Brand authenticity: why brands need to get real

When marketing teams meet to discuss strategies to differentiate and give their brands more resonance, increased attention goes to the topic of brand authenticity. More than a simple attribute, brand authenticity has psychological and symbolic dimensions – authentic brands know what they stand for and make it clear across all consumer touch points.

Brand authenticity brings value

Soap brand Dove is often cited as an example of what being an authentic brand means. Since 2004, their marketing campaigns have consistently relayed the brand’s core belief that every beauty – no matter how flawed and imperfect – is to be celebrated. This not only shifted the advertising industry’s view of beauty, it gave their messages more meaning and credibility. Other companies are going even further when it comes to translating words into actions – even if it means to be more selective about who gets to buy their products. Take Patagonia, the American outdoor company. Standing firm on its focus to increase the number of “mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet,” the brand made headlines earlier this year by declining to supply corporations that don’t meet certain social and environmental standards.

Mission-driven companies that prioritize the planet.

Brand authenticity gets social traction

Competitive price points and innovation is no longer enough. Consumers are demanding more from the products they purchase. Be it product sourcing, packaging sustainability, or even the stance a company takes on specific social issues. Buyers are more attentive than ever before and will not be easily fooled – they pay attention that brands are true in what they say and what they deliver. There needs to be an alignment between what consumers think they’re getting and what they’re actually getting as an experience. And this is ever more important in this age of social media. If consumers feel a disconnect between what they have been promised and what they’re experiencing, social media gives them a very loud voice in sharing that experience.

Competitive price points and innovation is no longer enough

Brand authenticity is a company-wide effort

When brands think of leveraging brand authenticity, it’s important that it doesn’t come across as being manufactured. It has to connect to the heart and soul of the organization and not be a strategy that’s written in a boardroom. Knowing who you are as an organization, staying grounded and not flip-flopping in reaction to the latest trends is just how brand authenticity can be managed over time.

So are you ready to bring brand authenticity to your advantage? Get in touch with us today.

Text credits: ARD / agi

Images credits: Patagonia

Are you ready to bring brand authenticity to your advantage?
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