What does integrity mean when it is one of your brand values?
I do a lot of work with clients on their brand values which are key to:
- Defining what your brand stands for
- Attracting like-minded prospective clients
- Creating affinity with clients
I’ve talked about why your brand values matter and how to get started on them in another blog, which you can read here – why brand values are important.
So it’s clear that choosing your top 3 to 5 brand values is an exercise that demands focus and intention because these are elements which make a big contribution to your brand attraction, affinity and standout.
Integrity is a word that comes up a lot, along with honesty – although I’m inclined to the view that when you choose integrity as one of your brand values, it also embraces honesty in its meaning. I feel this is confirmed by the dictionary definitions and examples. Here’s what The New Oxford Dictionary says:
👉🏼 Integrity (noun) —the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness: a woman of complete integrity
👉🏼 The state of being whole and undivided: upholding territorial integrity
👉🏼 The condition of being unified, unimpaired or sound in construction: the structural integrity of the novel
👉🏼 Internal consistency or lack of corruption in electronic data: integrity checking
Now one school of thought, which appeals to me, is that we expect your brand to behave with integrity and honesty – and so why not focus on other values that are distinctive and unique to your brand culture and behaviours – because this will create greater differentiation.
However if you want to make integrity one of your core brand values, it’s a good idea to define precisely what it means to you and your brand.
Here are some quotes on the meaning of integrity, which Jonathan Stark mentioned in his newsletter recently:
⭐ “Integrity is choosing your thoughts and actions based on values rather than personal gain.” Chris Karcher
⭐ “Integrity is doing as you say you would do even when no one is watching.” Oprah Winfrey
⭐ “Courage combined with integrity is the foundation of character.” Brian Tracy
⭐ “Integrity is telling myself the truth. Honesty is telling the truth to other people.” Spencer Johnson
Now it’s your turn to define what integrity means to you…
Clarifying your core brand values
Reading these definitions of integrity also highlight another important point about your brand values. Namely that whilst it’s great to use one word to identify the values that are most meaningful, inspiring and essential to your business, brand and personal behaviours. It’s even more important to go beyond your one-word summary and to write your personal paragraph.
By creating your individual explanation of what each value means to your brand, and how your business lives them daily, you’ll light the spark that creates ‘aha’ moments of affinity with your prospective clients.
Thank you for reading
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