Strategy

Improving your Brand Reputation – Ethical Practises Your Customers will Love

Peter Unitt

Whether you have had something tarnish your brand, or whether you’re a start up company that needs to distinguish its brand, it can be difficult to know what to do to encourage a healthy image for your company.

There is so much competition out there that you need to stand out, but for the right reasons. One way that could prove satisfactory to your customers is by reviewing your ethical policy, and letting your customers know what you are doing to replace the emissions you emit in the atmosphere, as well as also letting them know what charities you support, what work you do for your local community, and so on.

Be a brand people can believe in

Gone are the days when customers just want the cheapest product or service. They are looking for a company they can believe in, that has ethical practises. Business ethics are important. If you don’t do that, if you don’t pay your taxes or if you’re known to be heavy polluters of the atmosphere – whatever the reason, your customers can easily take their dollar elsewhere.

People support brands values for how it reflects on their own values and what it says about them as a person. With similar products/services what sets a brand apart is their core values and the good they choose to do in the world.

Don’t wait to be asked

Approach local charities and ask to support them, advertise at local carnivals or other events, and be proactive about what your company does. Don’t sit back – you need to take the bull by the horns and make a difference before you’re asked to.

For startups, charitables causes can be a great way to build a portfolio, case studies and user experience without having to reduce your prices to everyone.

Share your work proudly!

Once you’ve done something great, or when you have a programme in place, tell your customers about it. If you don’t, how would they know?

Take office fruit delivery company Fruitful Office as a case study for example’s sake. The fruit delivery guys proudly publicise their campaign with Ripple Africa where they plant fruit trees in Africa.

They include photos and updates every few months so regular customers know it’s not just a one-time thing, but a regular promise to commit to something good. Other companies do similar things.

Larger brands, like Burberry, take pride in sourcing only sustainable materials for their products. They also say this on their website and they publicise it in some of their larger stores. The message is that they don’t use cheap materials made by underpaid workers in third world companies, countering the modern stereotype that these larger companies can be unethical in some of their processes.

Think outside the box

Your company is unique, and so you need to think of ethical practises that suit you and your customers. What do you customers care about? What do you care about? If it helps, make a mind map with your team about what you could do for the local community. Give all ideas consideration as you might stumble across something great.

Keep Going

Remember this is an on-going process, and one you should regularly check up on and adapt from time to time to suit what your company has been doing. Tell your staff about what you do, too. They can help spread the word on a whole different level.