Why Is Brand Authenticity Important?
Brand authenticity is important because it is a way to get customers to reward your company and recommend your services to friends, family, and coworkers.
Young consumers, in particular, value authenticity. Millennials and members of Generation Z want to support and purchase from companies with brands that genuinely reflect a commitment to social issues.
Young consumers are unlikely to trust a brand because of traditional advertising campaigns. This means that companies must use branding – the projection of their values – to connect with young people who need to know about a company’s mission before buying from them.
How Do I Build an Authentic Brand?
There are 4 steps to build an authentic brand:
- Focus on the customers
- Be consistent
- Identify and stick to your values
- Be honest
Focus on the Customers
Authentic brands meet customers where they are. Make decisions regarding colors, logos, and other components of the brand that reflect consumer sentiment and preferences. More specifically, make sure that your branding materials meet customers at touch points, which are the places that consumers shop, browse, and absorb marketing materials.
Brands are like people: If somebody seems to have a different personality every day of the week, you think they are faking it. If a brand’s values and messaging changes every week, month, or year, they probably don’t have a strong sense of purpose and values.
Identify and Stick to Your Values
Successful brands pull from real emotions and values. Building an authentic brand requires identifying an overarching value and sticking with it across all of your products and the markets you sell in. For example, Nike’s overarching value is peak performance. All of Nike’s branding materials – the swoosh, especially – should represent the value of optimal performance.
To be relevant and authentic, brands must be honest. Keep your brand honest by providing behind the scenes looks at how your company decides on its values. This way, consumers won’t associate your brand with being calculated and inauthentic.
What Are Some Branding Tips?
- Clear identification: Make sure that your brand is clearly identified in branding materials.
- Tell a story: Excellence, perseverance, consistency: Make sure your brand tells the story of your business.
- Think like a customer: Remember that people who don’t work at your business are your target audience. How would a customer respond or judge a logo?
- Always ask why: Why does this color work? What does this slogan say about our values? Why will customers want to purchase from us instead of another brand? Always ask these questions.
- Design for the long term: The most iconic brands stand the test of time. Don’t brand with only recent fads in mind. Create branding materials and an overall brand that will be popular and relatable for years to come.