The need for ethical businesses is strongly evolving as a priority in many industries. It started with the clothing (child labor, workers rights abuse, exploitation…etc) and food industry (use of genetically modified substances, mass farming…etc). This relatively new trend is now a business reality. Companies are to consider nurturing the ethical identity of their business and display honesty and integrity. In the era of internet, the need for honesty and integrity is amplified.
Google understood where this is all going and is going toward allowing users more control over their own information (allowing fake Google + profile nickname). On the European Commissions’ request, they also agreed to stop calling games ‘Free’ if they offer an In App purchase option. This is not going to be the end of it. We will see many of these cases with many other similar companies simply because these companies failed to establish a trust relationship with the majority of their customers.
Do Google, Apple and Facebook know what their customers’ dislike about their policies? It’s not wrong to think that these internet giants have all the tools and capabilities to figure it out and have in fact been fixing issues whenever they arise. The problem with having to be reactive is that it shows a misunderstanding of who the customer is and what he wants. Even worse, it could lead us to think that as long as the company makes profit, it will handle isolated issues when they are escalated but don’t care to address major identified concerns. Let’s be optimistic and hope that these companies haven’t listened to all their customers’ issues quite yet!
Social responsibility can be an extremely profitable marketing tactic but in this new era, a successful business is one that has an ethical responsibility. Ethical business is definitely tomorrows’ business.