Brand Integrity, can we talk about it? 2020 has continued to overflow with situations being brought to light and I think now is a good time to just take a little breath and remember why you started this thing.
The moment you decide you are going to live your life in the public eye, whatever degree that is, is the same moment your brand integrity begins. Once you start moving behind a logo, a name, an email or anything else, your brand integrity begins. That said I’m sharing 4 ways to maintain brand integrity.
Brand Integrity is in your Core Values aka What Does Your Brand Stand For
What do you stand for? What are your values and beliefs and ideals? What are you going to be putting out to the people? How does that translate over into your brand? If you haven’t thought about it, definitely do, you have to know from jump what your brand integrity is going to look like and what you plan to put out to the world. A great example of this is everything that has been going on recently in regards to police brutality and black lives matter movements; some people compromised their brand integrity and/or made it very clear what their brand integrity and values were.
Knowing what your personal brand values are and what things people can expect and/or never see from you is key to avoiding scandals. You won’t even have to compromise anything or try anything crazy because you already know that’s not how you move.
The moment Daily Dose of Luxury launched, I had a role and a responsibility to live out what I said I wanted to be known for. There is always room to grow, pivot, adjust and the like, but if it’s not rooted in good values or intent, public issues can arise when you start living different lives.
Be The Same Person You Are Online, Offline
Who are you? You have got to be the same person you are online, offline. Brand integrity is key here. When I meet people, even if I’ve been following them online, I’m the same person. My friends don’t get a different version of me just because I have a blog online, if nothing else they get a better me because I’m living and walking in what I say I’m about. No one that I’ve ever met from having a blog online, like first impression and talked to me could ever say I’ve been rude to them, I’m fake, but that’s on purpose.
Brand integrity isn’t just about what you create online. How does it spill over into your personal life, how does it impact or better those who interact with you? It’s easy to front, but when people get you in person that’s when they get to really see who you are. Nothing is worst than seeing someone that people look up to be classified as a mean girl or rude or disingenuine. The Bible tells us we should think highly of ourselves, but not more highly than we ought to. You can believe in yourself, achieve major success and still maintain brand integrity.
If a person has a different experience in person then who you portray online, they are definitely going to talk about it or save their experience for the right time.
Deliver, Deliver, Deliver
If nothing else, make sure you deliver on what people are expecting to receive from you. Do not over promise and under deliver; your brand integrity will suffer almost instantly.
When I started investing in myself and looking to prominent people in the industry, I remember taking my first course. It was $300 and I was grateful because there was a payment plan. It felt good to invest, this was a great person, well known, still is, but when I tell you that course did not deliver a single thing. It was either things I knew from my own research, things that could have been easily found out and a lot of rescheduling due to travel. I will always remember that. That experience has never left me and I’m for sure over it, but that one experience compromised the brand integrity of the person that presented it.
It disappoints me how easy it is for brand integrity to be diminished based on things that just could have been executed better. It’s really that simple. Consistency or lack thereof can also be diminishing to our brand integrity. I said I would show up consistently and I didn’t, now you may question my ability to get things done or show up for you. These things matter.
Brand Integrity Means Staying in Your Lane
Keep your personal brand integrity by staying in your own lane. Moments where we see public fall out with individuals is even more reason to stay in your own lane. We don’t know what people do to get what they get or keep it. I don’t want anyone else’s life even if it is someone that I admire, simply because they have sown some things and will reap those things just like I have done the same in my life.
Sometimes it’s hard not to get caught up in the vanity metrics. Of course we want more followers, of course the blue check would be nice, a moment of virality would be cool, but is it worth it? You get to decide. You know what my favorite compliment is, when someone says that I embody my brand fully. That to me is such a compliment. I can have all of the followers in the world, but when I show up or walk in a room my brand integrity is still operating.
These things can be avoided, but I do believe they are here to teach us lessons. Lessons on how not to act, lessons on what not to do. Lessons that we don’t have to do shady activities to be seen or noticed or praised or respected. You don’t have to do what the next person does in order to reach your pinnacle. It’s not worth it; do right by people, build a solid community, show up for people and remain focused on what you are supposed to be doing.