It is easy for customers to feel a connection with a business that is open and honest and that shows its true self. It is easy for a customer to lose trust in a brand. Feelings of inauthenticity lead to mistrust.
Customers need to feel comfortable so that they can deepen their relationship with a business. The tone of voice a business adopts is important. If the tone of voice is scripted, a business will appear inauthentic.
Being authentic means establishing a brand identity with clarity and staying true to it. As the online world becomes more crowded, it is becoming more crucial to practice authenticity.
Given below are ways by which authenticity can be implemented in marketing.
Being authentic entails promoting values and purpose. A business needs to identify what it stands for and use it to guide its marketing efforts. Authenticity starts by removing the excess. A business doesn’t have to invent a new concept, but it has to revisit an existing one.
American Eagle Outfitters realized this when they wanted to develop Aerie, their intimate apparel sub-brand.
They launched a campaign in 2014 with a promise to start using women besides supermodels. The campaign was also about promoting body positivity and inclusivity. Aerie’s models have different skin colors, shapes and sizes, and their ads do not shy away from showing beauty marks and tattoos.
They also became the first national retailer to sponsor the National eating disorders association (NEDA). This emphasis on authenticity paid off. In 2020, the brand had announced its 28th consecutive order of double-digit sales growth.
Maintain Customer Trust
To maintain customer trust, it is important to represent a brand authentically through copy and visuals. A business should make it very clear to the audience what it stands for. A content rich ‘About Us’ page, transparent costs and fees, and an informative FAQ section are useful features for authenticity.
Interactions with social media followers should be helpful and friendly as all it takes is one screenshot to damage the credibility of a business.
Organic Valley uses social media to give people a real, authentic look at its farms. It has a program called “Farm Cam” on Facebook where it shares behind-the-scenes photos. It also shares videos of everything from farmer selfies to dancing cows. The company also hosts segments of AMA or “ask me anything” on Facebook Live, letting the community speak directly to its farmers.
If customers get to see how a business is run or how it creates products, it adds credibility to a brand. It also encourages loyalty and sales. Customers should get insights into how products are made.
How much does it cost to create merchandise? What goes into each item? For instance, one of Everlane’s core beliefs is ‘radical transparency.’ On its website, each product page has a ‘Transparent pricing’ segment.
It breaks down the costs that go into creating each item so that shoppers know exactly what they are paying for.
Take a Stand
When faced with controversial issues, a brand’s authenticity is put to test. A business that doesn’t speak up against things that goes against its values will lose the trust of their customers.
More and more businesses are now taking a stand on issues.
For instance, Patagonia has started a venture to support eco-friendly start-ups. It has also launched a food company to support organic regenerative agriculture and has set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2025.