5 Minutes To: Brand Authenticity
18th June in 5 Minutes To
Consumers are more engaged, informed and empowered than ever before. Identifying and promoting brand authenticity is one of the best ways to connect with your customer, ultimately this means cutting out competitor noise and developing long term loyalty over quick wins.
So, how can you identify and flaunt your brand authenticity?
Identify Your Brand Authenticity
By identifying what makes you different you can set yourself apart:
- Your point of difference:
- Document what it is that your business provides and how it is different to your competitors?
- Build a Customer Profile:
- Your objective here is to identify and build a picture of the type of person/s that your brand solves problems for. Ask yourself, why does my customer care about the ways in which I am different from my competitors?
- Last but by no means least, with your customer profile in mind, define the 3-7 core values that are non-negotiable for your brand. What values are important enough to you and your customer, that you would rather go out of business than operate without?
By documenting these three things, in simple language, you have a reference point for every business decision you make going forward. Brand Authenticity is essentially acting with consistency in all things, and putting values and purpose at the heart of your brand.
Understand The Warning Signs of Inauthenticity
Knowing how to identify a brand that operates without authenticity is as useful as knowing how to build it. Here is our checklist of warning signs to be wary of:
- Listening. The 80/20 rule is of huge importance here. Don’t fall into the trap of seeing your customers as data in a spreadsheet! By listening to your customers (via their preferred communications channel) you are able to sharpen your understanding of your Customer profile. Therefore serving their wants and needs more effectively than your competitors.
- Spot check on values. Any employee should be able to recite your company values at any given time. Hopefully, they should also be able to give you an example of one of these values being incorporated into a recent business decision.
- Transparency. Brands are not infallible, and most people are willing to give people who make a mistake a second chance. The important thing here is to be 100% transparent if you do make a mistake. This isn’t just a case of admitting you have done something wrong, but going above and beyond to ask how you can fix it? How can you rebuild your customers’ trust? And update them regularly on your progress.
- Tell stories. In the 20% of time where your brand is doing the talking, make sure you are painting a full picture of what you do and the values to adhere to whilst doing it. Don’t waste this precious time to just hard-sell your products or services. To paraphrase Nora Ephron, everything is content. Bring your customers on a journey with you as you grow your brand. For example, video content documenting the manufacture of a product is not only interesting, but gives you the opportunity to showcase the welfare of your staff (thus reinforcing the values your customers are buying into with every purchase).
Discover The Benefits Of Brand Authenticity
Using Brand Authenticity as a tool to grow your business with consistency is an excellent way to build loyalty with your customers. According to Hubspot, prospects go through a three part journey to become a customer; Awareness, Consideration and Decision. Meeting your customer at each stage with consistency should result in them rewarding you with trust. With customer loyalty in place, you can start to bring in your follow-up programme and convert your loyal customers into brand evangelists, rewarding them for both their loyalty and recommendations as you grow.