A Return to Honesty? Or Honor?

Every time I run across a mention of The Honest Company or Honest Tea, I’m impressed by the savvy Integrity, Honesty, Honormarketing that went into their names. They're straightforward and appeal to a public disillusioned by immoral corporations. But I also wonder: in a world where transparency is no longer optional, is honesty still a virtue? Or is it just self-interest, given the high cost (and high likelihood) of being exposed as a liar?

Perhaps a more apt name would have been “The Honorable Company.” After all, Merriam-Webster defines “honor” as:

  • respect that is given to someone who is admired
  • good reputation : good quality or character as judged by other people
  • high moral standards of behavior

What do you think? Is honesty now ante? Does corporate honor pay off?