Brand authenticity is easily the most important component of business interactions today.
What does it mean for your brand to be authentic?
According to a recent global report by Authentic100 brand authenticity is based on the following attributes:
- Fulfilling promises
- Providing high quality
- Excellent customer service
- Protecting client privacy and data
- Honest communication
- Being genuine, not artificial
- Acting with integrity
These attributes can be further condensed into what the report refers to as the 3 Rs, being:
If you want to stand out in today’s competitive marketplace you need to focus on authenticity.
More than anything your clients want you to be authentic. According to Authenic100’s report 78% of people don’t think brands are open and honest.
In the United States only 23% of consumers thought businesses were honest.
Don’t think authenticity is important?
88% Of consumers said they would reward brands that were honest and real.
Businesses would earn their recommendation, loyalty, investment and they would even want to work for that company!
How can you build authenticity? Here are some great places to start.
Tell your Story
The story behind your brand is important. Make sure it’s well known by both your clients and your employees.
Be proud of your values and what your brand stands for.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and show vulnerability either.
Social media is a perfect place to tell your brand’s story. There are many ways to show that you’re human and to have fun.
Understand and Connect with Your Clients
The most authentic marketing campaigns are customer centric. They’re based on a deep understanding of your target audience.
Social media again offers many opportunities to connect and build relationships.
Authentic engagement on social media is about listening to your audience. It’s not about how many likes or shares you get on your posts.
Become a part of the community and find out what motivates your clients and what they want.
Listen to what they want, find out what problems they have and how you can solve them.
It’s not about you, it’s all about them.
Becoming a great listener is important, both online and in person.
Don’t try too hard though. Trying too hard looks inauthentic and hurts your relationships.
We’ve all seen examples of companies that look totally fake when they try too hard.
Connecting with your audience is more than just simple marketing research or sending a survey.
Instead try to build a community where people can freely communicate their needs and you can ask follow-up questions for deeper insight.
An environment where genuine conversations can take place is what’s important.
Always Be Transparent
Everything you ever do should be open and transparent. Transparency is absolutely essential for building trust.
According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 55% of consumers believe transparency is the most important key to developing trust in a company.
Make sure you keep your clients included and informed at every step of the buying and selling process.
Fully answer any questions they have and explain why you’re doing what you do.
If you don’t explain things or tell your clients not to worry about it they’ll start to think you’re hiding something.
Offer Personalized Solutions
Personalization is another thing that’s very important to consumers today.
“You automatically enhance and accelerate trust the minute you present customized products, services, or information for the individual customer or at least for a small precisely-defined group of people in which the customer belongs.”
-No B.S. Trust Based Marketing Page 45
Take the time to really get to know your clients.
Find out their problems, specific needs and offer personalized solutions.
This makes all your interactions much more meaningful and shows that you genuinely care.
Authenticity is what will make you stand out from your competition. No matter who you are you should make an effort to appear authentic.
“Everybody has at least on character trait that is authentic and genuine, that can be magnified so the clientele’s attention is focused on it, and that is generally beneficial in selling and, specifically, contributes to trust.”
-No B.S. Trust Based Marketing Page 41
Consumers are tired of companies that don’t care or worse, outright lie to them.
As a result brand authenticity is the number one component that they’re looking for today.
Work hard at providing a genuine experience for each and every one of your clients and you’ll find that it will pay off a lot more than you might think.