Brand ethics in pandemic time

Step 2 – The company location from the point of view of consumers and employees
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Date 3 November
Author Giulia Fabrizi

Last time we talked about the importance of defining the Brand DNA of a company. To be clear about the directions to take in order to be, as Philip Kotler suggests, credible, pertinent and relevant.

In fact, when the path is clear, all subsequent steps are easy to plan and organize to be consistent with those values and vocations that drive the company or brand.

The coherence between the identity and the actions that are implemented, can be immediately perceived as having an impact on the well-being of people, both consumers and employees, belonging to the ‘eco-system’ of the brand/company. 

We are now going to focus on the Step 2, the one related to the role of the company location.

Surprisingly, this aspect has been mentioned by the majority of respondents (from US to China through Belgium, Spain, France, Italy, Congo, India) as one of the most relevant aspects, from the point of view of an employee and of a consumer.

In general, for the majority, the company should have a location and a structure that communicates a sense of ‘presence’ in the local territory, as it must convey a strong idea of what it represents, its history and its values through concrete actions directed towards both the internal (the employees) and the external (people living in the nearby territory) communities

Participants in the global research expressed the desire to work in/buy from a company that creates a kind of an ‘intercommunicating eco system’ to generate “a continuous interaction between those who work in the company and those who live in the surrounding area" (a Chinese participant) with the aims to: 

  • Develop a culture of ‘interaction and integration’ between the company and the nearby territory, giving accessibility to people to become part of the company life for a common benefit

“I like the idea of accessibility to everyone” (German respondent), “the company has to convey an idea of openness to the territory, to people living around, who want to feel connected with the band/company” (UK respondent)

 

  • Provide help to people in need, as has been seen during the pandemic, companies have taken action for their employees and for the people living in the areas close to the company’s headquarters and other locations where (eg) factories were located

“The company should be there to help with facility of essential needs like food, water and so on for people in need, living nearby” (respondent from India), “as some companies did during the pandemic, they should keep on being there to assist and support people” (a French respondent) and “companies should help people who live around the headquarters or factories, bringing millions of opportunities and support to the ones who really need it” (a Spanish participant) 

  • Care and wellbeing of the external community. It has been suggested to support the economy and the growth of the surrounding area through company-sponsored activities and experiences, also to promote its products and services, such as…


    • Edutainment events for local children and for the children of employees, creating moments of networking and exchange in a playful and engaging way, tackling topics important to young people's growth such as care and respect for oneself and others, self-esteem, forgiveness, kindness

“I would love to see a dedication to the scholarship activities for those who cannot allow it” (an African respondent)

  • Involvement of retailers, traders or craftspeople in activities related to the company's production, seeking to find affinities between talents and skills of people who live nearby

“The company should be in contact with the area and consider to invest in the artisans of the territory” (Italian respondent)

  • People-to-people exchanges between employees and neighbors to raise awareness of the company and its products so to build beneficial connections

“It would be great if the company organized events with labs where it will be possible to get to know about the production process, the ingredients used and so on” (German respondent)

  • Care and promotion of touristic, artistic and historical sites in the area

“I’m impressed by those companies which care about the surrounding environment by creating green areas, clean spaces and so on for the benefit of people living around” (Spain) 

It is thought that the same attention devoted to people and the environment will also be applied to the products and production processes, in favor of the individual, society and planet preservation

A German participant, “as a consumer I appreciate when a company takes care of the area where its offices are located, it makes me think that as it takes care of people it will also take care of its products and the way it produces them, in a very environmentally friendly way”. 

Inclusivity, support, and caring behaviors are perceived very positively by people who can touch and benefit from concrete actions in their territory, creating a positive effect on the image and reputation of the brand/company. 

These are some of the outputs from our research and we do hope they can inspire you.

Coming soon is the third step to becoming ethical and caring about the well-being of people inside and outside the company: we will talk about the relevance of the workplace environment and atmosphere. 

For any further information or for sharing ideas and opinions, we would be pleased to hear you: info@almarqr.com

Alena Silchenko
Intern at Almar Quality Research
Giulia Fabrizi
ESOMAR Representative, Managing Director at Almar Quality Research