You’re scrolling through Instagram and come across an ad for paper towels. Instead of hands dipping the “leading store brand” in blue liquid, you see rain forests and monkeys.
The message? Purchasing these locally grown and harvested towels will help prevent deforestation.
This is just one example of the widespread marketing shift that is brand authenticity.
What is brand authenticity?
Brand authenticity is defined as “The extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves”
And it’s no passing trend.
In their article, Instapage outlines 5 examples of companies that have seen success with brand authenticity. Among them, Dove saw a $1.5 billion sales increase in response to their Campaign for Real Beauty.
Launched over 10 years ago, the campaign did more than drive sales — It set the tone for Dove’s future marketing.
One example is Dove’s recent #ShowUs campaign on Instagram. It’s clear that Dove is still pursuing the same mission, which includes “helping young people raise their self-esteem and realize their full potential.”
Brands should take a serious look at incorporating brand authenticity in their messaging… and ultimately their culture.
Why Businesses Need Brand Authenticity
Today’s consumers expect more of the companies they buy from. That’s due to an overall change in perspective.
Both Millennials and Gen Z’s feel driven to impact the world in a positive way.
- 61% of Millennials feel personally responsible to make a difference
- 68% of Gen Z’s expect brands to contribute to society
Despite memes lamenting student loans and top ramen diets, Millennials are actually big spenders. By this year, they will have spent $1.4 trillion a year on shopping.
Gen Z’s are predicted to have a buying power of $143 billion in the United States.
Between Millennials and Gen Z’s, brands will need to account for what influences the purchase decisions of their current and/or future customers.
How to Create an Authentic Brand
Change the World & Communicate Those Efforts
The biggest secret to creating an authentic brand is this: It’s not about you.
To create an authentic brand, you need to:
- Change the world in some way
- Communicate those efforts to others
The example below is from a Verizon commercial. It evokes emotion while demonstrating Verizon’s greater mission to consumers.
Companies looking to show brand authenticity should ask:
- What is our mission?
- What are our core values?
- How do those relate to what we are currently doing as a company?
- How do our products and/or services relate?
- How can we communicate that to others?
Creating an authentic brand is also about showing transparency.
Among several metrics that represent consumer’s trust in brands, 61% of people believe that admitting mistakes is the highest level of transparency a company can show.
What this really boils down to is being honest about your business practices.
An article by Hubspot highlights 6 brands that have made public apologies on social media, including Apple and Netflix.
The positive side of showing transparency as a brand is that consumers don’t expect you to be perfect. They expect you to be honest and put them first.
Our Advice: Embrace Brand Authenticity in Your Business!
Here at Social Ally Media, we’ve yet to meet a business owner who started their company without a good reason.
At the root of almost every company, product and service are a greater desire to make a difference — whether the difference is a simple smile or life-changing.
Examining how your company can better show brand authenticity is a great reminder of why your brand exists in the first place. ????
Create an authentic brand with the help of our allies.