Is Your Brand Strong Enough to Survive a Scandal?

In the wake and continuing wave of college fraud scandals, it has become clear the importance of a company having a strong brand to help through a difficult situation. Do you have the brand health it takes to carry you through?

Building trust is critical when it comes to having a strong brand. No one will stick with a brand that has a record of being untrustworthy. Here are a few ways to build trust between you and your consumers while strengthening your overall brand identity.

  • Do you have a clear written mission statement for your brand?
    • Being clear on what your mission is as a company helps keep you and your team on track. Lack of unity in your mission is a disaster waiting to happen. Make it clear for yourself, your employees, and your consumers. Consumers value transparency in the brands they interact with.
  • Does your brand have clear values?
    • Having a clear idea of your company values will help navigate a tough situation while maintaining a consistent message. Consistency in your values boosts trustworthiness in consumers’ eyes. Creating a feeling of trust between your brand and consumers will help create an emotional connection between the two.
    • An example of how this kind of transparency can benefit you in a crisis is the Starbucks story. Last year Starbucks found themselves in hot water when a barista called the police on two African American men waiting to meet up with a friend. Starbucks successfully overcame the situation thanks to their quick response and overall transparency. They were able to do this by making their value clear to the public as serving all people regardless of race, gender, or sexuality. Not only did they outright communicate this, but they also shut down shops all over the country for hours at a time so their entire workforce could be retrained. This immediate act dealt with the problem which made it clear to the public that they were taking it seriously, and that this incident didn’t reflect the values of their brand.
  • Be consistent in your brand voice, look, and feel
    • Having a unified brand voice helps define your brand identity as well as build a trustworthy company. Having a structured brand identity is vital in being consistent through all communications. Be honest about what and who you are as a company, then build your brand around that. Once you have this figured out, let everyone inside and outside the company know what your new brand means. An easy way to keep everyone internally on the same page is to create a brand standards guide. This will ensure that all team members are on the same page. With all of this in place, the consistency will build loyalty and trust.

Blog by Bridget Fay
Channel Communications Intern