Branding is an essential part of a company’s identity. Not only does it let consumers know who you are, but in today’s social media-driven society, it’s an increasingly important component in showing what you stand for, as well. Branding plays a key role in helping you build connections with your target audience and helps define your very reputation. But with public scrutiny at an all-time high in an era in which skepticism – if not all-out cynicism – runs rampant, the public is quick to call out any organization that doesn’t uphold the values it claims to be committed to. It’s more important than ever not only to stand for something, but to prove your commitment isn’t just a bunch of hollow words. This is where marketing can play an important role.
Establishing Consumer Trust
Taking a stand on hot-button social issues is one surefire way to establish a corporate identity, but if you don’t follow through, your audience will notice. Facebook is an excellent cautionary example; its refusal to take a firm stance against the federal government’s new immigration policy of separating children from their parents at the border resulted in widespread consumer criticism. Microsoft witnessed a similar backlash over the same issue. The lesson to be learned is clear: establishing consumer trust is crucial in building your brand’s reputation. There are too many competitive options nowadays to rely only on your product or service; more than ever, consumers look at what a company stands for when making purchasing decisions. They want to devote their money to an organization whose values they believe in.
Your marketing efforts can help in this pursuit. Employing the following strategies will position your organization positively in the eyes of the consumer.
- Practice truth in advertising. In the 1960s, tobacco companies advertised their products by showing glamorous models and claiming that cigarettes were actually good for your health. Thankfully, misinformation campaigns such as these have been outlawed, and ads are regulated by the FTC. Today’s consumers are far too savvy to fall for such false advertising anyway, so be sure to stick to honest claims in your marketing, and don’t run afoul of laws designed to protect consumer rights.
- Follow through on your commitments. Everything that your company stands for is represented in your branding efforts, which are sure to be closely scrutinized by the public. Stay true to your corporate values and follow through on your commitments in order to maintain a positive image in the mind of the consumer.
- Be proactive in communicating your values. Don’t let consumers figure out for themselves what your organization stands for – spread the message yourself and let them know! Defining and communicating your values through proactive brand activism is something today’s consumers have come to expect and will help establish your brand as forward-thinking and socially conscious. Today’s marketing leaders understand that those companies who set out to make the world a better place resonate most strongly with the public.