The age of authenticity is here. Consumers are losing their trust in brands, as the online world is getting louder and more crowded by the day. People need brands to give them more than just good products and services. They are looking to connect on a deeper level and create meaningful relationships. Unfortunately we’re coming up short in their search for authenticity. You want to stand out from other brands? Get real with your customers and work on building long lasting relationships.
Why is brand authenticity important?
The new generation of consumers is different. They are tech-savvy, smart and love doing their research on brands. According to research 88 percent of consumers say that authenticity is key* to what brands they buy from. Brand authenticity may be a relatively new concept, but is essential to Millennial and Gen Z consumers. You want them to become your customer? Then you need to be transparent, genuine and authentic. They want brands to be honest and share important values.
Brands can no longer just provide good products or services. There is a need for this extra layer, which carries values beyond sales and profit. Values this new generation of consumers recognizes themselves in. Why authenticity is important to your brand? If you don’t care, they won’t hesitate to look for another brand that does.
Transparency is key
Essential to becoming an authentic brand is transparency. Without it, no consumer will trust the values you seem to portray. No less than 66 percent of consumers think transparency is one of the most attractive qualities in a brand.** So be real, be true, even if you are not yet where you want to be. Reveal the struggle you have with pivoting towards a more sustainable, environmental friendly way of working. Express how you are trying to change the world, even if you haven’t figured out exactly how. Show that you are trying to contribute. Consumers will recognize themselves in you and your struggles, feel more connected and reward your honesty.
At the core of your brand may be these amazing values, but are you living them? Be critical with yourself. What values does your brand pride itself for? Are these values put in action or are you just profiting of them? Only communicate on what is reality. Consumers will see right through it, if you don’t. By being transparent, you’ll be able to connect on a deeper level and build long lasting customer relationships.
How to create brand authenticity?
To put it simply, brand authenticity is just another term for being honest. Start here. Look at your company’s values and communication. Are you being true to yourself? Just like a person, a brand also has aspirations of who they want to be. Don’t confuse these aspirations with your actions. Only communicate what is true. Amazing that you aspire to better! But don’t try to fool consumers or you’ll end up losing their trust.
Building brand authenticity is about discovering what values are important to you, standing for something more than just sales and profit. The most important components to building brand authenticity are:
- Being real and honest
- Living your values
I hope this article helped you on your journey to finding yourself as a brand, what you want to stand for and being authentic in your communication. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss more on how to put this into action for your brand.
* Stackla Research (2021)
** Accenture Strategy (2018)