Ethics as we all know are the moral principles of what is good and what is bad. They affect how people make decisions and lead their lives. Ethics is concerned with what is good for individuals and society and is also described as moral philosophy.

The term is derived from the Greek word ethos which can mean custom, habit, character or disposition.

With this in mind, branding also has its ethics and every organisation, institution is governed by these ethics.

A company’s reputation is important – and is getting increasingly harder to hold on to. A recent report released by the Fellows of the Ethics Resource Center opens with a quote from Benjamin Franklin:

“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation and only one bad one to lose it.”

In today’s business world, that statement couldn’t be more true.

A company with a bad reputation will have a hard time holding onto customers and attracting top talent. Consumers care about ethics. Job seekers and potential candidates care about ethics too.

The results of a survey conducted by creative agency, 23red, help support the fact that consumers care about ethics. There were 1000 people interviewed for the survey and they were asked questions about brand ethics and how it affects their purchase decisions. During their research, the agency found that:

  • 91% of consumers say brand behavior is an influential factor in making purchases.
  • 74% would be interested in knowing more about the behavior of a company before buying.
  • 60% say that awareness of “a company’s ethics – environmental record, sourcing, sustainable employment policies, etc, affects their decision making”.
  • 53% say knowing that “the company donates a percentage of profits to charity and good causes” is influential when considering a purchase.
  • 64% agree that companies should adopt a role in the well-being of communities and wider society.

Those are some pretty interesting stats that give companies something to think about. It also sends a clear message that integrity and a commitment to ethics is a great way to market a brand and communicate with the public. When was the last time your company shared a story about brand ethics with the public?


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