Stay true to your values. That’s why you were a success in the first place, and that’s how you make incredible things happen.Rafe Offer
“I recently heard some colleagues of mine discussing a brand they both liked, and when I enquired as to why this seemingly normal brand was held in such high regard by both of them, their answer was simply because they felt the company was authentic and transparent with their customers”.
In a digital world where every move a brand makes can be scrutinized, saved, and shared in record time. It makes sense then that building a relationship with your customers based on trust, transparency, and authenticity will create a sense of sincerity around how you do business.
Why is that important? Isn’t the purpose of marketing to outshine the competition by being more persuasive, flashier, and stealing the limelight where ever possible?
A few years ago some would have argued yes, the biggest marketing budget always wins, but not anymore. Audiences have wised up and are watching brand interactions and communications closer than ever.
So why then does authenticity matter so much and what should brands focus on to become more authentic?
Most customers today would agree that price alone is not enough to keep them coming back. Who they do business with and which brands they support, in turn, say a lot about how they see themselves. Finding brands that share common values is becoming increasingly important.
Getting feedback about what your customers want is worth its weight in gold. It allows you to understand the values and beliefs your customers hold and align yourself more closely with them. But knowing what your customers want alone is not enough, you need to show them through your voice and actions in order to build real connections.
A customer relationship built on trust provides important advantages for brands. It makes it harder for competitors to get their attention. Customers feel more confident in recommending your brand to others. And inevitably when things go wrong (and in business, they might) having customers that trust and support you will accept your apologies more readily and help you bounce back quicker.
Building trust and an authentic brand like all good things take time and a consistent effort. You can’t pick and choose where you show your support or communicate certain messages. Being consistent is about making sure that your brand voice, images, actions, and values are the same across all channels. Aligning yourself with a certain political stance or message on one platform and then saying something different on another will lead to customer confusion and a loss of trust.
Having great brand values, building trust, and delivering a consistent message is nothing if you aren’t being honest. Customers that feel respected are more likely to stick with you. Usually, becoming an army of brand ambassadors (the best kind of marketing). But it all stems from being honest with them even when things don’t go to plan.
Your target audience’s perception of your brand will ultimately decide its success. To appear transparent, authentic, and trustworthy you actually have to be transparent, authentic, and trustworthy. Those brands that stick to their values and show real authenticity even in trying times are the ones that set themselves up for long term success.
Our Moment of Bliss
Authenticity transcends beyond mountains, or ‘mountains beyond mountains’, as Arcade Fire artfully sings in Sprawl II, already bookmarked on our Spotify playlist.