies.
With this article, I will discuss some ways through which you can apply ethical marketing to your business to give you an edge from your competitors.
So how does a business owner go about marketing their own brand without seeming too conceited or annoying? Well, ethical marketing and content marketing is the go-to solution for most dilemmas. The former is a great way to emphasize the highlights of your business all the while supporting causes with missions to resolve social or environmental issues. That’s what we are going to focus on.
What is Ethical Marketing?
There are business analysts that do not regard ethical marketing as a legitimate marketing strategy, but rather a principle that drives marketing solutions – a way in which marketing decisions are based on. It is the road less traveled.
Ethics is a controversial matter. It is not something that is collectively agreed on by many because our moral ideas differ from one another. Morality is not the same for everybody. Because of this, most companies prefer the other way around. The unethical is a much easier way, not to mention, there are no norms to conform to. According to a Forbes article back in 2018, 88% of consumers prefer brands that support sustainability and aim to improve quality of life by contributing to environmental and social movements.
Through ethical marketing, or generally ethical business, the products or services you offer benefit not only your target market, but the society and the world as well. And with the people becoming gradually aware of social and environmental issues, your business will also have the chance to be in tune with the trends and current events.
Philanthropic companies are proven to be more financially competitive and have good standing on customer loyalty and support.
There are tragedies happening everywhere around the world right now. You can see it through the news headlines and there are those that are not even covered by mainstream broadcast media. Natural calamities and man-made disasters occur every now and then, leading to human and animal life to suffer and endure the aftermath. While we may not have a hand in the natural calamities, we can surely reduce the damage that it does. Your ethical marketing could involve the support to foundations and environmental movements, and/or sustainable products from eco-friendly manufacturing processes.
Giving back should be a regular activity rather than seasonal
Your philanthropic mission should be actively done all-year long, and not just some stunt you pull every holiday season. Ethical business should be adapted into the company’s aim and purpose. Customers like to feel as though they are helping out the community through their purchases, so you do exactly that. Be consistent in your efforts and don’t fail to acknowledge the charity or movement that you support in your product listings and set an exclusive section for them on your website explaining their cause and why you chose them as a beneficiary. New customers will enjoy a heartfelt story and will encourage them to give back in their own little way as well.
Loyalty over temporary satisfaction
You need customers to stay. You need to establish a solid group of people who will prefer your brand over the others. Applying ethical marketing to your branding is one way to ensure this. One example that you can take notes from is the TOMS brand. TOMS has long been engaged in selling mainly footwear, along with other apparel and accessories such as shirts, hats, and eyewear for women, men and kids. The company is aimed towards helping less fortunate communities. Especially now with the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also making efforts to help out. On their website, they post annual impact reports about their philanthropic efforts. This way, their customers are constantly informed that they are making a difference with their purchases. You can totally emulate their strategy through selecting charities and foundations you want to support or starting a fundraising for a social or environmental movement. Donations made to large organizations with a 501c3 status can be deducted from your tax too!
Green is the new norm
With the ongoing climate crisis, active efforts are being done to repair the years worth of damage that people and large industries have inflicted upon the planet. Reduction of plastic is being enforced by many governments and corporate business have also been adapting to this change. Consumers are cooperating too. There is a global movement when it comes to preserving what’s left of the planet and slowly repairing it to its natural beauty due to the efficient dissemination of information, making people more aware of what the world is facing and how it has affected us. Products made from sustainable or biodegradable materials are now being promoted and more preferred by a lot of consumers. Single-use products are being discouraged. Eco-friendly alternatives are chosen. Reusable or recyclable packaging materials can be something you can start with for your business before you slowly revert to more green materials for your other products. As an Amazon seller, you can take part in the Climate Pledge program.
Market your mission
As you do your advertising campaigns, highlight your mission but do not make it seem as if you’re baiting your customers. If you can show some proof of the legitimacy of your support, you can also show this on your store. Customers are interested in brands that are dedicated to charitable work. Emphasize this in every campaign ad you put in social media, product listings, and the homepage of your online store. Make this something that sets you apart, makes you remarkable, something that buyers will remember about you. And most importantly, stick to it.
As businesses expand their presence to the online community, marketers are becoming more ruthless in their ways to acquire more customers and gain profit. Since the transition began, privacy breach issues and online crimes have emerged. Ethical marketing keeps the business grounded and morally aligned. At the end of the day, people still choose companies that help make the world a better place and care about relevant issues.