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Value. Truth. Integrity. Beauty. Brand authenticity is all of these things and more.
You may think I’m talking about the Moulin Rouge, Bohemian-era ideals but it’s what consumers are passionately searching for in the businesses they use today. The tides have changed, and we’ve seen a massive shift in consumer values. Now, it’s all about brand authenticity.
You may be asking what ‘brand authenticity’ actually means, and authenticity in today’s marketing world doesn’t just refer to the company’s image. It applies to every aspect of the business. Being authentic means upholding a level of integrity that involves both honesty and transparency within the company. Pretty much: posers need not apply.
Gone are the days of “perfect,” the perfectly curated social feeds and the ads of beautiful people doing beautiful things. Perfect isn’t cool anymore. Millennials and Gen Z have developed the ability to sniff out fakers and inauthenticity, and want absolutely nothing to do with it.
What does this mean for your company?
Be real with who you are! Have a consistent message and mission that’s built on integrity and adds value to people’s lives.
If you’re a company that sells jam, trying to sell your product as “the best jam in town” isn’t going to cut it. People don’t care. They want to know: where do you get your produce? Is it sustainably farmed? Where do you create your product? Is it in a factory or in your home kitchen in Marietta, Georgia?
They also want to know why you care about jam and why you started your business. If it were just to make money, you wouldn’t get very far with this generation. They want to know about your great grandma’s recipe that you’ve been making since you were a child.
Maintaining brand authenticity can be so SCARY. We know. Hiding behind the image of perfection can feel a lot safer, but showing your true self is the most valuable thing you can do for your company.
One of my favorite examples happens to be from a company that started in the 1980s: Snapple. They began as a venture of three entrepreneurs who neither knew nor cared about marketing. They believed in their all-natural product, and they sold it as a direct reflection of who they were as people. They grew to fame in the ’90s due to their spoof advertisements that went against big companies like Coke.
How can you mimic this type of marketing for your company?
Snapple’s level of authenticity in their early marketing is exactly what companies should try to mimic today. When developing the brand and story for your company, make sure to ask these questions:
- Is your brand true to itself? Consistency with your messaging is key.
- Is your brand true to its consumers? It’s essential to provide the exact product that you promise.
- Is your brand built on integrity? Build your company with strong principles and values and showcase that in everything you do.
- Does your brand add value to its consumers as well as society? Your company should perpetuate what’s important in society at the time.
Are you struggling to showcase your brand authenticity? Let’s chat! We can help you create a message that stays true to who you are as a company.