Keywords: moral branding, moral branding cases, ethics in branding
The area of business and marketing requires more research in ethics. In ethics all issues except branding has been much studied after an intensive literature research. Brands can be found for well over a thousand years, but no one modern culture has given such importance to branding ethics as observed today. Brands are prevalent in every facet of life, food and clothing, production and intake, personality and life style, even from pop culture to politics. Branding is little or nothing just adding value to products; branding helps bring about the standards of living and it becomes the sort of culture. Brands have effects beyond the domains of marketing and advertising; and branding is recognized as social and monetary construct. Brands are researched from both marketing and financial perspectives. Friendly build has been less focused owing to death of academics research in this area. Advertising can be an important element of the marketing but branding reaches the center of communication in marketing. Problem lies in branding strategy that effects the advertising.
What is ethics in branding and how it influences the new tendencies in marketing? The next tips are correlated with this research area as:
Brand is really perplexing word with multiple meanings. An North american Marketing Relationship has described the brand: a term, a name, sign or a blend of all of these, which is intended to identify the assistance of one seller or a big group of sellers making difference from other competitors (Kotler, 2003). Brand in addition has other meanings depending upon its role as its value with more importance. A brandname is recognized as because of its present value and its own future potential clients. Brand users and brand owners build an emotional connection; that relationship becomes an icon. Not merely companies but firms are known because of the brands and these brands become a synonym of the business's coverage (de Chernatony and McDonald, 2003).
Branding is a key function in marketing and means much more than giving the merchandise a name. At corporate level brand develops and manages the partnership between group and stakeholders as well as public customers. Question comes up that branding should be ethical or not? Its answer is clear as most companies say yes. Nonetheless it becomes difficult to find a universal contract on what honest branding is. Ethics identifies moral guidelines and ideas for deciding what is wrong and right. It becomes difficult to distinguish between ethics and legality; moral values vary between organization and individuals. Additionally it is difficult to distinguish among the several cultures as these are changed as time passes. Ethics alone is highly complex topic. We are concerned with the marketing ethics that is subset of business ethics and business ethics is subset of ethics. Recent research on the marketing ethics is limited to standard issues in marketing such as costs, advertising and product safeness. There are honest issues in branding, being truly a subset of honest marketing ethics pertains to certain moral concepts which determine the right and wrong in branding decisions (Martin, 1985). A brand isn't only evaluated by the financial or economical conditions but also by the moral ones. An ethical brand will not harm the general public good and plays a part in promote the general public good.
With the progress of technology usually products have become item and there are present very few distinctions between rivalling offers. The ultimate goal of branding is to order a favorable position in mind of consumers specific from competition. An excellent brand brings very beneficial results because of its owner in conditions of either higher sales or high quality prices. The ultimate aims of branding are the following:
Increased customer commitment (Increasing the move cost)
Raising the entry barriers (to fight potential hazard)
Dominating the marketplace (Minimizing or eliminating the competition)
There may be little or nothing wrong if one brand succeeds in dominating the marketplace, it differs matter if the brand is aimed at monopoly with active attempt to get rid of the competition. Same has been done whenever a record 497 million ponds fine by European union for anti-competitive tendencies. Branding is examined from a moral viewpoint. In market moral issues will be the real concerns for companies.
Non-branding decisions at business or marketing level can affect the image of the brand, for example sweatshop accusation, labor disputes and animal assessment etc. Little consideration is given to shape the business decisions which are created by people other than brand managers using financial requirements. When thing runs incorrect at small or large scale the brand is blamed; hence brand image and firm are always the victim. Brands aren't in charge of the guilty of social and environmental destruction, companies are guilty and laws that permit the unethical procedures are guilty (private comment on brandchannel. com 29/10/2001). It is the corrupt top management that decreases the brand image and reputation. Brands are swift goals in case of corporation's misbehavior. The brands are the real as well as vulnerable investments of the organizations. A brandname reputation founded with million pounds in a long time can be destroyed or even destroyed overnight.
Brand manager desires to create a solo unique image of its brands which is recognized as positive and dependable. Originally a brandname is made up of multiple images meant versus identified, positive to natural to negative and external versus internal. Many people still believe "ethics does not sell" and these concerns are outside of their responsibility as managers will continue steadily to face the issue of cost versus conscience. Brand images are projected by product and corporate advertising by developing a gap between them. Brand communication aimed at one group may well not be treasured by another group. A brandname with solo image cannot charm to everyone.
Discrimination (Brand Collateral)
Brand professionals are restricted to product branding in the fast moving consumer goods sector. Brand models are related to two viewers as brand owner and brand consumers. Brand equity can be defined and calculated by its economical value in financial terms. Branding electricity lacks a number of elements. Basic two elements missing are legality and ethics which will make the foundation of brand collateral. Good brands are legitimately and ethically best one as brand value is evaluated by both honest and financial actions. Further more classic brand models focus largely on the merchandise brands instead of corporate brands. Brands and branding have their effects on the whole society rather than on those individuals who buy them. Employers, shareholders, suppliers and wider community are influenced by the branding decisions. An excellent brand creates benefits for its owners and emotional value for the users (Aaker, 1991; Kapferer, 1997 and Keller, 1997).
Business ethics and commercial social responsibility (CSR) are the two different ideas but often used inter-exchangeable. This field is further complicated by use of several terms like corporate image, commercial citizenship and commercial reputation (Carroll, 1999). CSR is a communal agreement between business and society while business ethics require functioning according to specific laws or moral viewpoint (Robin and Reidenbach, 1987).
Corporate reputation is concerned with how people feel about that company's location, company activities, past performance and future potential customers. Businesses are also accountable for arranging the community programs, supporting the public activities and attempting to enhance the welfare of your society all together (Keller, 1998). A commercial brand deals with an array of audience than shareholders and consumers. Honest branding and corporate reputation have close interconnection. Honesty, quality, respect, responsibility, accountability, variety and integrity are capabilities of honest brand. An honest branding enhances the firm's reputation at both corporate and business and product levels (cocacola. com).
Consumers are complex and face more alternatives in software industry and changes in lifestyle. People think that ethical behavior is an important thought, when customers make a decision to purchase the products and pay higher prices for that firm's product. Today population is more concerned about moral issues in marketing in comparison with twenty years ago. So in marketing the ethical branding is the main element role player in the success of constant sales of goods for an extended period.
The ethical branding requires the integrating beliefs and marketing education that builds up the faithful execution of God's term as unveiled in Bible. Honest branding seeks to apply justice, mercy and love. In marketing one must critically think about their spiritual progress in their professional life. To assimilate trust and learning is an initial foundation stone and then is the data of faith that involves the personal relationship with Christ. This understanding of Christ either comes straight from Bible or through the interpretation of Bible text messages. Bible focuses on the monetary spirituality within an original way. Many people aren't spiritual nonetheless they care about individuals, morals and ethics.
Branding professionals are educated to get knowledge about their practical lives in industry; and connect themselves with the Truth that has recently been written in their hearts. Brand managers are invited to apply their Christian faith in their work. Therefore Honest branding has very close link with teaching of Bible as it reveals the brand equity in marketing.