Marketers like to toss around the word ‘authenticity’ when describing brands. This new buzzword has played a major part in how brand’s are defining their missions and creating their processes. Backed by a number of studies, this buzzword is here to stay and will only become more important to the success of your business.
Let’s demystify ‘Brand Authenticity’:
Is authenticity just a fancy word for honesty?
Honesty is an important part of being authentic, but in terms of describing a brand – there is more to the definition. To be authentic means to uphold a certain level of integrity which includes total honesty and transparency.
The Journal of Consumer Psychology defines it as “The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves.”
To see how your brand fits, ask these four questions:
1. Is your brand faithful to itself?
Does your brand have consistent messaging and missions that weather consumer trends and industry changes?
2. Is your brand true to its consumers?
Are you ‘as advertised’? To be a credible brand it’s important that you fulfill promises and values to your customers.
3. Is your brand built on integrity?
Is your mission statement based on moral principles and does it stay true to its values?
4. Does your brand add meaning or create value?
Is your brand perpetuating value or is it important to what people care about?
Why is brand authenticity important?
Over the last couple of decades consumer behavior has evolved, and now traditional marketing techniques are no longer seeing results. With convention out the door – businesses are having to shift how and what they are communicating to their customers.
It’s no surprise that Millennials and Generation Y are shopping different than their predecessors. For Millennials, brand authenticity is second only to loyalty discounts in importance when choosing companies to support, according to the BCG study.
On the other hand, inauthenticity can be detrimental to a brand. For example, when United Airlines publicly responded to the passenger being dragged off – the corporation came out with two different messages within 24 hours, the messages contradicted one another. Not only did this result in public confusion, its hypocrisy created a distrust among the public.
Building brand authenticity is all about giving people a reason to care.