What Does Ethical Marketing for Wellness Brands Really Mean?

For some businesses, like wellness brands, ethical marketing gets a lot more attention because consumers tend to be a lot more discerning, here’s what you need to know.

ethical marketing for wellness brands

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels


Ethical marketing is a hot topic these days. For businesses, it can be both a boon and a bane. This is because it’s also not always easy to find the balance between doing what is right and making money.

From the customer’s perspective, doing what is right should always come first. Understandably, this makes sense, and they are not wrong. 


As a business owner or company head, however, it is not an easy feat to please everyone, take risks, and do enough to stay in business and even grow that business. Doing “what is right” is also not entirely objective. What one consumer views as ethical might seem like it’s not enough to another. Still, as today’s generation of consumers is generally more mindful and conscious of their actions and impact on others and the environment, they demand the same of the brands they support. 


There is no longer room for questioning whether your company should take risks to become more ethical. It is now a matter of determining how to be ethical and how to balance that in a way that still allows you to make money to grow and succeed. And some believe that certain brands have more of a responsibility than others to do so — such as wellness brands. 

What is Ethical Marketing, and Why Is It Important?

Before diving into what wellness brands can do to ensure they are more conscious of their actions and provide ethical content, it’s helpful to first understand what ethical marketing is. Though this topic is trending, not everyone has the same understanding of ethics and what makes a brand ethical. 


In a general sense, ethics refers to the moral principles that govern one’s behaviors and actions. Or, in even more basic terminology, it is the act of doing good or the notion of doing good. However, “doing good” is often left open to interpretation. Specifically, ethics often references our thoughts and practices regarding things like accessibility to all, fair and equal rights, honesty and transparency, and avoiding anything that can be construed as discrimination, hate, or violence. 


In the context of marketing, ethics is about presenting your brand in a way that is fair, honest, and empathetic towards all customers, especially on social media. However, today’s consumers are highly astute and shrewd, so if your ethics are only skin deep, they will see right through it. Or in other words, if your marketing content claims that you are an ethical brand, but your actual practices, processes, and products are not ethical, you will likely be found out due to false advertising. 


A truly ethical brand promotes good values and practices those values through its internal and external operations and communications. It’s not about simply appearing good, but actually being good. There is no sense talking the talk if you aren’t going to walk the walk, especially for wellness brands.  

Why Wellness Brands Have a Responsibility to Be Mindful of Their Marketing Content

As health and wellness brands are in the business of selling people on products and services to improve their mental and physical wellbeing, it’s especially important to be mindful of what you are offering and how you are marketing their content. Furthermore, an unethical wellness brand can open itself up to legal complications in addition to losing customers, which can ultimately ruin the brand’s reputation. 


Consumers tend to be much more discerning and judgmental when it comes to wellness brands. Many feel that too many health, fitness, and wellness brands are still stuck in the past and rely on outdated and unethical practices. Simply having a quality product that works is no longer sufficient. People want goods and services from health and wellness companies that work well and are genuinely produced and marketed in an ethical manner.


This means wellness brands can throw all the money they’d like at distribution, expensive ingredients, pretty packaging, and attractive marketing, but it’s not going to get them anywhere. Or it won’t get them very far. Consumers today won’t fall for it. In short, money can’t buy you business, but ethics can. 

Ethical Marketing Tips for Wellness Brands

Wellness brands that want to truly impress customers and grow their business need to show that they genuinely care about the health and wellness of all their customers. They need to actively work to update their practices and process and educate themselves to improve their own health literacy and understanding of ethics so that they can avoid spreading misinformation and engaging in false advertising. 


Again, truly being an ethical brand means making changes from the inside out. To ensure your marketing is ethical, you must first educate everyone within your company as a whole on what it means to be ethical. This includes how they can become more knowledgeable on health and wellness topics to avoid producing content and engaging with customers in a way that spreads false information. It also means working towards adopting practices and producing content that is more accessible, inclusive, and equitable. 


Additional tips for adopting more ethical marketing practices for your wellness brand include:


  • Partner with health practitioners. Not only will this show your customers that your products are indeed good for them, but it also is a way for your company to boost sales. Doctors or health facilities that you connect with can refer people to your brand and your products or service, which can help you acquire new customers and increase your sales. 
  • Prioritize quality over quantity. Your marketing content should be more about the thought and meaning rather than simply trying to be flashy and in as many places as possible. Consumers are turned off by too many ads in too many places, especially if the content isn’t genuine and ethical. In other words, think less “sales pitch” and more “friend recommending a good product.” Consumers are more receptive to content they can relate to and feels authentic. Content that is too pushy and “in your face” is a turnoff and often signals that a brand is hiding behind unethical practices. 
  • Be mindful of your social content. Today’s primary consumers are most active on social media, so your social content is essentially the face of your brand. Your website might be home base, especially if you are primarily an e-commerce brand, but social is the primary way you will get them there. It’s crucial to be extra cautious of how you promote your brand on social media. Interactive social content is an excellent way to grab people’s attention and show them that you care. Generally, brands that actively engage on social media with their customers through interactive content have better retention rates because it builds brand loyalty and promotes transparency and honesty. 

Wrapping Up

For wellness brands, it is vital that you consider ethics even more than others. What you do and say, and the products or services you provide can significantly impact a person’s physical and mental health and well-being. Consumers today are also much more aware of how their actions impact others and the world around them, meaning they are more mindful of the brands they choose to buy from. Unethical business practices and marketing content will only tarnish your brand’s reputation. If you want to do good and genuinely succeed, you have to be good — on the inside and the outside.