I define brand integrity as the ability to present one’s brand both in words and deeds to be true, respectable and acceptable without compromising on standards (brands promise).
As Wikipedia has it, “Integrity is the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness. It is generally a personal choice to uphold oneself to consistent moral and ethical standards.”
“If the gap between the projected image and the reality of the customer experience widens, customers smell hypocrisy.” – Ballantyne and Aitken (2007, p. 366)
That is to say when the promised value is under delivered and there is no synchronization, then there is a brand integrity issue.
Now take a look at ways that you may be compromising on your brand integrity.
1. Not having the means to be reached by customers
To stay in business you must have means to be reached by potential clients and existing customers, if not you stand the risk of losing your business to your competitors. Customers want to reach you buy a click of a button, a call, social media, etc. Make it easy to be reachable.
2. Ignoring feedbacks
Feedbacks are ways to assess your brand’s performance, to correct the wrongs and project the rights. It is a continues cycle to strengthen your brand.
3. Ignoring the use of social media
Doing business in this age without social media presence is almost an error, (depends on the type of business you are into), however having a strong social media presence enhances your business in many ways. Most often than not, it’s the quickest way customers can give you feedback on your brand.
4. Reacting to feedbacks instead of responding appropriately
Gathering feedbacks for feedbacks sake doesn’t do you any good. It’s your commitment to work with those feedbacks that matters. Not reacting in anger when it’s not in your favour is a great skill to develop. Learn to be patient and respond positively to feedbacks
5. Putting up an arrogant attitude
It’s okay to defend your products and services but note that you are in business to serve, to meet the needs of others. Place people first, accept corrections when you err to help make your brand better.
6. Trying to please everyone
You are not in business to serve everyone, period!
7. Not being specific; what you stand for, who your audience are
You must know specifically what your brand represents and the unique audience you serve, if not your brand will easily lose its value by spreading too thin.
8. Hyping instead of helping
As the noise increases in advertisement and promotion; a brands goal is to be seen and heard and then be patronized. Hyping your product just to reach your audience won’t do you much good; instead focus on helping, meeting the needs of your market.
9. Promising one thing and delivering another
Simply say what you mean and mean what you say. Keep your brand promise always, don’t over promise and under deliver.
10. Not having a company culture; personal or corporate guiding values
Your personal and or your corporate brand values are critical guiding principles to the survival of your brand. You should constantly hold it to be true. Remember like I always say; “If you can’t be trusted you have no business.”
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