What is brand integrity? 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, Your Brand Will Thank You
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.
E29 Marketing is featured as a Top Branding Agency in 15 Effective Brand Awareness Strategies: The Utlimate Guide to Building a Brand & Companies to Implement them in 2020.