In a session at the 2014 Global Ethics Summit, companies like Hasbro and Marriott that were identified as “most ethical” by Ethisphere spoke about the relationship between brand, reputation and trust.
Kathrin Belliveau, VP, Global Government Affairs, Corporate Social Responsibility and Compliance, Hasbro, identified environmental and supply chain issues as being top of mind, as the company keeps its key customer – children – in mind as it makes ethical and socially responsible choices.
Edward A. Ryan, EVP and GC, Marriott said that the customer opinion of hotels goes far beyond having a clean room and a nice staff. To grab the consumer, he says, you have to appeal to the consumer with your brand.
Wendy Purvy, CMO, Sotheby’s, understands the role of the real estate professional, hoping to elevate the reputation of agents to the level of a doctor, acknowledging the importance of the real estate professional as someone involved in one of the biggest financial decisions most people face. The company has specific guidelines about how agents can market themselves, and focus on media relationships as well.
The topic of customer engagement, especially with younger consumers who crave community relationships, came up. Ryan stated that the next generation of travelers differs from older generations in many respects, including how younger consumers spend their accumulated miles and points faster than older consumers, so making a loyalty program relevant is key. He also pointed out that trust builds loyalty, especially among younger consumers.
In the toy industry, gender marketing is a hot button issue, and Belliveau talked about a social media campaign surrounding the Easy Bake Oven, which was traditionally marketed toward young girls. A young girl pointed this out via social media, and Hasbro brought her in to discuss the topic. The result is a gender-neutral stainless steel Easy Bake Oven.
For Sotheby’s, which sees millennials as “future buyers,” the company wants to invite younger consumers to aspire to be customers in the future. But, in an effort to attract younger employees, the company has opened a new office meant to appeal to millennial workers.
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