Brand Authenticity enables you to attract the right customers to your business, creating not only a better experience for them but also a better bottom line for you.
These figures show how important your current customers are and why you should look after them. But how do we attract and keep these loyal customers in the first place? As well as the product or service you offer, branding is what allows you to attract your ideal customers. One of the most important parts of branding in this sense is your brand authenticity.
What does it mean to be authentic? Well in the Cambridge Dictionary it is defined as the quality of being real or true. For your brand to be considered authentic, it needs to be perceived as reliable, respectful and real. Building brand authenticity must come from within and needs to permeate every aspect of a company.
If your brand can get this right, your customers can be inspired by you, feel connected to your brand and become invested in your success.
So how do we create an authentic brand? Here’s 5 ways to improve your brand authenticity:
1. Know yourself - know who your brand is and what it stands for. What are your values and what is the purpose behind the brand? Ensure they are genuine, and you are delivering on them daily and not just ideals you think customers want you to have.
2. Share the passion
You must let your customers know what those values are and why they are important to you. One of the best ways to do this is through stories. It’s much easier to communicate your brand personality and values through story telling. It can create a more human side to your brand which allows customers to relate to you in an emotional way.
3. Engage with customers - loyal customers rarely stay with a company for its products alone. Great customer experiences are important too. If you build a personal relationship with customers, they will not only feel comfortable doing business with you they can become your greatest brand advocates.
4. Be transparent – honesty is key if you want to be believable. Even if you make a mistake, own it. Customers value the honesty over a sense of perfection from the brands they love.
5. Walk the talk – an authentic brand doesn’t just have values or beliefs that are in a pretty poster on their office wall or in their socials. They live and breathe them every day. Customers want to see how you are bringing those to life throughout your business. For example if you say you value recycling and the environment then share what sustainability practises you are putting into place in your workplace. You may demonstrate how you choose digital communication over paper, support organisations that promote environmentally positive practices, or commit to being a paperless office. Even if your goals are quite lofty and require your brand time to transform, customers still want to see how you are working to get there. Even better, take them on the journey with you!
Just as people expect brands to treat them like humans and not merely as transactions, they also expect brands to act more human. This means they expect the brands with whom they interact to embody human qualities.
When your customers values align with your brand, it creates an emotional attachment and that’s where the loyalty begins. Not only will being an authentic brand create a better customer experience for your customers, it will also help reduce your acquisition costs, improve retention and reduce your marketing spend.
If you would like to know more about creating and sharing your authentic brand story get in touch email@example.com
Article by Kirrily Druery
Kirrily Druery is Director and leads People, Process and Numbers at The Ideas Hatchery. Kirrily loves all things connection and creating a sense of belonging.