It’s no longer acceptable for brands to communicate their values and intentions but never deliver. Modern buyers have wised up to what’s ‘fake’ and what’s not – and are beginning to hold brands accountable.
To re-establish trust with customers, companies need to ensure they always remain authentic. While brand authenticity is not a new concept, the changing tides of public opinion mean it’s more important than ever. There is no space for half-heartedness in today’s world; it’s crucial that brands start as they mean to go on – by communicating their genuine intentions and actions – and stay true to what they say.
What is brand authenticity?
The term ‘authentic’ can be a grey area in discussions around B2B marketing. However, in short, authenticity is the ability for a brand to speak plainly and consistently – while keeping its promises. These values should underpin the whole business, from its mission, to its daily activities, to even its goals and aspirations for the future.
In a crowded marketplace, it’s important that brands maintain a purpose that extends beyond simply cost – to allow their product or service to stand out. For companies to earn the respect of their customers, actions need to speak louder than words.
Earning consumers’ trust
With the exposure of so-called ‘fake’ news, comes the need for the ‘real story’. Millennials and Generation Z are calling for brands to communicate their true intentions, instead of hiding them away with a lofty statement at the end of their website. If not, companies risk serious damage to their reputation. Expectations are therefore high, and brands must deliver.
Take sustainability, for example. Everybody says they’re environmentally responsible, but who actually is? For too long, brands have been ‘greenwashing’ to tap into the latest trends of their target audience, but consumers are beginning to realise that this ethos does not necessarily run through every aspect of the business. Without anything tangible to show for these intentions, it’s just an empty promise.
Keep your word
Ultimately, talking to customers with honesty, transparency and humanity will go a long way in earning their respect and trust. It’s fine to make a mistake, just own it and show how you are continuing to improve. Above all, every bit of communication needs to be consistent and aligned to help build brand loyalty and longevity.
Would you like to know more about how brand authenticity can benefit your business? Download our guide, available now on The Knowledge, and take your marketing to the next level.