Paula Deen has recently received some unfavorable attention from the media, serving as an example of why business owners and key figures should be careful about what they say. Consumers expect brands, like people, to be sincere and truthful. This is the way a skin care business or any type of company builds an impressive group of loyal followers. Skin care entrepreneurs can learn much from the latest slip-up by Ms. Deen, preventing them from damaging their own brands.
Effective branding relies on good, old-fashioned values including trust, loyalty, and consistency. Customers prefer brands that take an honest approach to all dealings. This truthfulness and consistency are what make consumers choose one brand over another and remain loyal to it. If customers discover that a brand is not what it claims to be or acts inconsistently, the fallout can be quite damaging to the company and everything it touches.
When a company portrays its brand in one way but its actions do not align, consumers feel betrayed. They begin to wonder whether the company is as sincere as it claims to be. A business can prevent the resulting damage to its brand by avoiding this behavior. This begins with understanding who the company is as a brand. When marketers have a clear understanding of the beliefs and intentions that the brand represents, they can align their efforts with these.
To prevent disconnect, the beliefs and behaviors exhibited by a brand should also align with those of the target audience. Everyone who represents the business and the brand it has created should act in a way that corresponds with this image. Otherwise, misalignment will result between the brand and consumers, creating problems.
Consistency is the final component of being sincere. Consumers must trust that a brand will always behave in a particular way. Though consistency, honesty, and trust are generally viewed as human qualities, company representatives can use them to create and maintain a solid brand. The more relatable the brand becomes to consumers, the more these shoppers will trust and depend upon the company it represents.
The personal opinions and actions of everyone associated with the skin care business represent its brand to the public. Business owners and employees are the largest and most important spokespeople for their brands. Take a lesson from Paula Deen and make sure that everyone who represents your business is behaving in alignment with your corporate brand.