Morals over money: the growth of ethical brands

Consumers are using their spending power to help change the world for the better. To keep pace with this change, brands have to move beyond loyalty to relevance. Consumers are asking difficult questions: How is this product relevant to me? Why should I buy into this brand? Does this brand represent my values? Does this brand center diversity or sustainability? Growing brand relevance is a key component of retaining consistent consumers. 

On top of this, employees are looking for more meaningful work. They want to believe in their employer, their vision, and their values. Many workers are considering life choices as pandemic restrictions ease. These employees, like consumers, are after transparency and trust, whether that be in the workplace or where they choose to shop. People are after a cause to believe in – whether that be diversity, sustainability, or something else. Work isn’t just work and shopping isn’t just shopping anymore. 

Thus, brands need to be better – better with people and better for the planet. In this article, we’ll be exploring specifically how diversity is driving brands forward and how they are reacting to this shift in consumer attitudes, including the best examples of this. 

Diversity – a positive driver for change

As a global recruitment company, our aim is to work in partnership with our clients to find and recommend the best talent that will make this positive impact for such brands. We’re focused on giving our clients the competitive advantage that diversity brings. It’s about what a person adds to a company culture, rather than how they fit the previously established culture. Rather than looking for people who can assimilate readily, companies are now looking for employees who bring something new to their environment, perhaps even changing it for the better.

Promoting diversity is the first step towards not just tolerance, but true inclusion and acceptance. Bringing together people of various backgrounds with different life experiences can generate ideas or perspectives that others may not have ever considered or been aware of. 

But all these shifts towards more ethical practices can’t be surface-level marketing gimmicks. They must be authentic and thoughtful processes. The consumer is intelligent – they’ll be able to see through a shallow attempt at inclusivity easily. Brands and employers need to walk the walk, so to speak. 

In every search we conduct at Proco Global, we aim to provide a diverse shortlist of suitable individuals. Like our clients, we ourselves are on a journey to support diversity and inclusivity initiatives. 

There are a number of brands out there genuinely striving to become ethical, transparent enterprises. Here are a few that we know of: 

Kellogg – A Century of Diversity 

Mr. W. K. Kellogg himself was a pioneer of diversity, employing women in his workforce over 100 years ago. Kellogg is continuing to embody such spirit through its commitment to building a company that reflects the diversity of its consumers. 

General Mills – Responsibility Report 

In 2021, General Mills hit a number of ethical milestones: it sustainably sourced 100% of its top ten ingredients, enabled the donation of 7 billion meals worldwide, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16%. They also champion a diverse workforce, with women occupying 50% of professional positions in the company. 

Danone – A More Inclusive Economy 

The multinational food giant Danone is invested in multiple ways of contributing to the economy and environment. Danone has committed to zero net carbon emissions by 2050 as well as regenerative agricultural models that protect soil and animals. They also work to preserve water resources in Indonesia, France, and Argentina. In one of Danone’s dairy factories in Belgium, 75% of water consumed is reused, while water usage in one of its India sites has been cut in half. Furthermore, all of Danone’s policies and position papers – on health, people, the planet, and inclusivity – are available for the public to read and download from their website. This is a level of transparency that other companies should be striving to achieve. 

If you are looking to improve the diversity of your workforce but don’t know where to start, get in touch with us at Proco Global. We’ll guide you throughout the search process until you’re on your way to becoming a pioneer of genuine inclusivity and equity.  

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