5 Ways to Improve Brand Authenticity
Branding has the power to make a huge impact on all businesses in any industry. Whether it be B2B or B2C, building a strong brand identity is the backbone of any long-term strategy. A strong brand will add value to both a business and its customers. But, according to research, consumers over the past decade have begun to lose faith in brands, with research showing that brand trust is now at an all-time low. When customers begin to distrust your brand, they start looking for alternative brands that they can trust. With trust being the most important factor for most consumers when choosing a brand, being authentic with your brand is more important than ever before.
Real-World Example of Authenticity in a Brand
In 2004, Dove ran a campaign where instead of using models, they used real women to show their product. It was so wildly successful that it is now seen as one of the best campaigns of the last 20 years. Those ads featuring real women are still on television today. While Dove was one of the first companies to embrace authenticity in its brand, many others have followed suit.
Here are 5 tips to help your brand be more authentic:
The allure of increasing profits by taking a stand may be tempting, but do not do so for the sake of profit alone. If you are not authentic with your values and messaging you will lose the trust of your customers and may never get it back. Being neutral is always better than being fake and inauthentic.
Include your employees
If you are having trouble deciding what values to build your brand on, one solution is to elicit help from your employees. Find out what values they hold important to themselves and what values they feel the company operates on. After you finalize and set values for your company, stick to them and hire individuals who support them. For example, Patagonia works to hire people who support their values and mission of saving the Earth.
Get your CEO involved
A company's values start at the top, usually with the CEO. Companies such as Zappos have built their company around certain core values that ensure a strong culture in the company. This will not only impact internal performance but will also have a massive effect on the overall happiness of customers. Having a strong culture inside the company will impact the way customers perceive your brand and also allows you to provide the highest level of service possible.
Be transparent with your company values
Transparency in branding means being honest and straightforward regarding your company's values. Share not only your successes, but also your failures with your customers. Your customers want to be able to connect with your brand and being transparent is the easiest way to connect. A great example of a transparent brand is Patagoinia. Patagonia has been very open regarding their sourcing of materials, which has attracted many new customers who value openness and honesty. Maintaining transparency helps you add credibility to your brand and helps humanize the people behind it.
Brand consistency is the way in which you deliver messages with your brand identity, values, and strategy. Consistency means that your target audience is repeatedly exposed to brand messages, visuals, and other assets that all share a similar tone. Doing so can help to increase brand recognition, build brand loyalty, and even help to set your brand apart from the competition. In more saturated markets, consistency can make a huge difference for your company. The easiest way to maintain consistency with your brand is through the use of a DAM or Digital Asset Manager. A DAM is responsible for documenting, storing, and organizing, all of a company's digital assets. Through the use of a DAM a company can ensure that the right assets are deployed across all fronts, building that consistency.
How to Craft a Mission Statement
Consider the brands you have been purchasing from - those new to you and the brands you've been loyal to for years. You've probably chosen these brands due to the values they have that you resonate with.A brand's values dictate the reason a consumer chooses one product over another. They answer the question of why a customer should invest in that particular brand. There are three types of values: functional, emotional, and self-expressive.
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