Integrity and brand reputation

Success will come and go, but integrity is forever, and it’s one of the leading contributors to imbuing your brand reputation with trustworthiness.

 Doing the right thing

Integrity means doing the right thing, whether or not anyone is watching. It takes having the courage to do the right thing and building a reputation of integrity can take years, and yet only take a second to lose. So, it pays to have a strategy in place to prevent anything from damaging the integrity of your brand reputation.

Just last week, International Women’s Day on 8 March thrust female trust and brands into the spotlight, The Drum has covered a new research piece by She Speaks and Women Kind highlighting a US study examining how much women in 2017 trust brands and marketing.

Integrity and brand reputation 

 Igniyte was particularly interested in how 88 per cent of the 2,100 women who were surveyed said that reviews and feedback help in keeping a brand trustworthy. A further 79 per cent commented that a brand’s commitment to “do the right thing” helped to make it trustworthy.

We agree, and it really highlights how critical it is to build a brand reputation of integrity and trust for a strong online reputation.

Building positive reviews

Customer reviews can help you to build a reputation of integrity and trust. What makes reviews so powerful and such a great marketing tool is that they are seen, as the study points out, as the most genuine source of product information. Real people, experiences and opinions, peer-to-peer.

The competitive nature of the beauty industry creates a strong need for brands to innovate and diversify themselves to stand out from the competition. Take Dorset-based cosmetics brand Lush, for example, which prides itself on a range of ethical principles that govern every aspect of the business.

From banning animal testing and reducing packaging waste, to ensuring products are vegetarian or vegan and continually promoting recycling, Lush is an industry leader for establishing (and maintaining) ethical promises. As a result, the brand is able to jump on ethical initiatives with complete sincerity and is also able to charge premium prices to its extensive, global group of consumers.

As well as acting with integrity, there is the matter of how to attract recognition for it, without it seeming contrived. British creative make-up brand Illamasqua, knows the power of positive reviews. It contacts customers who buy products online contacts via email encouraging them to leave a review of their order. However, rather than building a review section into the brand’s site directly, it uses independent customer review platform, Feefo, to collate customer reviews.

Using an impartial service like Feefo (similar to Trust Pilot for businesses and Trip Advisor those in the travel industry) helps to create an honest feeling without agenda, with the aim of increasing customer trust by sharing the positive experiences of likeminded individuals.

Igniyte has written previously about how to keep reviews honest and this is a stand out point because, to be valuable to both new and existing customers, your online audience needs to be confident that reviews about your brand are genuine and relatable.

 Know your customer

Overall this study is really interesting in illustrating how acutely certain marketing elements are felt keenly by different consumer groups. It’s important to be very aware who you, as a company, are speaking to and what is most of value to your target consumers.

By investing time to create a Positive Review Strategy, you help set good foundations of trust which, in turn, helps in building a loyal customer base who will be so much more likely to spread positive reviews of your brand both online and off.