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Should companies take a stand on social issues?

Think Nike, Gillette, and Bonobos.  Brands decide to take on a social issue to be "relevant" to their customers - and the internet explodes in negativity.   

Should brands do this?  The short answer is.... it depends.  It depends on your target audience and what you are trying to achieve. 

But most of all, a brand should only do this if the marketers have done their homework in the right way. 

The Ethical Frames Process builds in an early warning system to alert you when you might get close to touching off a storm. Dig into almost any marketing landmine and you will find at its core a violation of an Ethical Zone. These six basic facets of our moral belief systems can be a trigger for controversy.

The Ethical Frames Training Program helps marketers understand the guiderails of the Ethical Zones and predict when they might be getting close to the proverbial third rail that can trigger a marketing landmine.  See my blog for some more examples.

The book

My first book, Marketing Landmines:  The Next Generation of Emotional Branding, explains this in much more detail. It is available on Amazon in both paperback and ebook.

My latest book, Persuade, Don't Preach: Restoring Civility Across the Political Divide, takes the concepts a step further into our personal lives. If you want to understand how to talk to people you disagree with, in a productive way, this book is for you!


"Your book raises some very interesting issues worth addressing."

David J. Reibstein The William S. Woodside Professor and Professor of Marketing The Wharton School

Karen Tibbals @KarenTibbals

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