Ethical marketing consists of values that define what is good and what is bad, because ethics is the discipline that defines what is good and what is bad. Today within ethics there is also the issue of sustainability, because these two issues are related and one requires the other, that is, sustainability cannot be without values and vice versa.
Ethical marketing differs from classic marketing because it puts the human being as the main focus, as the center are their needs, their fears, their emotions … It is not a practice that just wants to increase turnover, but really wants to develop people through values and put in value ethical and sustainable products; it also consists of having a green brand, with certain standards and certifications, show how good it is.
How can Spanish companies be made more aware of this discipline?
Recently a study was published by the chair of the Economy of the Common Good in Valencia, which studies the implementation of the balance of the common good in private companies, and one of the major conclusions is that we must place more value on good practices in matters of ethics and sustainability, because they have become an economic necessity. That is why it is important to carry out awareness campaigns. From our school Seeds For Sustainability (School of Sustainability and Healthy Living) we have as one of our main objectives to work the ground to have this metaphor to break barriers, open horizons and raise awareness. Even the SMEs have to become aware and above all be trained and therefore we are also as a school to cover those needs that are already being created.
How much does the fact that a brand is sustainable influence its success today? Has sustainability become a consumer demand?
This is a very important issue because nowadays the brand is what captures or keeps the customer. In our courses we also do a little game where we show brand images, most people see the image and know who it is and associate it with certain ethics, certain behavior, reputation, product quality, price and so on. Consumers look at brands and analyze them according to their own criteria, the brand is therefore the main axis to communicate the value of the company and the value of the behavior one has. Studies also show that brands are extremely important for raising customer awareness and really positioning oneself in the market.
What impact does it have on society that companies bet on sustainability?
It is not so easy, because first of all it is not clear how we measure the impact, there is already a huge discussion and it is not easy to measure everything we are doing. In any case, we have to appreciate that there are many companies that want to be 100% sustainable, for example, those that aim at the Economy of the Common Good or the social economy.
In any case, Europe is committed to being a continent in the global picture, a 100% sustainable continent, we want to be leaders in sustainability issues and in issues of the digital area, that is the agenda of the European Union.
What challenges does the Marketing sector have to face, in terms of sustainability, next year?
I think it is very important not to do the green wash. Green washing is to pretend to be sustainable or ethical without really being so. Consumers are already super sensitive to this issue and you can also see that the new generations boycott companies when a scandal is seen, when a bad practice is discovered. It is a great risk to pretend to be sustainable and not to be sustainable and thus manipulate and deceive people who really may lose faith that it can really be done. The abuse of this may be that we all lose credibility, this is one of the challenges I see.
The other is that this moment in which we are, a moment to be able to renew ourselves, is lost. Whoever does not get on the train can be left behind and I believe that today it is possible to implement the objectives of sustainable development among business management, whoever does so has very good ground to gain in that sense, a win win for everyone.
By Philipp Schuster.
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