The Age of Authenticity:
How to Win Your
Audience's Hearts

Tricia Lim

Tricia Lim

There’s no denying that ever since our lives have shifted to virtual ones, we find ourselves craving for more genuine interactions and connections. In the age of social media, brands can’t hide anything from their consumers anymore. With the saturation of fake news, clickbait, and overrated sponsored posts, seeing authentic content can be like taking in a breath of fresh air. Plus, we consumers have gotten very savvy at discovering and researching everything about a brand from other consumers. 

With the rise of social media, consumers today are also more vocal in sharing their thoughts and opinions about brands they like or dislike. We’re not afraid to call brands out if they’re fake, unreliable or not worth our time. 

The only brands that survive are those with brand authenticity.

If you’re a business owner or a marketer, you know that to keep up and thrive in the market means embracing brand authenticity like your brand depends on it.

Table of Contents

But what is authenticity?

This buzzword isn’t new. Although it wasn’t the brand standard before, it definitely is now.

In simple terms, brand authenticity is when a brand stays true to who they are, what they do and who they serve. It comes do​​wn to being transparent and consistent in your messaging and branding initiatives. 

By doing so, you create value for your customers and help boost your brand too!

Why is it important?

In reality, brand authenticity is important because consumers’ authority and expectations are rapidly changing. As a consumer myself, I admit that I have raised my standards for determining which brands to follow and which brands to ditch. Former marketing tactics like offering good deals and cheap products aren’t sufficient to win our loyalty anymore. Instead, we want brands that are true to their word, their customers and themselves.

  1. Consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support.
  2. Brand authenticity helps you to build your identity and image into something influential.
  3. Brand authenticity builds stronger connections with your customers. 
  4. Brand authenticity encourages engagement and converts your customers into advocates for the brand.
  5. Brand authenticity shows and tells others that what you offer is worth it.
  6. Brand authenticity sets you apart by elevating your business from competition. It adds substance and value to your business, products and services.
  7. Being authentic as a brand helps customers understand how you can add value to them.
  8. Putting out genuine messages and ideas tend to resonate more powerfully with people.
  9. With brand authenticity, it helps to develop trust and relatability. When you’re a consistently transparent and authentic brand, it enables others to relate to you and see you as a trustworthy brand.

According to Stackla, 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. This is especially true of younger generations, who now command $200 billion in annual spending power but are the least engaged with brands. An overwhelming 90% of Millennials say brand authenticity is important, proving that younger consumers prefer ‘real and organic’ over ‘perfect and packaged’. 85% of Gen X and 80% of Boomers also say that brand authenticity is important. What’s more, 30% of Millennials have actually unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt the brand’s content was inauthentic. 

How to do it?

Be real

It may sound simple, but not many brands get this right. Being real means that you make sure that everything you do resonates with your vision and brand personality. Reflect on your core company values, then share your passions and mission. 

  • Who are you?
  • What drives your company? 
  • What do you stand for?

 

Plus, don’t be afraid to show some personality through content such as blogs, videos and business updates too. Showcasing this builds your unique brand personality.

Be consistent in what you say/do/think/feel and mean

It’s absolutely crucial for brands to be congruent in what they say, do, think, and mean. You might be surprised at how many brands fail to be clear and consistent when it comes to conveying messaging to their customers. The last thing you want is giving mixed messages which leads to mistrust and an unprofessional picture of your brand.

Moreover, authentic brands are clear about what they stand for and uncompromising in their beliefs. That means not swaying to fickle public opinions or fleeting fads either. Though your approaches and content may differ across audiences and platforms, it’s important that you keep your messaging in sync with the identity of your brand. That’s how you can convey your business as strong, reliable and trustworthy.

Be accountable

If you make a mistake, it’s best to be quick to apologise and admit it. Like George Washington said, “It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.” It is especially essential to correct that mistake before someone else passes harsh criticism and judgement in public. Being accountable to these mistakes paints yourself as a professional and humble brand. Everyone has flaws—it’s what makes us human. 

The bright side of this if handled properly, you could turn a situation into an advantageous brand opportunity.

Be true to yourself

Authenticity goes hand in hand with being transparent. For a brand to be true to themself, they have to “walk the talk”. Never make claims you can’t prove or promises you can’t keep. With the modern day customer being super quick and savvy these days, they’ll be able to see right through you and that’s an embarrassment we all want to avoid. 

Customers are savvy and resourceful enough to find out the truth, which makes it easy for them to see right through you. That’s the kind of embarrassment we want to proactively avoid.

The bottom line

Building brand authenticity is about discovering what your brand stands for. That means investing the time, money, and effort in finding out which path is the right one for you. When you begin to practice authenticity, your customers will grow to trust and maintain their loyalty with your brand. One of the few ways to grow your brand authenticity is to:

  1. Make sure that everything you do resonates with your vision and brand personality.
  2. Keep your messaging in sync with the identity of your brand.
  3. Don’t be afraid to be honest and own up to your mistakes. That’s one way to remain humble as a brand.
  4. Authenticity goes hand in hand with being transparent. So walk the talk and remember to stay true to your core values and mission. 

We’d love to hear what your thoughts are about our article! If you feel compelled to share or want to chat more about the topic, feel free to drop us a message through our contact page. Otherwise, you can get in touch with us at hello@medianetic.me

If you’re looking for ways to help build your brand authentically in strategic, effective, and efficient ways, don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’d love to get connected with you.

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