The new-age consumer is oversaturated with a myriad of brands at their rescue.
And the only way your brand can cut through and make itself known in this noise is by being authentic.
The more virtual and the more concocted our lives get, the greater is the craving for something real and genuine.
Statistics back this:
- 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support.
- Research has shown time and time again that a company’s truthfulness and sincerity influence its overall brand image.
And if you think just advertising noble causes is going to deem you genuine in the public eye, you’re so very wrong – A consumer study on millennials found that a mere 1% of those polled would trust a company because of advertising.
Customers today are more informed and empowered than ever, they can spot a scam from miles away.
So there’s no fooling them, if you want them to believe you, you need to put all your words into action.
This is where brand authenticity comes in – it helps you introspect where your commitment lies and adhere to it.
That is why you need to think of brand authenticity as a path that not only leads you to success but also lays a foundation for a powerful brand.
So let’s dig deeper into what brand authenticity truly means…
What is Brand Authenticity? (Definition)
Brand Authenticity is all about a brand’s honesty towards itself and its customers by being responsible and keeping such truthfulness in practice continually.
To be deemed as an authentic brand, you need to be reliable and trustworthy.
When your brand is genuine, it’ll more easily resonate and bridge any gaps between you and customers.
Simply, brand authenticity has four components:
- Continuity (brand being faithful to itself),
- Credibility (true to its consumers),
- Integrity (motivated by caring and responsibility)
- Symbolism (support consumers in being true to themselves)
Now that you know what an authentic brand typically includes, assess your own brand by asking these questions:
- Is your brand true to itself?
- Is your messaging consistent throughout your business’s lifetime?
- Are you exactly what you advertise yourself as?
Now if you answered no to any single question, you need to start to project a more genuine attitude. But before we help you out with that, let’s understand how brand authenticity will actually help you.
How Is Brand Authenticity Beneficial?
In today’s world, even if you have an awesome product, unfortunately, it is single-handedly not going to be enough.
Most successful brands tend to have a strong sense of brand authenticity which helps attract customers.
And there are many more reasons how brand authenticity works to your advantage:
People love authentic brands and more than ever today, they’re willing to base all their buying decisions on that sole factor.
They’re demanding transparency and only when you show them that, will they invest their money in what you offer.
It’s really true – A company’s ethical values and authenticity influence purchase consideration for 62 percent of consumers, and 74 percent want more transparency related to how companies highlight issues.
This means that when your brand authenticity is at a high, you’ll attract more customers.
Read more: Brand Voice: What is it & How to Define it for your Business!
2. Easily Cut Through The Noise
Like we already discussed, the 21st-century customer is tech-savvy and empowered and knows what and who to believe in.
So if you are not authentic they will sense it. The only way out of it is to be genuine.
Brand authenticity will help you reach out to people and make them buy what you offer because they can relate to you and believe you. And from there, the customers will do all your work. Once they trust you, they’ll make sure everyone knows.
With tactics like recommendations and word of mouth, it’s a matter of time before you are in every household.
3. Creating Stronger Emotional Connections
Genuine messages strike a chord in people’s hearts. Such messages make sure your customer is emotionally intertwined with the brand.
When you wear your heart on your sleeve, you reach out to more people and create long-standing connections with your customers.
And such customers are pivotal for any brand’s success – According to research covered in a 2015 Harvard Business Review article, “fully connected” customers are worth 52% more than “highly satisfied” customers.
And these are just some of the many reasons why you need brand authenticity.
In an ad-exhausted world, the only way for your brand to make a place for itself is by truly owning up to what it stands for.
Put simply, you need to be real, and it’s time for some nifty tips to help you do just that.
6 Awesome Tips To Build Brand Authenticity
1. Be Real
As simple as it sounds, being real is a detrimental hill for many brands.
To be real, you need to find your roots in why you’re here in the first place. The main mission of your brand, and what its values are.
