What does authenticity in branding really mean

What Does Authenticity Really Mean?

Have you felt that we are living in a world where everyone is trying to achieve authenticity and failing? If so, you are not alone. A quick log on to Facebook, Instagram or TikTok will leave you inundated with attempts at achieving the elusive state of authenticity. 

From a marketing standpoint, it matters more than just from an annoyance standpoint. (Not to underestimate the annoyance factor.)

The numbers show that consumers care about authenticity in a big way. In fact, approximately 86% of consumers cite brand authenticity as a key factor when deciding what brands they like and support, according to Gitnux Marketing Data.

Let’s explore what authenticity truly means, what it doesn’t and how to work towards achieving.

Unpacking Brand Authenticity in a Real Way

What is authenticity?

The question seems so basic, but when it comes to social media, it seems that some may have lost sight of it so it worthy of a review. One definition states that it is when one is true to personality and values. It’s when one is honest with oneself and with others, showing true vulnerability and taking responsibility for mistakes.

For your business, consumers live in a state of technical overload and seek sources of authenticity in the businesses they buy from. With all things being equal, authenticity can be the element that makes a brand stand out in a crowded space.

What isn’t authenticity?

Consumers can spot inauthentic authenticity a mile away. It’s likely easy to conjure up some images or instances of inauthenticity. The influencer on Instagram that refers to him or herself as a “guru” or touting themselves as “world-renowned.”

There is nothing wrong with stating that your Brand or product is synonymous with quality, excellence or something of that nature, but when the language is overinflated, you run the risk of seeming inauthentic to your audience.

Where do we go wrong with authenticity?

As businesses learn that their audiences want authenticity, they often make common missteps trying to accomplish it. Here are a few common scenarios to avoid:

  • Don’t lie or embellish.
  • Don’t manufacture events or scenarios in an attempt to portray authenticity.
  • Don’t avoid talking about yourself or your brand in a real way.
  • Don’t talk to the wrong target audience.

Tips For Achieving Authenticity

Define your voice.

One key part to being authentic in your brand voice is getting to know what it is first. You might start by asking questions like:

  • What do we stand for?
  • What type of tone do we use when we speak about ourselves?
  • What is important to share?

Be honest even when it’s tough.

Playing it safe not talking about your mistakes or shortcomings, will not help you to build authenticity. Brands that share their hearts are able to connect in real ways with their audiences.

Don’t underestimate your audience.

Your audience can handle the true you. Correction, they crave it. Give them the chance to see who you really are. Chances are, they can handle it.

Be consistent.

Like with any marketing effort, consistency is also a key element to showing authenticity. Think of it this way: you need more exposure to a person to really get to know them. 

In a world filled with constant noise and endless options, authenticity has become a powerful currency for businesses seeking to connect with their audience on a deeper level. I have to be honest, I took a hard step back from social media because I didn’t want to be part of something promoted negativity. 

Being authentic with your brand voice is not just a marketing strategy; it is a genuine commitment to honesty, transparency and staying true to your values. When you embrace authenticity, you build trust, foster loyalty and create lasting relationships with your customers. Authenticity allows your brand to stand out amidst the crowd, making it a beacon that resonates with those who share your vision and beliefs. 

Now off I go to follow my own advice by re-engaging and finding consistency…

Jackie Awve Marketing is a boutique agency providing branding and marketing services. 

Have questions or need help?  Schedule a 30-minute complimentary consultation with Jackie.

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