Ethical marketing creates positive customer connections

Building a business on ethical foundations, encompassing sustainability and inclusivity, not only enhances relationships with customers, employees, and business partners but also contributes to improved financial performance.
August 23, 2023


Ethical brands are statistically more profitable. According to the Brandwatch Digital Marketing Trends Report, companies that prioritize business ethics across all aspects of their operations are more likely to achieve and sustain profitability compared to their counterparts who overlook ethics. In fact, companies listed on Ethisphere's World's Most Ethical Companies consistently outperform similar companies by approximately 7%. Employees tend to exhibit higher loyalty and enhanced performance in companies with a strong ethical standard. Brands that incorporate these principles into their digital strategy are poised to reap significant rewards in 2023.

Sustainability in Business

The significance of sustainability in business is not a new concept, but the conversation surrounding it has grown significantly in recent years. In 2022, discussions about sustainability reached their peak, with almost 1.5 million monthly mentions in September and October. Brands that integrate sustainability into their digital strategies can expect to reap substantial benefits in 2023. By adopting sustainable practices, businesses not only contribute to a greener future but also attract environmentally conscious consumers who prioritise eco-friendly brands.

Inclusive Marketing

Today's consumers demand to see themselves represented in the brands they support, making inclusive marketing a critical driver of success. Nielsen's research in 2022 revealed that 59% of Black viewers are more likely to purchase from brands that feature individuals from their own identity group in advertisements. Twitter research also highlights the influence and loyalty of the LGBTQ+ community, emphasising the importance of authentic support from brands. Additionally, 72% of Gen Z consumers consider a brand's political stance before making a purchase. In 2023, brands must proactively incorporate inclusivity into their digital marketing efforts to maximise their reach and connect with potential customers on social media platforms.

Early Movers

Fenty's Inclusivity Propels Success: In 2022, Rihanna became the youngest self-made billionaire woman in the US and the first billionaire from Barbados, largely due to her business ventures like Fenty Beauty. The brand's inclusive lineup of shades for people of all colors has empowered customers and contributed to its remarkable success.

Source: Kevin Mazur | Getty Images

Roccamore's Energy-saving Initiative: Shoe retailer Roccamore launched an initiative encouraging consumers to save energy at home during Black Friday. Customers who achieved a 30% energy savings in a given week were rewarded with a 30% discount code for their next purchase.

Patagonia's Commitment to Ethics: In 2022, Patagonia's founder made a groundbreaking move by donating the entire company to a charitable trust focused on combating climate change, generating significant attention. Patagonia has consistently demonstrated its commitment to ethics and continues to allocate 1% of its total sales to environmental groups.

Source: Los Angeles Times

Tips for Marketers

Showcase Brand Values on Social Media: Brands that transparently communicate their ethical practices across their digital presence are more likely to experience increased benefits. This includes expanding consumer bases and driving sales, ultimately outperforming brands that neglect ethical considerations.

Enhance Inclusivity in Marketing Efforts: When planning digital marketing campaigns, consider the diverse perspectives of your customers. This involves casting a wider range of genders and expanding product offerings to appeal to a more diverse demographic. Inclusive marketing benefits everyone involved.

Embrace Evolution: Do not hesitate to adapt your marketing efforts to be more inclusive. As long as you conduct thorough research and align your marketing strategies with your company values, your audience will respond positively.


Ethical marketing practices have a profound impact on a brand's success. By prioritising sustainability and inclusivity in digital marketing strategies, businesses can drive profits, attract loyal customers, and foster positive relationships. Inspiring examples such as Fenty, Roccamore, and Patagonia demonstrate the power of ethical marketing done right. As marketers, it is crucial to showcase brand values, embrace inclusivity, and fearlessly evolve to meet the expectations of an increasingly conscious and diverse consumer base. By doing so, brands can pave the way for a brighter future while reaping the rewards of their ethical commitments.

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Ben van Rooy

Strategy Director

Nick Brown

Marketing Director