As a brand manager, you’re responsible for cultivating your brand’s identity, maintaining a positive image, and telling your story in a unique yet authentic way.
As you may know, branding is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes consistent care and effort across all of your marketing channels. While it’s crucial to support your business, brand integrity can be difficult to manage and even harder to build — however, it’s key to standing out from your competition.
Read on as we discuss what brand integrity is, its importance, and how you can maintain it.
What Is Brand Integrity?
Brand integrity occurs when a brand’s messaging, actions, and products or services are unified with its values and philosophy. Think of some of the most iconic brands in business right now – Google, Netflix, and Facebook. These brands have high brand awareness. At first mention, you can almost instantly visualize their logo and brand colors and think of the services they provide. You may even use at least one (if not all three) of these platforms yourself.
These brands deliver a high-quality product with consistent messaging, which builds trust with their customers and keeps their business top of mind. That’s the power of brand integrity at work.
Why Is Brand Integrity Important?
Your brand’s integrity should be a top priority. Roughly four out of five people say they will only buy from a brand that they trust. Maintaining brand integrity is the key to fostering that trust.
For example, if a customer finds your brand on social media they may visit your website to browse your products or services. If the graphics, pages, and content on your website are outdated or are inconsistent with what’s on your other marketing channels, they’ll likely not convert. These discrepancies create distrust — causing customers to take their business elsewhere. Breaking from your brand standards can not only cost you business but can also have a negative, lasting impact on your reputation and customer relationships.
How Can You Maintain Brand Integrity?
Simply put, the key to maintaining brand integrity is staying true to your customers — and yourself. Building brand integrity involves understanding the ins and outs of your brand identity and carefully crafting messaging that reflects it.
Create content that’s in line with your brand mission, vision, and values. Ensure consistency across your marketing efforts. Stay active on all of your digital channels — including multiple social media platforms, email marketing, paid advertising, video, and more.
Conduct a Digital Brand Audit
Regularly perform digital brand audits to guarantee your channels match your brand standards. Take a moment to examine the way you communicate across all platforms. Would customers be able to recognize you regardless of their point of entry? Does your brand look and sound the same way on all platforms? Is your brand’s digital presence consistent with the branding of your products or services?
Ensure all of your digital channels are up to date and that everything is working at optimal performance. Plan to quickly solve any inconsistencies you find.
Create a Consistent Experience
At the end of the day, you want to leave a positive, lasting impression on your customers. Brand consistency is the key to building brand awareness and boosting customer acquisition and retention.
- Be authentic and honest. Staying transparent in your brand’s messaging is key to garnering trust from your customer base. Use your brand’s unique mission, vision, and values as the foundation of your marketing efforts.
- Stay true to your brand standards. From your customer service experience to your social media presence, and everything in between, all of these touchpoints reflect your brand. Every interaction should provide a positive customer experience that’s consistent with your brand identity.
- Stay current. Ensure your brand messaging, assets, and content are up to date across all of your digital channels.
- Stay active. Providing a consistent stream of content on your digital channels will keep your brand top of mind. Maintain a steady posting schedule on social media. Regularly publish new blogs and website content. Stay consistent in your email marketing efforts.
Adapt to Survive
Social media has seen tremendous strides in the past few years as a news aggregator, conversation facilitator, and e-commerce solution. It’s viewed as the ultimate equalizer — empowering brands to tell their story at a fraction of the cost seen in traditional marketing efforts.
A strong digital presence – or lack thereof – can be the difference between whether your brand thrives or fails. For example, the lack of a social presence has already killed off brands like Sears and Toys-R-Us. If your brand isn’t utilizing social media, you can be sure that your competition is already taking advantage of its benefits.
If you’re already using social media, post at optimal times, stay consistent, and leverage partner marketing. Create a daily checklist to guarantee your social media managers don’t miss any important steps.
Don’t Fix What’s Not Broken
For as long as it takes to develop your brand’s image and gain customer trust, a few mistakes can ruin it in the blink of an eye. For example, Coca-Cola took one of the biggest risks in the company’s history in April 1985 when the company announced “new Coke” — the first departure from its original formula in 99 years. The change led to a swift marketing firestorm – only 13% of soda drinkers liked the new formula.
In attempting to revitalize its brand, Coca-Cola broke a cardinal rule by changing its successful, beloved formula. After nearly three months of criticism, the company returned to the original formula we’re all familiar with: “Classic Coke.”
Ensure Brand Compliance
Along with managing your own brand messaging, you will want to ensure brand compliance amongst your retailers. Your retailers are champions for your brand, and how they display your brand can impact its reputation. Many small business owners don’t have the resources or background to understand the importance of brand integrity and how to align their marketing efforts with your brand standards.
How ThumbStopper Can Help You Maintain Brand Integrity
Over time, you’ll reap the benefits of brand integrity — but remember: consistency is key. ThumbStopper® makes maintaining brand integrity easy by helping brands keep a consistent social media strategy. Tools like ThumbStopper’s Brand Manager™ can help you reach new audiences, increase ROI, and ensure brand compliance with ease.
Request a demo to see how ThumbStopper can help you maintain brand integrity today.