The choice to associate with a morally correct brand - ethically mature, enduringly fair, eternally sustainable, and contributing to society in a positive, responsible and sustainable way - is driving a complete rethink of how brands position themselves globally marketplace.
Big brands and corporates have a powerful role to play as their actions, decisions, and strategies directly influence the government policies and lives of citizens. Covid-19 has served to remind us that we live in a world of heightened inequality, unsustainable practices, insurmountable debt, and untenable environmental destruction. The world at the threshold of 2019-2020 was fragile and less resilient than many believed and portrayed.
Large corporates need to exercise their power in impacting humanity and doing public good. Exploring the social and environmental solutions that will dictate the future of this planet is in their hands is vital.
However, the road is not easy. Ethical values are dynamic and unique to individuals, organizations, cultures, and societies. Thus, establishing the value set that will enable a brand to be perceived as ethical, devoid of its economic and financial footprint, is imperative. Uplifting the cause of humanity and promoting public good is the key.
Developing and nurturing a brand is expensive, requiring an investment of time and money. Protecting a brand is an even bigger challenge than corporates are facing. Preserving goodwill and ensuring excellent customer service is vital as they are held ransom to social media carnage if there are fractures in service provision. The irretrievable damage that can be inflicted on corporates and companies' brand image on social media can lead to significant financial, goodwill, and trust deficiencies that companies struggle to restore.
Thus, establish an ethical business, locally or internationally, involves more than currency, time, and language difference. Different societies and countries have different values, beliefs, and expectations; what is permissible in one may not be permissible in another. Adding to that, the political, regulatory, and legal boundaries and huge competitive pressures make it very difficult for businesses to draw a line between ethical and unethical business practices.
Nevertheless, Covid-19 has compelled us to reflect and dream of transparent and fair societies, healthy and happy communities, and eventually of sustainable and green earth – will be achieved by global and local initiatives conceptualized through the last decade's learnings.