Brand integrity and social media

February 20, 2024 | Elke Steinwender
4 min
Maieutyk - Intégrité marque - Brand Integrity

In the current context, brand integrity is more important than ever, particularly due to the impact of social media on a company’s reputation and perception.

But what exactly is brand integrity?

According to Kristin Zhivago, author of “Roadmap to Revenue,” “brand development is the promise you make. Your brand is the promise you keep.” In other words, she suggests that brand integrity is a promise kept to customers, a fundamental element in building trust with them. She also highlights the importance of consistency between what the brand promises and what it actually delivers. This involves not only the quality of products or services but also how the company interacts with its customers, its transparency, and its ethics. More specifically, an integral brand earns customer loyalty by being authentic and truly meeting their expectations and needs, contributing to a positive and lasting brand image. Therefore, Zhivago advises that every company should build its marketing and commercialization strategy around brand integrity.

With that said, keep these elements in mind when building your brand:

Brand Experience

The brand experience, your promise, should always remain consistent. This means that customer service, advertising, social media content, and even the atmosphere of physical stores must all align with the brand’s promise. A consistent customer experience reinforces trust and loyalty, as customers know what to expect from the brand, thus creating a stronger and more enduring relationship. A good example of this is Apple, which offers a promise centered on innovation, quality, and sleek design. This is reflected in all aspects of the customer experience, from product design to the layout of Apple Stores. Indeed, Apple Stores provide a user experience consistent with their brand promise, characterized by a minimalist environment, highly qualified customer service, and an interactive presentation of products.

Brand Personality

The brand experience is also closely linked to your brand’s personality. This personality is a set of human traits associated with a specific brand, reflecting your values. To ensure consistency between the experience and personality of your brand, you must ensure that your messages (in their tone, image, etc.) are conveyed uniformly across all platforms. To create a strong brand image, imagine it as a person: What are its values? How does it act ? What are its personality traits?

Brand Identity

It’s important to associate your brand with a simple visual element that is consistently present over time. Indeed, a logo, a colour palette, and a distinctive slogan are elements that strengthen the brand’s identity and facilitate recognition if they are used consistently across all communication mediums. This visual element should reflect the brand’s experience and personality. An excellent example of this is Nike. Its simple logo, the “swoosh,” is one of the most recognizable visual elements in the world. Accompanied by the slogan “Just Do It,” the logo embodies the essence of the brand: inspiration, challenge, and excellence in sports. These visual elements are omnipresent on all products, advertisements, and communications of Nike, thus helping to build a strong and universally recognized brand image.

And what about social media?

For the above elements to forge an integral brand, you must develop a clear and honest communication message that reflects the brand’s values. This implies transparent communication about your products, services, values, and ethics so that customers and prospects clearly understand your identity and area of expertise. Active engagement on social media platforms, through regular posts and interactions with customers, by responding to their questions and demonstrating attentive listening, contributes to establishing an accessible and transparent brand, thereby strengthening customer loyalty.

Furthermore, the tools used at Maïeutyk are useful strategic marketing tools to structure and effectively communicate your brand’s identity. These tools have several levels, from the most tangible elements (features and attributes) to more abstract aspects (the brand essence). Among other things, we work on functional benefits, i.e., the concrete advantages, such as time-saving or reduction of effort for a task, directly meeting customer needs. These are crucial as they form the primary reason why a customer opts for a product or service.

As we move forward defining your brand, there are emotional benefits, which concern the feelings or experiences that the brand evokes in its consumers. For example, purchasing a Ferrari may cause a feeling of achievement, while Toyota may evoke a sense of reliability. These emotional benefits are crucial for customer loyalty and distinguishing the brand in the market.

It is therefore necessary to clearly define your brand’s personality, as the benefits — both functional and emotional — determine your communication strategies. Consider, for example, that your company positions itself as young, dynamic, and quickly adapting to current trends. However, if your online presence does not match this image — such as using Facebook for advertising campaigns aimed at a young audience when they are now more engaged on platforms like TikTok and Instagram — you might create a dichotomy in the perception of your brand and harm the impact of your communications. This situation can be likened to the duality of the Jekyll and Hyde character who, although the same person, has two distinct personalities. It is therefore essential to ensure the integrity of your brand in your communication strategies, both offline and online.

Do you doubt the integrity of your brand, its consistency, or its presence on social media?

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