Companies reveal how marketing responsibility is key for modern consumers
For years, businesses have used ‘responsibility marketing’ as a means by which to differentiate themselves from the competition. This means that certain companies which are careful about delivering services or products responsibly, carefully, and perhaps going further than regulatory compliance forces them to do so use this effort to appeal to conscious consumers.
But now it’s not only conscious consumers who care about this kind of promotional language – it’s almost every market. A company that can adequately showcase how its sustainability drive and environmentally-focused changes reduce the wastage or impact its operation has, better they can appeal to a wider market. Think of how companies involved in urban mining efforts can be proud of the alternative anti-waste measures they’ve put in place.
But what are the most common forms of marketing responsibility; and which modern methods to companies swear by as this becomes an industry-wide effort? In this post, we’ll list the initiatives that are discussed most often, but there’s no reason as to why you can’t pilot your own ethical initiative:
Diversity & inclusivity
Companies now boast of their diverse teams, from people of all ages, races, work-suitable disabilities and sexes. Why is this? Surely it doesn’t really matter? Well – it’s good to know that a business isn’t going to have a bias in its hiring practice and that it allows multiple viewpoints to propagate when planning its forward approach.
There’s also research that shows diversity and inclusivity actually improve productivity – because of course, when we don’t arbitrarily limit people from applying their talents, we have a much wider and diverse talent pool to work with.
But diversity isn’t really a noble cause to champion, but a natural reflection of the societies we find ourselves in today. In other words, it can seem strange if your company isn’t diverse at all. It’s that kind of responsibility, that ‘we should have been doing this anyway,’ that allows people to think your business has its priorities set correctly; and you’d be surprised just how much that can help. However, it’s of course essential to make certain you’re not treating your staff like tokens.
Sustainability & environmental concern
Environmental concerns will often be the top reason for why ethical consumers look to brands that have a social consciousness. After all – everyone wishes to help aid the climate emergency and make sure their lifestyle habits aren’t contributing to it in an unhelpful way.
So – efforts such as showing just how much you’ve reduced your packaging in the latest iteration of a product design and presentation can be a great example of this. If you cut out 40% of the plastic from the product and make sure all packaging is recyclable, many consumers will happily choose you over another firm.
Championing social causes
Companies can decide how political they wish to be. For some, it works well. For example, Ben & Jerry’s, the ice cream brand, are notoriously outspoken on social media about causes they think are right, and achieves a great deal of respect for doing so.
However, it’s also true that engaging in these topics can definitely cause controversy, and sometimes alienate an audience. But that doesn’t mean all social causes are redundant for your business to pursue. Far from it, in fact. Just look at how many companies often sponsor amazing organizations like local youth sports team programs, paralympic events, and veteran causes, or donate a certain amount of their profits to charities they care about.
Throwing the weight of your platform behind an incredible cause can not only help you achieve a great amount of good – something your business can truly be proud of, and which your staff are sure to be satisfied by – but this may give your company the edge over another when it comes to clear and consistent marketing efforts.
Transparency & forthright communication
It’s always better to honestly address a mistake made than to hide it, and to help your consumers feel as though you care about two-way communication. Transparency is an important path to walk, then.
But how does it present itself? Well, let’s consider a mistake your business could make. Perhaps a company you use as a supplier from overseas has been involved in an ethical issue which comes to light. Instead of denying your involvement with the brand, you can cut the connection, apologize, and clearly lay out the terms of your relationship, why you’ve now ended it, and of course, what provisions you’ll put in place to prevent this from happening in the future.
Humiliations may seem awful, but they can be utterly overcome by a redemption story. 12 years ago, Dominoes admitted that the quality of their product had been reducing in recent years, and accepted that consumers disliked it. Instead of ignoring the issue, they embraced it, and used that momentum to curate a relaunch. No matter if their products are to your taste or not, it’s fair to say that this was a smart and not altogether common means for a large brand to pivot and take a new direction. You can imagine how many consumers decided to buy a new pizza just to see what had changed. In this instance, Dominoes chose transparency and managed to move forward with a new feather in their cap.
Customers, more than ever, care about marketing responsibility is key for modern consumers. Every single one of the above strategies has been used by a major company, and are continually used by them, to secure their relevance and make the modern corporation seem open, friendly, and co-operative.
While this may seem like a nice way to go about business, the strategy is defined by a purely rational calculation. In the long run it’s better to address mistakes, to be inclusive, to care for the right causes, and to move forward with the future in mind. The more you can do that, the more you can prove the trajectory of your brand’s forward motion redeems itself – and as explained above, consumers will care for your approach.
With this advice, we hope you can get started in that direction.