Importance of Brand Authenticity
by Emilie Hofele
Illustration by Sophia Alem
What is Brand Authenticity?
Brand authenticity is “the extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful and true toward itself and its consumers, and to support consumers being true to themselves”
Consumers appreciate when brands are real with them. They do not want to see cookie-cutter perfection. Brands need to embrace imperfections and be playful with their audience while staying purposeful. Genuine branding brings brands closer to their audience.
When looking at social media influencers, people online are more attracted to people who have everyday struggles like them and are not trying to be perfect. Consumers see social media influencers’ vulnerability and follow them because they view them as a friend and genuine person. Trying to replicate this transparent relationship in a professional situation with a brand is very important. It grows a bond between the brand and the consumer which increases brand loyalty.
How to Increase Your Brand Authenticity
Know your company and know your customers/prospects
It is important for a brand to know itself; its values, its mission, and what it stands for. If you know yourself, your audience will soon know you too.
It is also important to know your customers and be talking with them. You should be asking your customers/clients questions and getting their feedback for prime results. Engage on social media and respond to people who talk about your brand. Share news and look at the responses to what you put out. The consumer wants to feel valued and listened to. When brands provide this kind of connection and authenticity with their customers or followers, it strengthens the business-consumer bond.
Consistency is Key
Being consistent as a brand is extremely important. Your branding and messaging should all be cohesive so your audience can follow along. It is key that this consistency spreads across all platforms. This will make you dependable and lead to your audience trusting you. Customer loyalty comes as a result of consistency because you have a unique brand that stays true to what you say. If you are not consistent as a brand, customers will have trouble seeing which version of you is the real you, leading to a lack of trust. To increase brand authenticity, everything a brand puts out needs to align with the company’s mission and vision.
Actions to follow the words
Actions truly do speak louder than words. It is vital for companies to deliver their promises in order to gain respect. Start by really listening to your consumer and delivering. Personalize the work you do and what you put out to your customer. The customer can see right through your brand if you are making false promises. Not keeping one promise will turn a lot of customers off the company. Consumers want the company to be open and show emotion. They don’t want the company to be picture-perfect because we all know no one is perfect and they are likely hiding their imperfections. The consumer would rather the company be transparent with them. Overall make sure you back what you say with actions and don’t put up a facade.