Living the Brand

How often have you seen a brand preach one core concept but then their actions say an entirely different thing? Take, for example, the oil company BP. On their website, the petroleum pumper claims to be committed to safety and respect. This is the same company that, on the day of the massive 2010 oil spill that lead to the death of 11 workers, was celebrating its safety record over the past few years.

Many of these older brands are accustomed to the days of old when they were able to control the popular perception of their brand. That is no longer the case, or at least not exclusively. Now, consumer perception of the brand matters just as much as anything else. Prospects and existing customers alike can analyze your core values and through social media, they can determine whether you’re being authentic with your core values or not.

Branding is now a matter of two-communications. You can’t just dictate your brand to customers, you need to actually follow through and live it. If you say you value your audience, you need to show them that. Target them with marketing collateral that is relevant to them, answer questions on Facebook and if customers have a bad experience, do your best to make it up to them.At the same time, if you say you value innovation, then you need to show that through your products and services. Always push the envelope when it comes to new launches and don’t be afraid to utilize new tools and strategies to push your operations to be more efficient. You can define your brand, but if you do, you need to be able live up to those promises.

“Your stated values must become reality,” explains MarketingProfs. “Anyone who interacts with your people or your products, receives an invoice or sees your logo – really anyone in any circumstance – expects an experience that aligns with your brand attributes. That’s not to say you shouldn’t test, test and retest to see what’s working. Constant learning helps you make slight course corrections as you build out your messages, stories, website, image library, and other business resources.”

When brand authenticity is a premium, it’s crucial that your company reflects that in everything you do, whether its product development, marketing or anything in between. Protect your brand by truly living it.