Today, it seems brands are vying for consumer attention in any way they possibly can. This often achieves the exact opposite effect: turning consumers off. This consumer fatigue is often caused when brands fail to achieve any sort of authenticity in their marketing.
Whether this means the brand posts content that isn’t in tune with its target demographic or it does not follow through on the promises it publicly puts out, a lack of authenticity is unfortunately very easy to fall into.
How do brands prevent this from happening? How do they come back from the fallout caused by loss of authenticity and the resulting loss of consumer trust?
Learn About the Audience
One of the best ways a brand can set itself up for success is to truly know its target audience. This involves extensive and ongoing market research, competitor research, and tracking of analytics from campaigns. Data is vital for authenticity, as it gives a glimpse into the mind of the customer and provides information on what the brand should be producing.
By getting in touch with the consumer, the brand can achieve authentic connections much easier than simply assuming they know what materials consumers want to see. For example, the marketing team may believe that pushing the sale price of a product is the best way to go when in reality consumer research reveals that promoting the benefits of the product is an easier way to make a sale.
Be Honest with Customers
Brands that constantly over promise and fail to follow through typically find themselves with a lack of customer trust. Don’t make this mistake. If anything, a brand should always under promise and then over deliver on that promise to the customer.
Let’s take the example of a customer who is unhappy because they’ve been charged for a full membership to a service that began with a free trial. While it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure they cancel the trial membership ahead of time, this is often forgotten. What can the brand do to ensure a happy customer?
Consider offering a refund of the service if there was an erroneous charge, or if there was no correspondence alerting the customer that the charge was coming. Many brands will offer free trials hoping that the customer forgets to cancel. This is not an authentic way to gain business.
It’s not difficult to send out reminder emails or app notifications alerting the customer that their free trial is ending. Does this lessen the amount of paid subscribers? Possibly. But wouldn’t a brand rather have more authentic, engaged customers than simply a bunch of upset customers who are now stuck with something they didn’t really want or can’t afford?
Consumers Prefer Authentic Brands
Many brands seem to prefer sacrificing quality connections for sheer numbers. This approach might be great financially what damage is it doing to the brand’s relationship with customers? When doing an internet search for a brand, finding countless reviews knocking the brand for shady practices is hardly worth the boosted sales that come from lack of transparency.
Take the time to build authentic, genuine connections with customers. A brand that takes this approach will last longer and build much higher levels of brand loyalty than the one that relies on deception and slick promises to get by.