Brand Authenticity. Being the Real Deal.
The importance of being authentic
Authenticity is the collection of choices we make every day. In an organization, these are the choices to show up and be the real deal, the choice to be honest, transparent, and human. The same applies to our products our services and how we do business. Many things about a brand may be subjective but being authentic isn’t. Either you are or you aren't. Far too many organizations put money into marketing activities to convince customers of what they can deliver rather than ensuring everything their brand experience supports their brand promise.
This is an important concept missed by many organizations and provides possibly the best opportunity for your organization no matter what industry you are in. People are now more interested in your values, commitments, and opinions. They want to know what your company stands for.
One of the challenges that we can be unaware of, is that we don’t have an objective view of our company or how the marketplace views our brand.
The other obstacle is self-inflicted. It is the notion that marketing is the solution for an inferior or irrelevant product or experience. Correcting this often takes outside help that can provide more sustainable brand-building practices.
To better clarify this point we need to first draw a picture of the true reality. In every sector, the market is flooded with inauthentic products and services. Companies intentionally make claims or aspire to something they are not, or worse they believe they are something they are not, or even worse they don’t know who or what they are. There is no lack of services, on and offline, that are not capable of delivering on what they claim to do. This is why consumers are skeptical and tired of being “sold to”.
Customers no longer have an appetite for wasting their time with false messaging or perceptions. They want to know who they are doing business with and the story behind you or your organization so they can decide if it is worth their time and money. They want to do business with credible brands which means that the meaning and purpose behind what you do is your currency.
The same is true for both B2C and B2B. In fact, it is more important in business-to-business brand development since your offering is under even more scrutiny when there is more at stake in the decision-making process.
This movement in consumer behaviour creates a fantastic opportunity for anyone with a clearly defined ethos and a brand story of impact and purpose. The reality is that there are still companies of all sizes, in every sector, that are sales-focused rather than brand development-focused. They are counting on a traditional business model that works to get a customer then fights to retain them rather than building the brand equity that forces customer loyalty.
Brand equity means building the trust that you are the real deal and ends in the customer choosing you over all the other options they have. However, it isn’t easy because it takes the modern style of leadership that is unwavering in their commitment to who and what they claim to be. The commitment needs to run through the veins of your organization and show up in absolutely everything you do or create. It needs to be in your DNA to never break your brand promise.