The first entry of the BusinessDictionary defines integrity as the “Strict adherence to a moral code, reflected in transparent honesty and complete harmony in what one thinks, says, and does.”
At CWT we could not agree more with this definition. For us, our brand goes beyond a manifesto created by the marketing department and reflects what we all think, how we act, and how we live.
Earlier on this year, we have done a brand repositioning to mark an evolution in our value proposition. It was not a mere visual exercise, but an opportunity to present our commitment based on three pillars: simplifying corporate travel, connecting to unlock possibilities, and collaborating with businesses to move forward.
But let’s get back to integrity and speak about how brands reflect it.
For instance, when the behavior of its employeestells the same story and is guided by a set of clear values. No matter who they speak with, the speech should always be the same. From top management to front-line employees, from Japan to the US, the culture that guides them should be consistent.
And talking about culture, because the perception of integrity can vary from one person to another, it is important all companies have in writing what they understand by it, so they leave no room for misunderstandings. Again, the importance of having a solid corporate culture and values that transcend frontiers is key here.
It is also equally important that the experience they offer is consistent, no matter the channel they are using to interact with their customers. For a TMC like us, this means that our clients should receive the same service no matter if they call us, use an online booking tool or our app.
Consistency is also a must when it comes to integrity. Companies should always stand by their principles. Avoiding Groucho Marx “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others” should be at the top of the list of any company, no matter the pressure it is put under.
Within this set of principles, companies should include keeping their word. Companies that don’t meet their commitments lose integrity…
…And trust, something that is intrinsic to integrity. Building trust takes many good acts but a single wrong-do can destroy it, so it is important that companies work not only on building trust but on maintaining it if they want to show business integrity.
At the end of the day, integrity is everything. As President Eisenhower said, "The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionable integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office."
Blog author: Julian Walker, Head of External Market Communications and PR, CWT.