Does brand integrity affect your building supply company?
The success of your construction company depends on how well it manages its brand integrity, a pain point for any business that relies on vendors or dealers to sell their products. Having independent dealers as the customer-facing point of contact for your products can put your building supply company’s brand integrity to the test.
However, having a handle on your company’s brand integrity can help your business solve some of the challenges that naturally occur when independent vendors are tasked with selling your product amongst many others (some of which are produced by your competition).
What is brand integrity?
First, it’s important to note that when we talk about brand integrity we’re “not referring to the sort of moral uprightness and honesty commonly associated with the term,” explains Chris Horton, a writer with Business 2 Community. “Instead, [we’re] referring to its secondary (though fundamental) meaning, which relates to a state of being whole and undivided, one of unity and cohesion. It is this holistic integration, both internally (operational) and externally (customer facing), that is the number one hallmark of success in the digital age,” he says.
In other words, brands must always be represented and presented in the same way so as to build a strong identity and personality. But when your products are sold by an independent vendor or dealer is brand integrity still a factor? Absolutely. Here’s why:
- Brand integrity builds brand recognition
Simply put, brand recognition can’t exist without brand integrity. In order to foster brand recognition, businesses need to execute brand integrity by ensuring consistency across all aspects of internal and external operations. Only when the look, feel, experience, products, pricing and service are always the same across various vendors will customers begin to recognize and trust the brand.
If dealers aren’t knowledgeable about the brand then issues surrounding warranty, installation and other pertinent production information will arise, which can put the brand at risk. “A vendor’s brand should never become more important than your own,” advises Heather Clancy, an award-winning business journalist for CBS.
- Brand integrity ensures consistency
When a company has a strategy for brand integrity that includes clear values, goals, messaging, marketing and brand properties then brand consistency becomes much easier to achieve. Some construction companies ensure their products are consistently marketed and sold by vendors through the use of clear policies, handbooks, training and centralized marketing. Others use a marketing fulfillment software with a centralized platform.
Consistent strategies for brand integrity help foster recognition and trust amongst consumers. Marketing materials, products, signage, pricing, customer service guarantees, and manufacturer’s warranties — customers expect these elements to be consistent no matter where they purchase your product.
- Brand integrity helps businesses meet customer expectations
Companies with strong brand integrity are able to work in unison with vendors and dealers to meet and exceed customer expectations and provide positive consumer experiences. Only with strong brand integrity in place is it possible for construction companies to work alongside dealers to provide consistent customer service that builds trust in the product and meets customer expectations.
- Brand integrity establishes and protects your brand’s reputation
Brand reputation plays a critical role in differentiating your product from your competition. When your products are backed by a strong reputation you will find that customers will look for your products over others, which should be one of your goals.
If your brand can deliver a solid customer experience, then your reputation will grow. Brand integrity will only be possible when everyone involved in selling your product understands your brand and has complete, detailed knowledge of your products. To accomplish this goal, you’ll have to provide training to vendors and follow up to ensure your product is being presented consistently to your customers.
If your company manufactures building materials, then the success of your business will depend on how well you can establish brand integrity. Whether you’re using a marketing fulfillment software with a centralized platform, or have staff who are managing vendor relations, establishing clear policies and offering training and centralized marketing to your vendors will help you establish the brand integrity that you need to consistently build consumer trust, brand recognition and meet customer expectations.