What is brand authenticity?
There are various aspects to brand authenticity, but centrally it means that a brand should be faithful to itself, be open and honest and treat its customers with respect and integrity.
The brand can also have a caring and responsible ethos, which in turn, enables its clientele to be true to their own beliefs.
Alternatively, or in addition, it can have a very clear vision which acts as a guiding light in all its activities. After all, brand authenticity is not just the reserve of luxurious or expensive brands.
However, in a nutshell, it’s not just what you say, it’s what you do.
Why it matters
If you want people to care about your business, and remain loyal customers, then you need brand authenticity.
In fact, brand authenticity matters more now than ever before. The main reason for this is the dominance of social media where the positives, and negatives, of any business can be easily applauded or exposed.
Gone are the days when companies relied upon print and TV advertising to build brand loyalty to a captive audience.
Today’s consumers have almost total control of how they interact with brands, so to build up a loyal following means staying true to your beliefs and portraying that in your communications through whatever channel that is.
Your communications style and tone, both internal and external, should reflect the culture of your business.
Remember that open and honest communications are a cornerstone of building brand authenticity.
It’s also important to be consistent with your messaging and branding. The clearer the picture, the easier it is for people to see what you stand for.
The good news is that brand authenticity can also be achieved through everyday actions.
Incorporating some guiding principles into an organisation’s behaviour towards its customers, staff and other stakeholders, will pay dividends.
Indeed, a good benchmark of brand authenticity is Trustpilot, where consumers have the opportunity to post, review and share reviews of businesses. Anyone can post a review and approximately 1,000,000 new reviews are posted each month. Consumer power at its strongest.
There are some shining lights held up as good examples of brand authenticity, not least Dove soap and its campaign for Real Beauty.
The automotive world also has some leading ambassadors, among them Land Rover. It has clear values and a clear set of products which has helped it establish a very loyal customer base that other companies can only dream of.
A strong, simple and consistent message can go a long way.