Honesty is the best policy. This statement is especially true when it comes to brand authenticity. More and more consumers demand authenticity from brands. But what does brand authenticity really mean? Here are a few key components of what brand authenticity is and what it is NOT.
Brand authenticity means being honest and transparent with all current and potential customers. Transparency means showing how you run your business as well as how you create your products or services. You can provide additional product info such as how your product is made, where it is sourced, and a complete list of ingredients.
Being authentic also means apologizing for mistakes. You do not want to sugarcoat your problems. It is better to own up to your missteps than to pretend they never happened or that they were not as bad as they appeared. Admitting your faults makes you seem more vulnerable and ultimately more trustworthy to consumers. Of course, admitting your wrong is only the first step. You also have to solve the problems you have caused in an honest and forthright way.
Consistency is key for brand authenticity. You want to make sure you follow through on your promises because actions always speak louder than words. Part of this is also responding to customer questions and concerns quickly and honestly. Across all platforms and social media, you want to stay on top of customer comments and respond as rapidly as possible. Take time to build relationships with your customers based on authentic two-way communication.
You may want to also focus on the story behind your business. Why did you start your company in the first place? Why are you passionate about your products or services? What is the ultimate vision for your organization? Sharing this authentic story with your employees and customers will help them trust you as an authentic, genuine company. This ultimately leads to deeper customer loyalty.
Another way to build trust is to speak up on social issues. Investing in corporate social responsibility means giving back, so your company stands for something more than just turning a profit. Acting with integrity and donating to causes that make the world a better place will have your company looking more authentic and trustworthy in the eyes of consumers.
Now that you know some examples of what brand authenticity is, here are some examples of what it is not. Being inauthentic on social media is a way to destroy trust in your organization. One way to do this is to buy likes or followers on social media rather than earning them organically. Another example of inauthenticity is to use stock photos rather than real photos taken of your company.
Additionally, jumping onto trends that are irrelevant to your brand is an example of what brand authenticity is not. In 2014, DiGiorno used the popular hashtag #WhyIStayed in a tweet that said, “#WhyIStayed You had pizza.” Unfortunately, the hashtag referred to victims of domestic violence. Trying to hop on a trend without thoroughly researching it can lead brands to seem inauthentic and untrustworthy.
Failing to stay true to your company’s products or services is another example of what brand authenticity is not. In one incident, LG France tweeted from an iPhone, showing that the company’s employees do not use its products. True brand authenticity means staying true to your brand at all times and not letting slip-ups like that take place.
Are you interested in making your brand more authentic? Contact the Borenstein Group, a Top DC marketing agency. We can improve your brand authenticity in no time.