Brand integrity refers to the need for beverage alcohol brands to present and represent themselves in the same way consistently over time. Strong brand integrity is a quality that is sought out by consumers as well as potential business partners.
Casa Noble is an excellent case study in brand integrity. As a premium tequila brand it “has been posting consistent, double-digit growth” in a market which has been steadily growing since 2013. The secret? Casa Noble’s brand integrity has resulted in a reputation for using premium, organic, high-quality ingredients which are enhanced by a brand story that fosters these same values.
Casa Noble’s brand integrity is the reason it has been able to align with beverage alcohol giant Constellation Brands, which purchased Casa Noble tequila in 2014. Constellation Brands chose to acquire Casa Noble because of its well established brand integrity and Constellation’s ability to align the spirit with their existing share of the Hispanic market. “Casa Noble is a natural fit. It complements our successful Mexican beer brands and we [will] leverage our existing strong routes-to-market, as well as our marketing expertise and deep knowledge of the Hispanic consumer,” explains Rob Sands, CEO of Constellation Brands.
Made from organic blue agave grown in Jalisco, Mexico, which is an area known for producing high quality agave, Casa Noble is an award-winning brand of tequila. It’s strategic alliance with Constellation Brands, which holds a world-class beverage alcohol portfolio has helped “the Casa Noble brand continue to grow its position as one of the highest super-premium tequila brands in the market,” says Hoernig.
Is your beverage alcohol brand able to compete in a saturated marketplace where brand integrity and reputation are everything? If, like Casa Noble, you want to build your brand’s integrity then you need to focus on these 5 areas:
1. Brand recognition
Brand recognition simply can’t exist without brand integrity. In a marketplace that is saturated with different beverage alcohol products, consumers must be able to clearly distinguish your brand from the competition. If they can’t then your brand is at risk.
In order to foster brand recognition you must ensure consistency across all aspects of internal and external operations. Only when the look, feel, experience, products and pricing are consistent will customers begin to recognize and trust your brand and its products.
2. Brand consistency
Your strategy for brand integrity must include consistent values, goals, messaging, marketing and brand properties. Ensure this consistency is maintained throughout the design and implementation of product packaging and labelling. Strong brands pay close attention to shapes, logos, graphics, colours, and design.
Strive to maintain brand consistency across your website, social media channels and throughout your marketing strategies. Like Casa Noble, your choices in partnerships, participation in events and communications with consumers should maintain brand integrity at all times.
3. Consumer expectations
Brand integrity is especially important for beverage alcohol brands that differentiate themselves from the competition based on their values. Organic ingredients (a value important to Casa Noble tequila), unique tastes and social/environmental responsibility are value-based ways to differentiate your beverage alcohol products from the competition.
Consumers tend to align with brands that reflect their own values. Once your brand becomes known for values like the ones mentioned above your customers will expect all of your brand’s actions to uphold these values at all times. Beverage alcohol companies with strong brand integrity will be able to meet such high consumer expectations. Those brands who are successful in consistently meeting or exceeding customer expectations will eventually generate brand trust and loyalty.
4. Brand reputation
Brand reputation takes time to build and is an important element to brand integrity. Chris Horton, a writer with Business2Community points out that today’s “savvy consumers have a keen sense for brand integrity.” Consumers are on the lookout for inconsistencies between brand integrity and reality. Horton says that bait-and-switch techniques, “whether intentional or otherwise, damage a company’s reputation in an instant, and [it] often takes a lot longer than that to undo in the eyes of the consumer, if it can ever be undone.” Brand integrity can help protect brand reputation by ensuring brand values are consistently upheld and consumer expectations are consistently met.
5. Brand Story
The brand story is important to all businesses, but it’s of extreme importance to beverage alcohol companies. Consumers want to know the history behind your vineyard or brewery, especially if it’s steeped in local history or custom. Brands whose values emerge from their story are better able to distinguish themselves from the competition.
Consumers find it easier to identify with brands who share their sense of value, tradition or local history. Finding a way to clearly and consistently communicate your brand story will help improve your brand integrity.
Casa Noble tequila is a good example of a beverage alcohol company whose brand integrity has paved the way to success, but it’s not enough for the brand to simply exist on the brand reputation it has already established. Brand integrity continues to play a role in the decisions the company makes, including the formation of strategic alliances. Brand integrity is critical to all beverage alcohol brands and should be at the forefront of any decisions you make which impact your brand.