We use a whole host of buzzwords nowadays to sum up why some brands fail and some thrive. It’s easy to think that ‘brand integrity’ is just a ‘fluffy’ measure of consumer sentiment – difficult to pinpoint and impossible to get right. But that’s not the case. In reality, brand integrity is a crucial, and very tangible, part of what can make or break brands – and in a changing consumer landscape, it gets more important by the day.
What is brand integrity?
People interact with your brand at lots of different times and in lots of different places. Everything from your product or service, your messaging (across multiple platforms), the imagery you use, and the reputation that precedes you will affect how your brand is perceived. Brand integrity, put simply, is a measure of that crucial perception people have of you – and every time you miss the mark on a brand promise, you risk losing some of that precious integrity you’ve built up in one reputation-damaging swoop.
Why is brand integrity so important?
A great reputation speaks volumes so you don’t have to. Building and maintaining great brand integrity isn’t always the easiest thing to get right, especially with mounting consumer expectations and changes in the workplace. But the value it brings to marketing efforts is worth its weight in gold – and in brands with high integrity are winning with consumers.
You’ll be more trustworthy
Consumers connect with your brand across many different touchpoints, and when they do, they expect to be greeted with the same consistent message every time. When that expectation is met, people will have more trust that your brand can deliver, and you’ll generate that all-important reputation of trustworthiness and reliability.
You’ll create brand advocacy
When people feel aligned with brands, they’re much more likely to become loyal fans. Brands that deliver consistently on the things that matter to consumers not only have integrity, but also the support of the people. Your brand advocates are the people who support your message, engage the most with your content, and consistently recommend you to others, driving that reputation of brand integrity beyond your existing customers.
You’ll resonate better with your target audience
A brand with integrity is one that’s aligned across the board. Everything from messaging through to the product itself is designed with a specific purpose in mind – and that resonates with the right people. When the focus is on a consistent, consumer-driven experience, and driven by alignment across all aspects of the brand, your message is more likely to reach niche audiences. Keeping that integrity and cohesive message on all-fronts turns those niche audience members into brand advocates, who can help you reach even more people in that same audience – and so the cycle continues.
You’ll differentiate yourself from competitors
There’s so much choice out there these days. Consumers usually aren’t confined to one brand within any niche – if they’re dissatisfied, they have a wealth of knowledge at their fingertips, and can easily source an alternative. It’s essential, then, that there’s something differentiating you from every other brand in your niche – and the weight that integrity brings does just that. Being a brand with integrity uniquely positions you within your market. The combined oomph of being a trustworthy brand, with a powerful purpose and plenty of advocates within their niche, is a kind of brand strength that money can’t buy – and it might just be enough to set you apart.