Sustainability is no longer one of those nice-to-have features that can make your brand stand out in the crowd. Today, sustainability represents one of the core values that more and more conscious shoppers look for when purchasing a product or service—from food to skincare, from software tools to enterprise VoIP solutions.
Therefore, with sustainability so high on the agenda of both brands and consumers, one question becomes imperative: how can companies become more sustainable, and how can they communicate their achievements to an ever-committed audience?
One of the answers lies in the concept of “brand integrity”. Keep reading our article to discover what brand integrity is, what its benefits are, and why it plays such a key role in sustainability.
Brand integrity: what does it mean?
Brands with solid, uncompromising integrity can be compared to people with high morals, strong values, and actions that match those beliefs and commitments.
This is the first thing to understand and acknowledge when discussing brand integrity. Why? Because, at the end of the day, a brand is not defined by what it sells, but by the relationship it has with its customers, and by how they perceive its business.
Consider this example. You are in the middle of a very tricky situation—whether personal or professional—and want to make sure that you do the right thing by behaving in the most honest, respectable way possible.
If you need help or advice, you are likely going to approach that friend of yours who is well-known for being a trustworthy and transparent person. You do so because you believe that their opinion will help guide you toward a decision that shows integrity and authenticity.
Similarly, when it comes to buying a specific product or service, you are going to look at a range of companies that sell what you need and then make your final choice based not only on the item itself, but also on how genuine, valuable, and authentic a company is.
Brand integrity is precisely what creates that perception. It achieves that by aligning all of the brand’s values, culture, and philosophy with its messaging, communications, and, of course, products or services.
If one of these areas does not fully match the others, then the whole brand’s integrity can crumble. In turn, this means that consumers may no longer trust that company, and they may start to look elsewhere for their next purchase.
The top three key benefits of brand integrity
Having solid brand integrity is crucial for a wide range of reasons – here we are discussing the three main ones.
Image Sourced from weforum.org
1. It can enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction
When your brand showcases its values and commitments across all its platforms, messaging, and products or services, it can build and strengthen customer loyalty.
This happens because consumers who share the same views and values are more drawn toward brands that demonstrate a clear alignment with those views and values.
Therefore, brand integrity goes on to create a powerful emotional connection between companies and consumers.
Companies can achieve this in many ways, including through brand storytelling, social media interactions, and gamification initiatives.
2. It can support advocacy
One of the best things about brands with strong integrity is that they continually demonstrate that they can deliver on the promises they make.
When this happens, not only are customers happier, more loyal, and more satisfied, but they are also much more likely to turn into real advocates for the brand.
By telling friends and family how amazing a brand is, customers can become valuable assets when it comes to brand awareness, exposure, and profitability.
3. It can boost your sales
When you have nurtured your customer relationships and worked hard on the advocacy front, you can expect your sales to reflect that.
At the end of the day, in fact, if a brand tangibly demonstrates—time and again—that its integrity is genuine and unfaltering, more and more people will want to buy from it.
It can also increase repeat purchases as your loyal customers continue to see you as their go-to brand.
Image Sourced from foodbusinessnews.net
What defines a sustainable brand?
Let’s now take a step forward and consider the “sustainability” aspect of a company.
When we talk about sustainability, we don’t simply refer to being “eco-friendly” – the concept is much more complex and multi-faceted.
Sustainability is a holistic type of “green” branding that comprises a company’s environmental, social, and economic responsibilities.
Therefore, if you are looking to become a sustainable brand, you will need to invest in several different areas, in order to prove to your audience that the sustainability claims you make are grounded in facts.
Why is brand integrity so crucial to sustainability?
At this point, it should be quite straightforward to understand why sustainability and integrity are two essential features of a successful brand, and why they are so inextricably intertwined. Let’s go a bit more in-depth, though.
If your brand already has some solid integrity, you will find that it becomes a lot easier to consolidate and communicate your sustainability message across different channels and platforms.
Sustainability, in fact, will become another one of your company’s core values to be acknowledged and conveyed to your audience—and made much easier thanks to your well-established integrity and best practices.
And remember: your audience is not entirely made up of customers or potential customers. New stakeholders, for example, are another hugely important segment of the people your brand is having conversations with.
To this effect, let’s consider a situation in which you are preparing a digital pitch deck to present to a possible investor who is interested in seeing how truly sustainable your company is.
If your company is already embracing and practicing brand integrity, your chances of wowing that investor—and securing the deal—skyrocket. During your presentation, in fact, you will be able to showcase the veracity and reliability of your sustainability claims, as well as demonstrate that every single part of your business matches them fully.
In this case, we can easily argue that brand identity and sustainability go hand in hand as two fundamental aspects of your company’s marketing and communications strategy and that they might help your business grow and thrive by connecting with like-minded people such as consumers, investors, and other stakeholders.
Brand integrity is a value that all companies should pursue—from consumer products to manufacturers, from virtual PBX services to fintech firms.
A brand that is able to demonstrate uncompromising integrity is also in a much better place to become—and remain—sustainable. In this article, we explore the importance of sustainability and brand integrity, their connections, and the benefits that they can bring.
What is your brand doing right now, to become more sustainable using its integrity? Let us know in the comments!