4 Ethical Principles All Brands Should Follow

Ethical Principles

Ethics is a term that derives from the Greek word ethos (way of living, in English) and defines those moral principles that govern our behavior to live in society. 

Of course, this is not just about the individual: there are also ethical principles for business, which all companies or brands should follow and embody in their practices and decisions. To keep it short, business ethics is the acceptable, morally correct behavior that every professional should have in areas such as marketing, customer and worker safety, environmental preservation, etc.

We live in a time when society values ​​accountability – and, at the same time, quickly “cancels” morally questionable decisions or acts. Therefore you must be aware of which ethical principles your business should follow and how the general public perceives them. Let’s take a look at four essential ethical principles for all brands and companies.

1. Transparency

Being transparent is easier said than done. After all, this will require you to always be open, direct, and, above all, honest about several business operations that you usually would keep to yourself or a select group of advisors.

Adopting transparency in your company will require sharing information about revenue, performance, internal processes, pricing, things that possibly went wrong, etc. 

In this way, you build a strong relationship of honesty and loyalty with workers and customers, who come to trust your decisions much more. Are you prepared to do this and be more transparent? If you think so, take the following steps: 

Core Values

Write down and spread the essential values of your business, and do everything in your power to follow them to the letter.

Don’t Minimize

Do not try to hide when something goes wrong or minimize the problem, especially if your decisions cause it.

Set an Example

Lead by example, not the traditional “do as I say but not as I do.”

The Good and the Bad

Understand the role of communication and share important information, both good and bad, with your employees and customers.

Don’t Mask Pricing

Never try to mask your prices; instead, explain exactly how it was calculated (or reduce them).

Learn From Lessons

Instead of punishing or trying to hide failures and wrong decisions, turn them into lessons on how to do it right next time. 

2. Customer Satisfaction

For some business owners, the selling process ends when customers buy their product or service. For successful business owners, however, customer satisfaction is as fundamental a component as completing a sale. 

After all, a satisfied customer can help promote your company at a time when social media is as important as traditional marketing, generating free publicity for your business.

In short, measuring customer satisfaction is a quick and advantageous way to determine if your products or services meet consumers’ expectations and where exactly you can improve. To do this, you must put the following steps into practice as soon as possible:

Ask for Feedback

Always ask for feedback about the purchase process – about the experience with the product or service, etc.

Provide Information

Give transparent information before and especially after the purchase (when the customer contacts support to report possible problems, for example).

Offer Support

Customers like to be treated as a priority, so offer 24/7 customer support and respond immediately.


Always send a personalized, informative response instead of those impersonal marketing messages that end up in the spam box.

Targeted Mailing Lists

Create targeted mailing lists to facilitate contact with those customers who would get the most out of your email content.

Communication Channels

Offer all possible forms of communication for customer support: social media, websites, phone, and even traditional mail.

Reward Systems

Invest in rewards for loyal customers or shoppers who make big purchases, including discounts and product giveaways.

3. Privacy and Security

Companies usually have access to private information through customer transactions, including addresses and banking or credit card information. Any data you request from customers to conduct business must have a safeguarding and privacy guarantee; otherwise, your customers will distrust your practices and will not do business with you again.

Ethical principles in privacy and data security refer to how you collect and use this information from your customers and how you will act if the confidentiality of the data is breached. To ensure a relationship of trust with consumers, you must explain to them what private data will be collected and how this information will be stored and handled during and after the purchase.

4. Environmental Effects

Whenever you make a new product, the process causes some environmental impact or effect. This can happen through using energy or raw materials extracted from animals or plants, pollution generated by transport or manufacturing processes, the emission of greenhouse gases (that contribute to climate change), etc.

Consumers are increasingly concerned about how their habits affect the environment and therefore are looking for ways to minimize this impact. Many already prefer to buy green products produced by companies with recognized concern for the environment than cheaper items manufactured without the same regard.

That’s why it’s very important that you do what you can to mitigate environmental effects through your business practices and operations. Also, make it very clear to your workers and customers.

Having Ethics is Good for Business

A business owner or manager must always lead by example. It’s no use demanding that your workers do something a certain way or announcing to your customers that you have ethical and social concerns when you don’t act that way. 

But when they see that your company has and adheres to its ethical principles and values, both employees and customers will build a trusting relationship with your business – because they will be confident that you are doing the right thing.

In addition, it is essential to remember that a company with good practices is less at risk of facing legal problems, receiving heavy fines, or being “canceled” by society, something very common in these times of social media and easy access to information. So do it right from the start, and don’t worry.