With consumers being bombarded with hundreds of messages from brands every single day, now more than ever, it’s crucial to stand out. And how do you stand out? It’s simple, you need to be authentic. Branding isn’t just about colouring, and choosing what your logo design should look like, it’s far more complex and powerful than that.
Real, effective branding is about adding intrinsic value to a product or service. But authenticity is what will make your company or product really take centre stage. Authenticity is made up of a delicate balance. Care needs to be taken to come across charming and unique, but not take things too far when it comes to what your brand represents. Take Trump for example. Need we say more?
The importance of being seen as authentic
Across global markets, approximately one in five consumers finds brands “Open and Honest.” This means brands need to work harder to get consumers to trust them, because it seems many suffer from credibility problems. A lot of brands don’t realise just how important it is, and just how much it can impact sales.
‘Our 2016 findings reveal that cynicism towards brands is highest among Western European countries. British consumers say they would reward an authentic company, with 38 percent saying they would remain loyal if a brand was perceived to be authentic.’ (authentic100.com).
Authenticity and branding
The first step to mastering successful branding is to understand what authenticity means in relation to branding. Instead of seeing your brand as your property, a mould to shape as you wish, try and see it as something the consumer holds in their hands and interprets as they see fit.
There are plenty of platforms to reach out to consumers, but instead of shouting out brand messages via social media, focus more on solving consumer problems and providing them with things they want and need.
‘What authenticity relates to in terms of branding is this simple concept: brands are no longer the property of the businesses they represent; they are the property of the consumer.’ (Talent Zoo)
According to The Authenticity Handbook, customers today increasingly support companies they perceive to be trustworthy. Being authentic is about creating brand stories that aren’t fake, but offer a real insight into the heart of your company.
Transparency and emotional connections
Don’t hide behind your brand name and instead seize every opportunity to be more human, raw and real. Your customers need to see who you really are and understand what you represent, which means making your brand values very clear, and keeping them at the forefront of every aspect of your business.
Today’s savvy customers can instantly identify poor products, overly salesy messaging and empty marketing campaigns. So there’s no point trying to fool them. Instead, figure out what it is that connects people to your brand, and which emotions you can tap into.
‘To be authentic, companies need to recognize what they are, what they do best and what customers value most about them.’ (Vision Critical)
Here at WithBrand, we create brand identities and tones of voice which are relevant and recognisable. We understand how important it is to distinguish yourself from the competition and leave a lasting impression on your audience. Contact us today to see how we can help transform your brand.
Authenticity in branding how real can you fake it - https://www.designweek.co.uk/issues/may-2012/authenticity-in-branding-how-real-can-you-fake-it/
Poking a bit of fun at the idea - http://www.newstatesman.com/culture/culture/2013/03/why-are-we-so-obsessed-pursuit-authenticity