Promoting Your Brand through Ethics: Tips You Need to Know

Promoting Your Brand through Ethics: Tips You Need to Know

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This article has been contributed by Chris Garrett*.

Branding has become a pivotal aspect of marketing, especially given the focus on personality that the digital age has heralded. Search engines prefer recognizable brands, consumers identify with corporations as if they’re people, and it can help your company focus its goals and values.

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Successful branding relies on the construction of a company identity and the promotion of that identity using personable marketing. A brand personality is essentially the part of a brand identity that is relatable to consumers. One of the most reliable ways to establish a recognizable brand personality is to publicize your company’s ethical tenets. A great example would be Walmart’s hybrid trucks which very clearly show their stance towards trucking efficiency.

If you don’t share your ethical practices, who will?

Hybrid Truck

Why Is Brand Personality Important?

Modern consumers have been inundated with soulless marketing ploys by faceless corporations for decades. The advent of social media has made it possible, and now necessary, to connect with target audiences in a more meaningful way. Expressing the viewpoint of your company as a whole through interactions with customers has edged its way into the heart of modern marketing.

People are more likely to want to buy your product if you’re expressing genuine innovation and personality.

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They’re also more likely to hold you accountable for your actions and methods, but this is a positive thing because it means they’re paying attention. Letting consumers get to know your brand should always be a positive experience on both ends.

Elements of Brand Personality

Developing an agreeable personality starts in-house, identifying what your company’s strengths are incorporating them into a coherent presentation.

But what makes a brand personality? I assert that getting to know a company should be parallel to getting to know a person. A strong brand should have a name (and logo), a type of sense of humor, and a personal sense of style or aesthetics. But the most important aspect is putting forth a set of values that the company can endorse the same way an individual would.

The goal is to stress that your company is made up of like-minded individual people rather than drones.

Brand Personality Example: A U.S. firm, “Ms & Mrs” had wasted a large amount of advertising dollars on promotions and spotlights where their brand repeated kept getting misnamed as “Mr. & Mrs.” The only personality that provided was confusion. So they renamed themselves to “pinch provisions” (they provide emergency personal care kits for events such as weddings). Not only did they change their name, but they released a humorous self-deprecating video explaining their decision. By embracing the change so fully, and marketing this new personality, they saved their business.

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Learn from the Best

How can you make sure your ethical agenda is out there?

Paying attention to the tactics that marketing powerhouses employ is a great place to start. Some of the most successful brands on the planet have achieved their success by stating and sticking by their company ethos. Brands can become famous for their ethical practices.

Don't be evil

For example, Costco has made a good name for itself for its fair treatment of employees. Google has long touted its unofficial motto of “don’t be evil” as proof of its commitment to freedom of information. Yet neither of these companies made it onto the World’s Most Ethical list of 2013, which weights ethical behavior among corporations. They’re known for their values, but aren’t necessarily the most ethical companies compared to others.

American Express

Meanwhile, some companies that are on the list might surprise you. American Express, Hasbro, and Xerox, for example, all made the cut- but their ethical creds aren’t attached to their brand personality outside of their industry. This is an indication that they haven’t taken full advantage of their accomplishments, which is a missed opportunity for brand building.

Marketing Your Ethical Accomplishments

To make the best of your good behavior, follow the examples of companies like Starbucks, which has gone out of its way to be known for its fair trade practices. Display your mission statement, the heart of your company ethos, in all office locations to maximize visibility.

Look into becoming a certified B corporation.

B Corporation

If your focus is on fair trade, vet your raw material suppliers to make sure they come from fair trade sources, then say as much in a blurb on your website. If you’ve chosen to go green, package your product in and conduct all of your paperwork on recycled materials. If you’re consistent and proud of your principles, word of mouth marketing will shortly follow as your clients share how impressed they are with other potential customers.

In-House Benefits of Brand Development

Developing a strong brand personality doesn’t just benefit your marketing efforts. You’ll find that your company culture is more engaging and pleasant when employees know what the company strives for and can identify themselves with those goals. You’ll also be more inclined to stick to the goals you’ve set for yourself if your brand identity depends on it. The increased transparency can be stressful, but the rewards are many. If a consumer can trust you to keep your word, they’ll be willing to forgive any mistakes you might make in marketing or even products.

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A cultivated brand personality can push a business to the forefront of its industry. Meditate on what makes your company special and ethical, present your ideas with creative marketing, and learn from the branding geniuses who have been successful before you. These steps can help foster a brand known for its admirable ethics – exactly what you want to be known for as a person.

What do you do to promote your ethical practices?

*Chris Garrett is a marketing specialist and designer working for MegaPrint. The rising necessity of brand personality for success in business fascinates him and reinvigorates his faith that marketing can be artful and meaningful

7 thoughts on “Promoting Your Brand through Ethics: Tips You Need to Know”

  1. I think the demand for transparency has been largely due to blogging. We like to connect with other people via blogs, and, as Chris noted, people have been taking that into their connections with corporations as if they were individuals.

    I don’t like to present myself as a moral business crusader, even if I’m being sincere, because most people don’t trust that image and assume it’s a false one. Yet, I do find it valuable to express my thoughts and concerns relating to the industry. I take it for granted that even if others don’t agree, they appreciate a stand being taken. It’s very hard to take a company seriously who is so wishy-washy and unwilling to stand on principles because they fear they may not be able to stand behind them.

  2. i think the “Ms & Mrs” video was a great example illustration,
    the video is brilliant and made the idea very clear about what you meant with “Brand’s Personality”,
    but i still find it hard to relate the ethical practices to service providing companies, with no physical products to sell, if you can elaborate more with an example on how can this be conveyed it would be very appreciated,
    Many thanks and Best wishes!

    • Hi Mitch,

      There a number of ways for service providing companies to promote ethical practices… think of being green (paper, transport, lighting, etc.), how you treat customers & staff, what the company does to help others, and so fourth. Does this make sense?

  3. A great method of lease them grasp what ar the core values which you truly work towards them. If they need a similar values they’re going to appreciate your whole and efforts.

  4. This is something that we have been trying to tell our clients for what feels like years now! With so much corruption going on in the world, people want to buy from a brand that is ethically conscious – and they will only know that this is you if you tell them. Of course, you shouldn’t lie about your ethical standpoints and you shouldn’t pretend to have one if you don’t, but this sort of information does pay off.

    Thanks for sharing, it’s great to see we aren’t the only people who think this!

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