What Makes A Brand Authentic?
Brand authenticity is absolutely essential to the success of any product or service. Brand authenticity means your brand adheres to a set of standards, morals, and values, no matter what. This is important for customers, and they want a genuine connection with their favorite products and services. But what makes a brand truly authentic?
Why Should I Care About Authenticity?
Reliability, respect, integrity. These are all qualities we value in each other in people. We look for those that provide us with a genuine connection and experience, and that’s exactly what a consumer wants out of their favorite brand.
Think for a moment; would you continue to buy from a brand that promised one thing and delivered another? Or whose quality has fallen over the years? You’d probably look for a different brand that consistently delivers on its promises and holds itself to certain standards.
When you think of connecting with customers, authenticity should be your first consideration. What can you do to make your brand more authentic?
Number One: Reliability
Reliability means I will be there when I say I’m going to be there. I will deliver what I promised to deliver. If you wouldn’t settle for unreliable behavior in employees or even in your personal life, you should never sacrifice this quality in your brand.
If your company vows to deliver a certain product by a certain date, you must do everything in your power to ensure it happens. The product must be of the promised quality, and contain all of the features that were promised.
Deadlines can be tough, and sometimes they are simply not achievable. If that is the case, let your customers know ahead of time of the delay. If you wait until the delivery date, or simply say nothing at all, your brand’s reputation will incur a serious blow, from which it may not recover. Which leads us to the second factor of authenticity: honesty.
Number Two: Honesty
Honesty is an admirable quality. It means that you’ll give the truth, even when the truth is unpopular or frowned upon. It means that you stand by the truth. Your brand’s honesty and transparency is a valued feature to your customer base.
As we stated in the prior face of brand authenticity, reliability if you cannot deliver what was promised, be honest with your customers. This is one of those times when the truth will be unpopular or frowned upon, but its the most important time to tell the truth.
Honesty should also apply in your marketing efforts. False or misleading advertising is perhaps one of the best ways to alienate your customer base. Again, when you promise one thing and deliver another, people tend to be unhappy with the results.
By being honest with your customers, you’re letting them know that you’re trustworthy and that even when things don’t work out, you will continue to be transparent and keep them updated with the changes. Honesty is always the best policy in any relationship, and your customer/brand relationship is no different. Be honest with your customers!
Number Three: Authentic Products
Let’s say you’ve matched your brand’s behavior with the two previous facets of authenticity. You’re honest and reliable, so what comes next? Your products. The products you sell to your customers can either be a reflection of your authenticity or not, depending on whether or not you’re backing them up.
If your product promises certain features and then is delivered without them, your authenticity suffers. If your product promises to solve a certain problem and then is unable to, your authenticity suffers. Are you seeing a pattern here?
Crafting genuine products is an art in and of itself. Using the right materials and designs is half the battle. While it may be cheaper and more profitable to use certain materials that may not hold up as long, is that really contributing to your brand’s authenticity?
How many times have you bought something from a certain store, only to have it break of malfunction a few months later? In this disposable age, one thing rings true: quality. When you spend your hard-earned money on a product, you expect it to perform how it’s advertised. This same expectation applies to your own customers.
Number Four: Social Media Presence
Social media has become an excellent marketing tool for businesses all over the world, but what your social media presence does for your brand largely depends on how you run it. Your pages should reflect the brand’s integrity, especially on the web where the entire world can hold your brand accountable.
How, when, and what you post on social media can significantly impact your customer base and your sales. Remember to be honest on this platform as well, especially since anything uploaded to the internet can usually be recovered.
We’ve all heard or seen a celebrity make a remark, only to claim they never said it, and then a Twitter or Facebook post is pulled from the depths of antiquity to prove otherwise. Keep this in mind when posting on your brand’s behalf. Watch what you say, and keep posts genuine.
Authenticity should be a brand’s number one concern. Without authenticity, you have only a product that no one believes in. Stay honest with your customers, deliver your promises (on time), and remember that what you say in social media can have a huge impact on your reputation, for good or for ill.
Image Credits: Brand Authentic from Gustavo Frazao/Shutterstock