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What is Brand Authenticity?
By: Andrew Turner
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“Brands fail because they are devoid of authenticity.” This is a phrase that has been thrown around a lot lately in our industry, but what does it mean? Originality, genuine, legitimate, real? No. In branding terms, authentic and its synonyms are all buzzwords marketers use to sell books. 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.

Having a firm grasp on this concept is paramount for brand success. Through Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc., consumers have a gluttonous accessibility to brands. Therefore the only way to be “authentic” is to be malleable and shape your brand around the consumer’s wants, needs, and problems. Here are three concepts that will help your pliability.
  1. Be Emotional
Allow your brand to have a voice that sounds familiar to your demographic. More than ever, consumers want a dialogue with brands. Gone are the days of press releases. Make your dialogue accessible; don’t drone on like it’s a press release that has been vetted by the marketing department. Today’s consumers see right through it. When creating your voice, remember to be funny and witty. The Millennial Generation dictates trends and they respond well to this.
  1. More Importantly: Be Empathetic
Understanding your customer is the golden rule here. How does your typical customer interpret your brand? Know your weakness and work on them. Disney has had trouble in the past with their hiring practices, so they developed a special program to hire veterans. Also, know your strengths and exploit them. Chipotle is my favorite example of this; they pride themselves on their fresh ingredients, and their customers love them for it. Whether you get it right or wrong, remember to have humility in your voice. It will go a long way.
  1. Forget ROI
ROI and numbers will never help your brand. Words are what count here.

Acknowledge your consumers by following these three concepts and your brand will become more malleable and adaptable, or “authentic” (If that’s what you want to call it).

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About the Author
is a marketing professional, copywriter, and graphic designer from Philadlephia. You can contact him here.
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