Marketing doesn’t have to be unethical

Did you know that 81% of millennials are more likely to spend their money on brands that are practicing ethical marketing? Recently, I’ve noticed that brand authenticity is at the forefront of importance to consumers and if brands aren’t doing their part to contribute to this movement, then millennials will find another brand that is (and I love this).

It seems as though marketers have developed a bad reputation for contributing to unethical practices. In one of my classes here at St. Lawrence College, this conversation came up in a debate as a result of being tasked with listening to a podcast by Sam Harris on persuasion and control.

It was so refreshing to hear that most of my classmates believe that it doesn’t have to be this way, and we can be the ones to change that. Marketing doesn’t have to be unethical. There are brands out there that are not participating in this trend.

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Recently, I started working for Marshalls, a branch of the TJX Canada family. Soon after, I started following their social profiles and observing how they market themselves. To my delight, they are focusing on supporting their brand values through marketing efforts. Their values include diversity, mutual respect and caring, giving back, and customer satisfaction (among a few others).

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Now, I know many brands have similar values and soon after working for a company you might realize that they don’t actually support what they say they value. For Marshalls, this has not been the case. Every day I go to work I can see that they do their very best to uphold and showcase these values.

I guess my point here is that these brands do exist, and you don’t have to settle for working for a company who doesn’t have values that align with yours. And if you are, can you challenge that brand to re-evaluate? I could see a future with the TJX family and could be very happy being part of that team.

There are many other brands who are doing their best to participate in ethical marketing. I’ve noticed a shift in the last few years, and things are starting to look up! Young people are speaking out and demanding that big brands do more to support their values. I really do see a future where things can be different, we just have to remember that we can be the ones to make a difference.

I think it starts by researching your favorite brands, are they doing their part? Are they practicing ethical marketing? Can you encourage them to do so? If the answer is no, maybe it’s time to find a new brand that is. After all, I really do think this is the future and we might as well get on board now!

 

Photos from:
http://www.freemarketingzone.com/search-engine-optimization/unethical-seo-techniques/

 

 

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Winter blues and wanderlust

I don’t know about you guys, but each year winter seems to get longer and far more unbearable. We’re pretty deep into February at this point and I can see the end of winter in the not too distant future (I’m ready for it to end immediately). I got a notification from Facebook today reminding me that three years ago I was exploring New Zealand. Missing the warmth and sunshine, it prompted me to write this post about some of the highlights and experiences from that year (I feel like it’s important to note that I’m sitting in the library at school right now).

I was 21 when two friends and myself decided to pack up and move across the world to New Zealand. Looking back, I realize how big of a move this was and how scary that could be, but at the time I was so excited.

Firstly, for all of you Lord of the Rings fans, I would have to credit one of my favorite

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Hobbiton Movie Set

memories to visiting the Shire. Growing up I was a pretty big fan of the movies and was absolutely blown away by the beauty of the landscapes in the films. Well, this is a real place, it exists, it is New Zealand. The Shire is the only remaining set from the movies and having the opportunity to explore it and immerse myself into that world was very nostalgic.

 

New Zealand is known to have some of the best beaches in the world (it’s an island so obviously there is a lot). Considering how many beautiful beaches there are you might think it would be hard for me to choose a

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Muriwai Beach

favorite one. A clear front runner for me is Muriwai Beach which is located on the west coast of New Zealand. This beach has the brightest blue waters, the longest sandy beaches (60km long), and rich greenery everywhere you look. There are many beautiful viewing spots to take the perfect photo too. Fun fact, notice the colony of Gannets that reside there and watch them in action diving for fish.

 

Queenstown is the adventure capital of the world known for its high adrenaline sports. Fitting

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Queenstown

because Kiwis were the first people to offer commercial bungee jumping. It sits on Lake Wakatipu surrounded by picturesque mountains. Check out the view at the top of the gondola, try a bungee jump or the Shotover Jet. There is also a very active nightlife with many bars for travelers to get the full experience. There is so much going on here but be careful because a lot of these activities can be quite pricey. Do your research and choose a few that excite you the most.

I also have to mention Milford Sound which is located just a few hours away from Queenstown. I did a

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Milford Sound

day bus trip there and it was the highlight of my whole trip. It’s so surreal to see such beauty and be made to feel so small. It was a very otherworldly experience, almost makes you feel like you’re in Jurassic Park. Don’t worry though, no signs of any dinosaurs but lots of big seals.

 

While I was writing this I was reflecting on all of my adventures over the past couple years. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to explore some of our beautiful world. I encourage you when you can, to go and explore the amazing world we live in.

Step out of your comfort zone and get lost in the culture, food, landscapes, and history that travel can offer you. I promise in return you will learn so much about the world. But more importantly you will learn about yourself, and returning home, that changes everything.

Where are some of the places you’ve loved traveling to? Or where would you love to visit? Let me know and be sure to check back for more travel stories.

Artists you (probably) don’t know, but should

Over the last two years, I’ve been addicted to my Apple Music subscription. I find myself spending hours exploring Apple Music listening to new artists. My music tastes are pretty eclectic, I like a lot of different styles and genres. I’ve discovered some incredibly talented artists in my time doing this and realized that a lot of people have no idea who these incredible artists are!

So, I’ve compiled a list of some of the artists I’ve come to respect and love and I thought I would share that with the blogging world. My thought is maybe, you too will love one of these underrated artists.

Firstly, I have to talk about Maggie Rogers. Since I heard her debut single Alaska, I’ve

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Maggie Rogers

been craving more. She has a soft, whimsical voice, it sounds like you’re listening to an angel. Her songs have a Lorde-ish style complexity to them and a similar sound to Carly Rae Jepsen’s most recent album E-mo-tion. Pharrell Williams heard her song Alaska and said, ‘I have no notes for that’ and it’s been upward for her since.

 

Listen if you like: Lorde, Billie Eilish, or Bishop Briggs

 

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The Glorious Sons

Kingston, ON natives The Glorious Sons, have been making music since 2011, but their most recent album Young Beauties and Fools won me over as a fan. A combination of rock and alternative, these guys write songs that are relatable and memorable. Personally, I see rock music making a big comeback in the next few years and these guys are definitely on the right path. Their debut single from Young Beauties and Fools, Everything is Alright has been streamed on Spotify 3 million times. If you haven’t heard it yet, stop what you’re doing and check it out.

 

Listen if you like: Arkells, The Sheepdogs, or Sam Roberts Band

Another Canadian making waves in the industry is Jessie Reyez. She is a singer-

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Jessie Reyez

songwriter from Toronto, ON who sings R&B/soul music. Her debut single Figures is an emotional rollercoaster that almost everyone can connect with. Her vulnerability and raw-ness makes her songwriting personal and therefore relatable. Add in the fact that vocally she is flawless and has a very unique sound, I’m predicting big things for her in 2018 and years to come.

Listen if you like: Sabrina Claudio, Julia Michaels, or Khalid

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Bazzi

Another up and coming artist, Andrew Bazzi (better known as Bazzi) is having huge successes partly in thanks to social media. In a similar story to Shawn Mendes, Bazzi began building a fan base by posting on Vine. His song Mine became a viral hit when people started sharing it in memes and on snapchat. Since then, the song has risen to number 56 on the Billboard Hot 100 after receiving 11.4 million streams. His newest single Why? is equally as strong and definitely worth a listen.

Listen if you like: Ansel Elgort, Jack & Jack, or Maty Noyes

 

So many artists to talk about, but I don’t want to make this post 20 pages long. Check these artists out! Let me know what you think, do you like them? Maybe I’ll do another ‘artists you should know’ post in the future.

Stay cool,

BRANDEN