Starting a business may be easy but establishing a brand is not. There are millions of businesses out there, what differentiates them and what helps them grow further into well-known brands and build loyal customers? The answer is simple, Brand authenticity. It is the key to the longevity of any business. Is it important? Definitely, statistics have shown that 86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is what makes them decide what brands to support and buy from. This does not mean that quality is not important, it is but it is not enough.
What is brand authenticity? It is the extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful towards itself, true to its consumers, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves as well. That is why Branding is not just the logo you design, the font you use, or the products you sell, it is much more than that, it is the story you share with your audience and the relationship you build with them. Keep in mind that Consumers use brands to represent themselves, they fetch for a story or a cause to adopt, so your brand’s story is very important and how authentic you are in presenting it to them is even more important. In other words, how you connect with your audience and authentically communicate your brand is what makes all the difference and puts you on top of the competition.
How to build brand authenticity?
Building brand authenticity in the age of social media and digital transformation, where the internet is overflowing with information and choices is not easy, especially that consumers can instantly tell whether a brand is who they say they are. What can you do? The first step is to develop your brand identity to communicate more authentically with your audience. The second step is to create a strong online presence to stay connected with your audience.
As a start you should Find Your Brand’s Voice, to do so you should figure out several things, like who are your consumers and how is your brand fulfilling their needs, and which marketing platforms suit your goals. Make sure to choose the platform that suits your brand and is preferred by your target audience. For example, if you are targeting companies, LinkedIn or emails would be the perfect platform to communicate with them, but if you are targeting individuals Facebook or Instagram is the right one.
To build your brand’s authenticity it is not enough to be honest, you should be real, consistent, and engage your audience in conversations. Perceived brand authenticity has four key elements: Continuity, Credibility, Integrity and Symbolism.
How to improve your brand’s communication strategy?
Communicating with your clients is crucial; here are four steps to do so effectively:
- Use your story
Using your own story as a business and a person can help you connect with your community. This creates a way for them to understand who they are purchasing from and who they are supporting. If you have a compelling brand story to share, share it. It does not end here; Struggles in your business and life are worth sharing because it validates your humanity.
- Reply to feedbacks
Replying to your customers’ feedbacks personally is better than creating an automated reply. People love it when a brand takes the time to have a conversation with them – one on one.
- Let your audience take part in your content creation
Ask your audience to suggest what they wish to see more of. When you listen to them, they will listen to you! In this way, your customers become the co-creators of your content.
- Be open and Transparent
Being open and transparent, and letting your customers in on what’s going behind the scenes helps a brand earn the trust of customers.