Brand Integrity Makes a Big Difference to Consumers

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As a child, you were no doubt taught about the value of honesty. It’s one of the first moral lessons most parents try to impart onto their children.

Closely intertwined with honesty is the expectation that you will be held accountable for your own actions.

In marketing, these very basic fundamentals can sometimes be forgotten. However, these days consumers have a way to digitally voice their concerns about companies who lose their way.

Brand integrity is a big deal. People want to know they can trust companies before engaging with them.

Here are a few ways you can earn the trust of your audience.

5 Ways Brands Can Nurture Trust

Research by the Sprout Social Index shows that millennials are most likely to call out brands on social media. Almost 60% of this group have complained about an issue they’ve had with a brand online.

With a global platform, social media has the power to really influence a lot of people, for better or worse.

Because of this, brand integrity matters more than ever today.

1.    Honesty Is the Best Policy

Trustworthy brands have no reason to lie. They can be totally open about their company, offering full transparency about their values, beliefs, and products.

This is especially pertinent in the food industry. Dining chain, Panera Bread is a great example of this, as they launched a marketing campaign in 2016 that provided customers with “transparent menus,” which listed all the ingredients, calories, and nutritional info for each and every item.

2.    Focus on the Customer

The best brands have a customer-centric focus. They ask their consumers about the problems they are facing and then offer tailored solutions. By providing real value, the brand nurtures more trust with their customers.

3.    Trustworthy Brands Have Got the Customer’s Back

When a company rises to the top, there will always be opportunities to exploit its power for more money.

Apple turned down the FBI when they came knocking. The Federal government wanted the access and ability to unlock Apple’s phones, but the tech giant refused.

This was a major statement of brand integrity from Apple. Customers knew they could trust that their personal privacy was in safe hands.

4.    Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes

When Chipotle had an outbreak of E.coli, it could have spelled the end for the popular chain of restaurants.

However, they were quick to react. By closing down locations, implementing new safety measures, and communicating with the public, they were able to limit the damage.

Of course, they took a hit, but the quick response curried favor with many customers who respected the openness and genuine apology that was made.

5.    Use Social Media to Connect with Customers

Social media enables any company to build brand integrity if they use it correctly. Staying active in niche communities online will help with brand visibility, and it can also humanize your brand so people don’t view your business as just another faceless corporation.

Trust Takes Time to Build

A business can’t develop trust with customers immediately.

It doesn’t matter how fancy the store is or how friendly all the staff members are. Only by offering real value without any strings, and building relationships with your target audience can you nurture the trust that is necessary to make sales.

Brands that put honesty and transparency among their top priorities will get there faster.

By standing up for your customers’ best interests, and protecting them when they need it most, companies can forge stronger bonds with people.

That will serve your business well for the future.

Marketing Authenticity: Can it Motivate Your Audience?

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In the recent years, social media has been polluted with trolling, fake news and a lot of negativity. These issues make it harder to build trust with people, which is a problem for business.

Now, marketing authenticity and brand activism in social good campaigns are key considerations for brands.

It’s time to get real.

What is a Social Good Campaign?

Studies on global consumers show that just 52% of people actually trust businesses.

Instead of trying to persuade people for a quick buck, brands must seek to win the trust of their customers by proving they are out for social good.

Whether they are responding to political decisions, supporting a cause, or promoting a much bigger idea than their company’s financial interests, brands can show they are for social good.

While using a cause to promote your own message runs the risk of a negative backlash, if it’s done right, your company can showcase marketing authenticity and align your business with a cause.

The Impact of Marketing Authenticity on your Brand Growth

There are a number of key benefits to using marketing authenticity and brand activism in your growth strategy.

It Nurtures Trust

With successful campaigns that demonstrate what your company cares about more than profits, you will find it easier to build trust with consumers. This adds to your brand credibility and makes it easier to build a larger audience over time.

In 2017, The New York Times responded to the influx of fake news by launching a campaign called, “The Truth is Hard to Find”, which promoted quality journalism and facts.

Not only did they demonstrate integrity in their reporting, but they boosted awareness, which led to a rise in subscription numbers.

It Boosts Brand Awareness

Social good campaigns can deliver quite an impact, which spreads quickly as more people start talking about it. If it connects with people on an emotional level, then the impact can be huge.

A 2018 study found that 77% of people feel they have a stronger emotional connection with purpose-driven companies, as opposed to traditional companies. That makes many people more loyal to that company and more likely to defend it.

It Makes Your Brand More Relevant

Following trending topics is an integral part of modern marketing, especially on social media. By aligning your business with a trending social movement, your brand activism can make you seem more relevant in the eyes of a wider audience.

Marketing Authenticity must be Customer-Centric

Marketing authenticity is a key link between what your brand does and what your customers want. Through brand activism in social good campaigns, your business can transcend the quest for profits, and show you care more about your customers and about the things they care about.

The danger is that if it’s done wrong, people may view your efforts as a gimmick or shameless plug. With some smart strategy, your brand can prove their integrity to forge strong connections with your existing audience and grow a larger one.

In the long run, that will benefit both the people and your business fortunes.