Does your brand have integrity or do you call it the graphics system or the identity standards? Or save us, the guidelines. Captain Barbossa would have said, “They’re not rules really, they’re more like guidelines”!

Making sure your brand is the best it can be every time out is the hard work of building and enhancing your brand. It is the daily decision-making about what is us and what is not us.

As a young marketing director, I was in the wonderful spot of having to say no. A lot. I am sure I would not have won the Mr. Gets Along or Most Likely to Have Truck Loads of Friends award from my peers. What kept me from being killed was the support of my CEO.

The term Brand Integrity lifts the matter from the enforcement aspect of brand management (Logo Nazis) to the realm of a consistent set moral and ethical standards. Too lofty?

Generally, I believe this is what most people expect from a brand so that they can trust it before they decide. Trust is like first base…if you don’t get there, you’ll go no further.

Without a consistency of appearance, a brand runs a cardinal risk at the get-go that is, “I’m confused”. Go ahead and be inconsistent by not maintaining the integrity of the brand. The applause you hear will be that of your competitors. Your potential customers will be applauding too…with one hand.