Branding and Integrity
First of all what is integrity and what is branding?
Integrity is defined by the Oxford American Dictionary as: the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.
Branding is defined in that same dictionary as: the promotion of a particular product or company by means of advertising and distinctive design.
There is actually a great deal more that could be added to that definition of branding which falls into the area of storytelling. Every brand tells a story by way of its message, the people who shop there, and what kind of experience those customers receive. This is all in addition to how the brand is presented visually in a logo, website or marketing piece. All these factors tell a story.
Now, what does branding have to do with integrity? You hear about companies running into this situation: they say one thing and then do the opposite, the public finds out and then the outrage occurs! So how can you avoid this, especially if you are a small business and still trying to figure out everything all at once?
First figure out your story. This is your branding. Figure out what you stand for and believe in. Is it great customer service? Is it the best quality? Is it all natural ingredients? Really decide, because this isn't just something you write on your next advertisement to make people feel good, you are making them a promise. If you say “all natural ingredients” and your product is then found out to contain GMOs…well, let's just say outrage is headed your way. Sound familiar?
Integrity and Branding is something that is even more important to our "do-gooder" clients. They have double the promises to keep. They are delivering a great product AND giving back to the community. So make sure that whatever do-good activity you decide to get involved in, you keep your promise and help that activity. Then make it known that you are doing it! This is important for three reasons:
1. It brings value and loyalty to your company
2. It brings awareness to the cause that you are helping
3. It sets a good example for other businesses to do the same!
So your exercise for this week:
Look over the story you are telling about your company and the promises you are making to the public. Then be really honest with yourself about it, and make sure that you are delivering on all those points.