Brands must align with consumers’ desire to be ethical

May 20, 2022
3 min read

It’s likely you’ve come across a campaign from one of your favourite brands that bring awareness to a cause or a particular social issue. It is because consumers nowadays pay attention to brands that show social responsibility.

In India, skincare brand Dot & Key created a campaign that called attention to period poverty while also dedicating a part of its proceeds to donating sanitary napkins to underprivileged women. With more than 335 million menstruating girls and women in India, many of them, especially those living in rural areas, do not have access to menstrual hygiene products such as sanitary napkins.

Do good on the consumer’s behalf

Dot & Key’s campaign has struck a chord with consumers as it highlights the need to relay awareness and resources to the less privileged about a topic that is widely stigmatized: menstruation. 

According to Mintel Trend Moral Brands, consumers want to be in on the action but most often are time-constrained. Therefore, they are looking to manufacturers, retailers and brands to do good work on their behalf (eg by offering morally better products or services for them to buy or redirecting profits to charitable causes). Furthermore, Mintel Global Consumer data shows that 8 in 10 Indian consumers prefer to be associated with companies/brands that align with their values. 

Therefore, when brands like Dot & Key portray the joint responsibility of the brand and the individual consumer in raising awareness of topics that they care about, it can create a more genuine, collaborative brand relationship and foster brand loyalty. 

Embracing purpose

Brands around the world are striving towards a common objective – creating awareness and educating consumers across topics of social importance – and their attempts are very well received. Embracing purpose today goes beyond simply sharing an opinion on a timely issue, and more often demands enacting a meaningful commitment to that cause as seen from other brands around the world. 

For instance, Indian chewing gum brand Happydent rolled out an ad campaign that urged users to “do something with a good smile” by sending a positive message out to a broader audience based on everyday situations that we may encounter (eg offering a seat to an elderly person during a commute). 

La Liga Contra el Cáncer in Peru used an innovative approach to spread awareness of breast cancer resulting in a whopping 240% increase in preventative examinations. Meanwhile, Mexico canning company Herdez Group relaunched its packaging recycling programme, “Recicla la Lata” (“Recycle Your Can”), to encourage consumers to recycle their empty cans which will be then transformed to provide clean energy to rural communities – as sustainability increasingly becomes a key consumer focus.

What we think

Individually, a brand campaign is like a drop in the ocean but the increasingly connected digital space amplifies the impact of ‘campaigns with a cause’. Modern Indian consumers want to do their bit for society. This creates opportunities for brands to involve consumers in the journey of giving back to society by doing good on their behalf. In return, consumers experience a sense of purpose and brands can build long-lasting trust and loyalty with them. Creating awareness about important social issues and educating consumers will go a long way in positioning a brand as ethical and will reap the benefits of customer loyalty. 


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