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Authenticity, Is it Real or is it Marketing?


Authenticity has become a bit of a catchword as the digital world grows in stature, and information is readily available upon a few swipes of a touchscreen. As consumers become increasingly savvy, and cynical, of performative actions, brands and businesses are having to pivot to authenticity in order to be successful.

Edelman’s 2010 Good Purpose study found that when quality and price are equal, the most important factor influencing brand choice for 53% of consumers was social purpose. But, it must be real! Social media users are quick to call out brands for backpedaling, or performative statuses to cash in on marketing or social currency, as the plethora of posts that arose from the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and the subsequent backlash certain media houses faced, showed. 

So, how can you be your most authentic self?

Keep it Real

It isn’t rocket science, consumers are privy to a whole load of information thanks to the world wide web, and they can tell when you’re faking it. So, how do you keep it real? 

  • Go back to the core ethos and mission that your company was built on. 
  • Minimise the shop talk and put out meaningful content.
  • Listen to your clients, employees, competitors, and suppliers.
  • Be empathetic and intuitive in your marketing

Lend a Helping Hand

Edelmen’s 2012 Trust Barometer showed that a whopping 76% of global consumers believe it is acceptable for brands to support good causes and make money at the same time. Align yourself with charities and causes which are close to your heart, not just ones that fit with your business aesthetic. Consumers can see the difference between being genuine, and just making a contribution a few times a year. 

Show Your Personality

Your brand image on social media is important. Apart from the advertisements and marketing, it allows your future clients to see the personality of your business, which plays a part in determining whether or not your business fits in with their personal brand. 

Here are some tips:

  • Incorporate videos
  • Be consistent across offline and online platforms
  • Engage with your followers 

Make it Easy to Reach You

In the digital age, no man—or business—is an island, and accessibility is a must. Your business should be easily reachable in case a client wants to make personal contact. This adds another personal element to your interaction and helps to build an authentic relationship.

Let Your Reviews Speak for You

People are swayed by experiences had by prior customers, and that’s why reviews are so important. Make sure you highlight your customer reviews, and testimonials, without manipulation, as they go a long way to establishing trust in your business. 

Still have more questions about how to project your business as trustworthy and authentic?