Updated: Mar 2
Is your brand authentic?
Having an authentic brand is important to the vitality and success of your business. But how do you know if #YourBrand is authentic? What does having an authentic brand even mean?
Brand authenticity is giving your customers a reason to care about your business and your company which is very important, especially to Millennials. Millennials drive the market, spending $600 billion in the United States every year. As 22 percent of the US population, millennials (born 1981-1996) now surpass the Baby Boomer generation in terms and population numbering at 72.1 million Americans.
So what does this mean for your business and your brand? Millennials are driving the market so which business needs to care about what they are caring about. This means brand authenticity. This generation is not influenced by traditional advertising - 49 percent use ad blockers on their computers or phones, and 61 percent stream content online - so businesses need to find a way to bond with this generation of customers.
But how do you know if your brand is authentic?
Revel Systems, a business management system company, asks What Is Brand Authenticity & Why Is It Important? Well according to them, there are four questions businesses must ask themselves to make sure their brand is authentic.
Is your brand faithful to itself? Do you have a consistent message that stays relevant through changes in your industry?
Is your brand true to its customers? Do you fulfill promises you make to your customers?
Is your brand built on integrity? Is the mission of your business based on moral principles and does it stay true to its values?
Does your brand add meaning or create value? Is your brand important to what people care about?
Your brand needs to have a level of integrity, honesty and transparency to build trust with your customers. History and heritage are an important part of being authentic. Showing your customers who you are and what you stand for goes a long way in gaining and building trust and loyalty with customers.
Businesses can show their authenticity through content created online. Content creation through blogs is a perfect content marketing strategy that can show your customers who you are and allow them to see your business in a new light. Embrace what is unique about your business and let in come through in your blogs. Millennials will often look to blogs to help them learn more about a product or a company before purchasing,
Create brand authenticity through the use of social media and user generated content (UGC). This can be text, images, video or reviews about your business that come from the customers themselves. This positive content reinforces your message and shows prospective customers that others believe in your brand as much as you do. Forty percent of millennials look to online reviews and testimonials before making a purchase. Social media is the perfect avenue to get UGC so be sure to update your pages and posts regularly.
Making an effort to let your customers get to know you and your employees creates a level of intimacy. Creating short, fun bios of you and your employees not only shows your customers who you are, it can also create an immediate connection with them.
But why should you do all this work to make sure your brand is authentic?
In addition to simply reinforcing the amazing business you already know you are, it works! According to The Score Association, 63 percent of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company they perceive to be authentic. And 91 percent of consumers around the world rank “communicating honestly about products and services” as the top influence on whether or not they do business with a company. The Score goes further in answering What Is an Authentic Brand and How Can You Be One?
And the consequences of not being authentic can be detrimental to your business. Giving mixed or contradicting messages creates confusion and distrust among customers which will negatively affect your #CustomerReferrals.
When customers feel like they are purchasing from an authentic brand, they feel like they are expressing their own values and what is important in their own life. Building an authentic brand that stays consistent with its message will create a built-in marketer with every customer you make. Word-of-mouth is the most powerful form of advertising and an authentic brand will create a wealth of loyal customers.
If you have any questions please let me know!
HMG / HWD
"I want to tell your story!"