Integrity Will Make Your Brand More Successful

The future of business demands honesty, transparency, and trust.

Wendy Ruyle 3.10.2017

The theme of integrity is in the air lately. Two recent examples showed me that the public is craving honesty and virtue in the companies they patronize. And brands that tap into this by giving before taking will be rewarded.

Making honest connections

I recently watched an interview with Jessica Alba, owner of The Honest Company, where she told her story of getting will.i.am to produce music for her company’s new branding campaign. She was on an entrepreneurial panel with him, befriended him, and asked for his advice on her new brand campaign. He said she needed a musical hook or jingle and offered to write and produce it for her. For free. What a coup, right? How did she get so lucky? Well, it’s a bit more than luck. Yes, she’s famous and had the opportunity to sit on this panel with him, but he wouldn’t have offered his services if she hadn’t done one important thing: create a company based on integrity with a mission to make the world a better place.

The second instance I witnessed was at the Marketing + Creative Leaders Summit keynoted by Dr. Mark McCloskey, author of the book The Art of Virtue-Based Transformational Leadership. Dr. McCloskey shared some insights including the idea that to be successful leaders in today’s chaotic world, we must move from formal authority to moral authority. And that’s based on trust.

Inspiring others to action

So how do we provide this trust to our customers? We all like to think that we operate our organizations with integrity. And most of us probably do. But how do we go the extra mile? How do we get to a point where our fans are so inspired by what we are creating in the world that they not only advocate on our behalf, but join in on the process?

Here are 5 ways to increase your company’s integrity quotient:

  1. Be honest with your employees. Increase the transparency in your organization. Let them know what is happening on a regular basis, even when the news isn’t so good. Don’t assume they are in the loop. Better yet, start implementing bottom up management. Allow the employees that have a better line of sight into customer issues help guide the ship.
  2. Increase diversity. Make this task someone’s job. Differing frames of reference will only help you to understand a wider audience base and meet their needs. And don’t just hire diversely, make sure your culture welcomes every employee once they are there. Especially in Minnesota, where we can be a little chilly.
  3. Don’t make things worse. Not everyone’s product or service is automatically making the world a better place but you can limit how much bad you add to the world. Develop a recycling program, reduce waste, examine your supply chain, look at what businesses you use for professional services such as banks. Make sure they align with your values.
  4. Give back. In dollars and time. Organize employee volunteer efforts or collect donations for charities. Empower your employees to do volunteer work on company time. This will not only help your community to thrive but also improve your workforce. Their teamwork will bond them over a common cause and the leadership skills they learn will benefit your bottom line.
  5. Promote what you are doing. This isn’t just self-serving. If you are investing in the integrity of your brand, don’t be afraid to let people know. When other businesses see your approach, they might just get inspired. And when they follow suit and your investment will grow exponentially.

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