The business case for Ethical Branding has a variety of dimensions, but one of its most prominent features (borne out by
all of the most reliable research) clearly shows that the vast majority (not 60%, but circa 90%) of stakeholders
(customers, investors, staff, suppliers, etc.) simply prefer a genuine ethical brand.
Some of the most recent research to confirm this is reports that "Nearly all global consumers expect companies to act responsibly. Consumers see their own power to make an impact in so many ways: the products they buy, the places they work and the sacrifices they are willing to make to address social and environmental issues." (source: 2015 Cone Communications / Ebiquity Global CSR Study).
Some of the most savvy and unscrupulous marketers are well aware of these trends and they have been responsible for a steady stream of
incidents of so-called
greenwashing, or brand-washing in attempts to capitalise on consumer vulnerability to slick labelling, advertising and PR campaigns that
simply are not underpinned by the steps needed to deliver an authentic ethical brand experience. This behaviour is often
driven by the inability of those incentivised and accountable for commercial performance to actually change the culture of an
organisation, so the unpleasant ways it does business remains unchanged.
Authentic ethical branding is often perceived as unnecessary, costly and if not downright inconvenient to those steeped in institutionalised dogma where cultural
indifference and an over-emphasis on short-term metrics. All of these excuses can be summed up simply
as a failure to comprehend what\'s actually going on in the real world, much less the sustinable commercial benefits that genuine ethical brands are certain to enjoy.
Genuine ethical branding is not a cost centre, but a binding agent; a point of commercial focus and leverage.
It delivers sustainable value directly to the bottom line by serving as a catalyst for enhancing loyalty, productivity, product
and service quality, innovation and operational change. It distributes responsibility, accountability and authority for targeted outcomes
from boardroom policy-makers to frontline services and right through to the lowliest workers in remote production facilities.
Whether you are the owner of a small business, a senior executive in a large corporation, a city or a town, you owe it to yourself, your organisation and above all your stakeholders to register your ethical brand today. This is an opportunity for smaller organisations to stand out from the crowd and for larger ones to identify and challenge their cultural vulnerabilities and for everyone to align with humane, civilised and just society.