Studies show that successful brands have their own clear mission and purpose to support the products or services they sell.
You can ask yourself these questions to derive your mission:
- Who are you?
- What drives your company?
- What’s your purpose?
If you still don’t get a distinct idea, start by creating one today. Decide what you stand for and then you need to be transparent about these ideals to the world.
This will serve as the foundation for your brand authenticity and benefit both the customers and your company itself in the long run.
2. Start Creating Connections
Now that you know what values you uphold, put them into practice and let the world know about them.
Your customers want to foster a connection with the reality of your brand – its success, its hardships, all of it. So give them that.
Brand storytelling is the key and your authenticity will help you do just that.
And such connections will yield awesome results too – When customers feel connected to brands, more than half of consumers (57%) will increase their spending with that brand and 76% will buy from them over a competitor.
Keep your customers in touch with your story and let the magic of brand authenticity unfold!
3. Be Consistent
When you are marketing, you may use multiple channels and it can be so easy to become inconsistent.
The golden rule should be to have a consistent, singular voice that leads all of your campaigns. One that doesn’t differ with time or with channels. Otherwise, inconsistency will plague your authenticity and sow the seeds of confusion and mistrust amongst your customers.
To overcome this, you can create a brand manifesto that keeps everyone on the same page. Or set clear guidelines for all employees, so that your brand voice is not vague.
4. Walk The Talk
“You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do.”
You can hire the best services, and have the most impactful PR services, but if your words don’t match up to your actions, you are setting yourself up for a huge fall.
No matter how strong your motto is, if you can’t back it up with equally robust actions, it won’t work.
The customer can see through all the gimmicks, and it’s not a wise move to fool them, because that’s literally the opposite of being genuine.
Authenticity will work only if you work at it – So let your actions do all the talking!
Read more: The Definitive Guide To Brand Style (Template Included)
5. Hold Yourself Accountable
The harsh reality is – No business is perfect.
You’ll fall, you’ll fail, and may not always live up to your standards. But the good thing is your audience knows that too, all you need to do is own up to it.
When truly authentic brands make a mistake, they admit it and apologize while it’s all still salvageable.
Let’s take this example of when the Domino’s Pizza CEO acknowledged that their reviews weren’t doing particularly well. In response, they decided to re-work their entire process from scratch and create a better, cohesive company. The result was a doubling of their sales and profits.
Interesting right? Just like they say, the truth will set you free…and also help you stay successful!
6. Showcase Your Shining Repute
Just because you’re trying to be authentic, doesn’t mean you cannot indulge the world with the rave reviews you receive for your product and brand.
If you are owning up to mistakes, it’s just as equally necessary that you showcase your highs!
Highlighting your good reputation is also a good way to develop trust, but be genuine, don’t manufacture reviews.
Testimonials are a powerful way to do that – 72% of consumers say positive testimonials and reviews increase their trust in a business.
This is a good way to remind yourselves and others of all the good things that your business has made happen!
Time to Introspect – Is Your Brand Authentic?
“Escape competition through authenticity.”
The entire marketing and advertising landscape are currently undergoing a renaissance.
With evolving customers and old methods out the door, it’s time for brands to shapeshift too.
And authenticity is the way to go!
Think about it, with genuineness and honesty as the prime policy, you’ll be able to serve your customers much better. Holding up a facade will only take you so far before all of it comes crashing down.
When you open the doors of your business by being authentic and true to yourself, loyal customers will follow and help you earn a respectable repute.
And if you’re thinking of waiting for this drastic change out – you can’t. You either change with it, or you are out of this race.
It’s time you wake up NOW and find what your brand really believes in.
With our tips, we’re sure it’ll just be a matter of time before you become authentic and start reaching new heights.
It’s a long, cathartic road ahead of you, but trust us it’ll be an exhilarating one – Good luck!
Tweet us @bit_docs and tell us how brand authenticity helped you. We’d love to hear all about it!
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