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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Inclusivity is the new norm (well, it should be)

Recently, I became aware of an advertising campaign that was created by the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) to bring awareness to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Down Syndrome. The overall message was simple, everyone wants to feel accepted for who they are, regardless of their genetic make-up.

The solution to this problem was to put a spotlight on people who have Down Syndrome and establish a more human connection. The CDSS decided to create the ‘Down Syndrome Answers’ campaign. The campaign focused on answering some tough questions people might have but are afraid to ask. The most important part of this campaign was the questions were to be answered by people who have Down Syndrome.

 

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40 videos answering commonly asked questions

 

For me, it’s simple: treat everyone how you would like to be treated. However, that is not always the case. I’ve noticed (and I’m guilty of this myself) that people tend to get anxious when interacting with someone who has a Down Syndrome. If you are someone who experiences that as well, to help I’ve put together a list of tips for interacting with someone who has Down Syndrome.

  1. Person First Language

It’s important first to remember that we are all people and should be talked to in that manner. A person is not defined by their diagnosis, they have so much more to offer. So, talk and interact with them in exactly the way you would want to be.

 2. Slow Down!

It can take longer for someone with Down Syndrome to process what you are saying to them. So be sure to slow down your speech and be clear in what you are saying. Don’t speak to them like they don’t understand. BUT do understand that it may take a bit longer to have a conversation, so be patient.

3. Be Inclusive

Just like you and I, people with Down syndrome want to be included. So, talk to them, include them, sit down with them at lunch. Honestly, there are a lot of qualities I’ve noticed that people with Down Syndrome posses that I admire. I think there is a lot I could learn from these individuals (and have) and you might be surprised as well.

4. Be Positive

A diagnosis doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as capable as you and I. Hold high expectations for people with down syndrome and give them lots of encouragement (again, this is how it always should be for everyone). Creating a positive atmosphere will help encourage success!

Overall the message is simple; treat others the way you would want to be treated. The ‘Down Syndrome Answers’ campaign was a hit! It went on win many awards and was used in many different markets around the world. It really did create awareness and leave us with the message that people with Down Syndrome really just want to be treated like everyone else.

I would say that things have got better in the last few years. However, we still have lots of work to do. It starts with each of us and the message is so simple. Be kind, be inclusive, and be positive. A small act really can make a huge impact. If anyone else has anything to add, comment and let me know!