Ethical marketing is significant for companies nowadays. It refers to how companies market their goods and services by focusing on how their products benefit customers and how they benefit socially responsible or environmental causes.
According to, journalist and web content specialist, Dan Shewan 92% of millennial customers are more likely to buy products from ethical companies, and 82% of those customers believe ethical brands outperform similar companies that lack the commitment to ethical principles.
An example of a company that uses ethical marketing is TOMS. TOMS puts its environmental philanthropy on full display in virtually every aspect of their branding. For every product you purchase, TOMS helps a person in need. TOMS works with over 70+ countries across the world, and they have donated more than 60 million pairs of shoes to children in need all over the world. TOMS philanthropic mission is reinforced throughout the website and marketing.
Influencers play a role in ethical marketing because celebrities choose to collaborate with companies that promote environmental causes and social responsibility. This also enables the company because influencers have pull and power in product placement and product loyalty.
TOMS is one of those companies that doesn’t attempt to capitalize on empty gestures or a feel-good sales tactic such as H&M. H&M has been marketing itself as a company that is more environmentally friendly than it is. They have in-store recycling bins where customers can drop off old clothes and get a coupon that they can redeem the next time they shop at an H&M store. They say they use the discarded clothes to create new garments; however, according to Elizabeth Cline, environmentalist states is likely to happen with less than 1% of the clothes collected. H&M has a role in damaging the environment as a fast-fashion brand, and its fast-fashion products are unsustainable.
Overall, companies that market themselves as environmentally friendly should be ethical and honest about it. Companies similar to H&M that promote themselves as environmentally friendly but don’t have a philanthropic partner or where consumers can’t see what the company does to help the environment is unethical.
Balogun, Tosin, et al. “H&M’s Greenwashing: Short-Sighted and Unethical.” Brandingmag, Brandingmag | Narrating the Discussion, 20 July 2020, http://www.brandingmag.com/2019/12/12/hms-greenwashing-short-sighted-and-unethical/.
“Ethical Content Marketing: Everything You Need to Know.” IZEA, 8 Oct. 2019, izea.com/2019/03/04/ethical-content-marketing/.
Libert, Kelsey. “Case Study: How We Created Controversial Content That Earned Hundreds of Links.” Moz, Moz, 26 July 2016, moz.com/blog/case-study-controversial-content-earned-hundreds-links.
Shewan, Dan. “Ethical Marketing: 5 Examples of Companies with a Conscience.” WordStream, http://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/09/20/ethical-marketing.