In an age of fake news and questionable narratives, consumers are on the look-out for the real deal. Just like how we all want to meet genuine people and nurture honest relationships, we are also searching for organizations, companies, and especially brands that are authentic.
It comes as no surprise that when consumers want to spend their valuable money that they expect companies to project a sincere authenticity around what they offer and how they conduct themselves in the marketplace. The perception of a brand for many Millennials and Gen Zs needs to include a notion that business is not all about profit and that the brand and the company and people behind the scenes have altruistic intent.
One of the key characteristics of authenticity is transparency – a quality that embraces openness, communication, and accountability. However, whilst transparency provides a tangible metric by which to assess the motives and character of an organization, creating a message of authenticity through your brand is a more subtle and intuitive journey for your customers. This can be best surmised by establishing the values by which your brand lives.
Brand authtenticity is critical in building trust with consumers which in turn makes it easier to gain and keep customers.
Listing your brand’s values is an important exercise at any point of your brand’s journey however it’s essential when launching a brand refresh or marketing campaign as these attributes will contribute greatly to the desired outcome and ensure that you stay true to the things that are important and to help build lasting relationships with your customers and future prospects. And grounding those values in authenticity will ensure that you are coming from a position of service to others.
Essentially, brand authenticity is perceived
- if a brand fulfills its brand promise in a unique, consistent, and continuous way and
- the degree in which a brands offerings and consumer experience match its identity and values.
So, what are the attributes that convey authenticity? Here are a few ideas to consider:
Incorporating a sustainable practice within your product’s manufacturing or service delivery, whether that includes the materials, ingredients, resources or impact is an easily discernible way that your brand can attain authenticity.
Connecting your product or service to the coterie or core group of avid enthusiasts can help garner trust and demonstrate that you live and breathe the industry that you service.
Demonstrating that your brand has respect for the people that buy your offering through honoring feedback and listening to your customer’s problems helps build trust between both parties.
Identifying exactly what problem you are solving and articulating that clearly is a great way to convey authenticity from the very beginning.
Articulating performance or quality in your offerings and backing it with pledges, guarantees and promises helps portray your brand and its intent and actions as authentic.
Connecting with your local community is an indirect way that your brand can generate authenticity helping harness goodwill from those that you may employ from the immediate vicinity of your operations or building a network close to your base to assist each other to grow and evolve.
In conclusion, remember these four basic elements when evaluating brand authenticity:
- Continuity – be consistent in your messaging throughout the journey
- Integrity – stand up for best practices and ideals
- Credibility – remember to care for your customers and let them know
- Inspiration – help take your customers to a better place and reveal their strengths