How to guarantee the authenticity of the brand to build trust with customers (+ examples)


Once upon a time, businesses could advertise what they were selling, add bells and whistles for good measure and get on with their day. People were buying what they needed, and that was it.

In the information age, however, people are used to knowing everything about a business – its history, its values ​​and, in many cases, what it stands for.

If someone isn’t in love (or at least happy) with who you are as a brand, they’ll be happy to Google any competitors they find relevant. Likewise, if your brand seems to be communicating a message, but acts differently behind the scenes (such as pretending to care about health, but not offering health insurance or paid time off to employees), you have the dishonest air.

And that, my friend, can cost you customers.

What is the authenticity of the brand?

Brand authenticity means that a company’s actions are consistent with its message and image. It also refers to transparency and keeping your promises. In short, the authenticity of the brand emphasizes the integrity of a company.

A brand can display its authenticity in several ways. A good example is being honest with customers when there has been an internal problem that may delay the delivery of goods or services. Instead of passing the buck or pretending all is well, customers receive honest communications about what is going on, how it is being addressed, and what to expect.

Or a company may be well known for its eco-friendly and sustainable products, and the CEO regularly makes donations to nonprofits, charities, and / or political candidates who align with these same goals.

via GIPHY

Why is brand authenticity important?

The authenticity of the brand means you walk the walk. It’s so easy to say things that your target market will find appealing, but do you really mean it? Depending on your generation, you may think it doesn’t really matter. But the reality is that when a business is genuine, it reap many benefits, including:

Build trust

When you consistently keep your promises and live what you preach, your target market begins to see you as trustworthy. That’s why you can back up what you say with what you do. You are considered reliable; someone to do business with.

Create stronger bonds

If you pay close attention to the news, you have probably noticed that some companies are well known for their reputation and positions – Target, Nike, Disney, Chick-fil-A, to name a few. People love to support the businesses they resonate with. While some people may find this divisive, many find it compelling reasons to continue doing business with them.

Stand out

When a brand is genuine, audiences often experience certain types of feelings. It can be nostalgia, patriotism, inspiration.

Anyway, when you can provoke an emotional reaction consumers, you stand out from the competition; and these impressions are memorable enough to remember when a person needs your goods or services.

How to develop an authentic brand

There are many ways to develop and showcase the authenticity of your brand. It takes strategic planning, but it’s still a laudable effort. Take the time with your leadership and marketing teams and look for ways to prioritize the following:

Be honest.

Respond to customer questions. Solve any issues that arise. Manage expectations. Never leave your prospects or customers in the dark, even if they leave you negative comments on social media.

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Stay true to your business values.

Each company has its own values, and staying true to them shows customers that you care about more than just profit.

Whether it’s building a sense of community, empowering each other, celebrating diversity, respecting people’s dignity, or whatever they are, respect them with all your actions.

To take a position.

Elie Wiesel said it best: “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the persecutor, never the tormented one. “

Anyone who was old enough to remember 2020 knows how far social justice issues have become. And 70 percent of consumers believe that brands need to take a public stand on these issues.

Develop your industry expertise.

Every time you showcase your expertise within your industry, you gain more credibility, for lack of a better term. You can do this by attending TED talks, expert panels, news interviews, or simply posting consistent content that is useful to your audience.

Show your personality.

Businesses can no longer get away with being a faceless entity. Developing a brand personality goes a long way in making them feel that they can relate to you.

To understand how to do this, make a list of the characteristics you want your business to exhibit: fun, young, funny, serious, innovative… Then, develop marketing strategies that have these characteristics.

Occasionally post real images.

Image bank are a great way to add visual elements to online content, especially when you post quite frequently. However, be sure to show the human face of your business every now and then.

This can be done on social media posts featuring your corporate culture, celebrate your team’s accomplishments, or even just wish customers happy holidays. It allows them to see who you are and fosters a sense of familiarity.

Connect through stories.

Something else that shows your human side is to share relevant stories. Everything about challenges, spending time with loved ones, give back to the community, or anything that explains why you started your business, expanded your services, and / or decided to sponsor a particular event. Doing this builds connections and makes your business memorable.

Engage with customers.

Engaging with customers is an integral part of good customer service. Even if they haven’t yet become customers, having conversations with people is part of nurture prospects.

Once they’re ready to do business, they’ll know you’re a company they can trust. Doing so is also an important part of delivering a good customer experience – what keeps them coming back and referring to your friends and family.

Don’t buy followers on social media.

Social media platforms are extremely popular because there is so much you can accomplish with them: interacting with audiences, marketing, sales, and posting cool photos showing your team celebrating it all.

However, don’t be tempted to buy followers to be more established or influential than you are. This will end up damage your credibility.

Consumers are being warned about this. Telltale signs, such as a high number of subscribers and a relatively low engagement rate, or people might just enter your username in Social blade and read statistics, such as number of subscribers and engagement, as well as other data; and then the template will really be in place.

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Take the comments into account.

If you say you care about your customers, it is imperative to listen to their suggestions. And if some of them seem to make sense, implement them within your business.

For example, if several people complained about the long wait times to obtain customer service problems solved, it is time to seek to solve them. Or if they regularly request a service / product change and it’s viable, stick with it. Whenever you give them what they want, you are (a) fulfilling a market need and (b) letting them know that you value their opinions.

Hold yourself accountable.

If you’re wrong, own it. There is no shame in it as long as you address it, apologize and fix it. In fact, it makes you more human and trustworthy.

Then gather your team to see how the error occurred and take action to prevent it from reoccurring.

5 examples of authentic brands

And now, without further ado, here are some examples of companies that have been making brand authenticity since the days of landlines and pay phones:

1. Disney

Are you even surprised? Everyone and their mom love Disney. Even those who roll their eyes at the characters in the park are probably still watching shows on Disney + or have seen one of their shows on Broadway.

Why? Because all they do is in perfect harmony with their image to be a magical and happy place. They make people excited, nostalgic and appreciated. The members of the customer service cast provide extraordinary service. No matter where or how you interact with the business, you end up with a great experience.

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2. Apple

Apple stands for simplicity and convenience. Think for a moment what you remember about Steve Jobs. The guy was still wearing a black shirt and jeans. Their site is like that. Their ads are like that. Their products are like that. The experience in their stores is like that.

And guess what their corporate values are? “We believe in the simple; not the complex ”, and“ We believe we are on the face of the Earth to make great products. They’re really aligned, all over the place.

3. Google

Google is a simple concept. A blank page with a search bar. Yet, they regularly make statements by changing their logo to feature important historical figures, dates, and other notable information.

And they do it to show the world what is important to them. In short, they take a stand and reflect their values each day.

4. Amazon

Amazon has built a global empire by providing fast, reliable service and showing that they value their customers by going out of their way to resolve customer support issues.

In fact, this is part of the reason why consumers view them as a company that also offers respect as part of their brand identity. All these elements added up for the company to be considered as one of the most authentic brands in the USA.

5. PayPal

PayPal is one of the the most trusted financial services brands. This is no small feat, given the reputation of the industry after the 2008 crash.

This is because they promise to keep financial information secure, and they deliver on that promise with their encryption technologies, 24-hour monitoring, and purchase protection around the world.

Earn trust with brand authenticity

As you can see, building an image of trust takes a lot more than offering good products or services.

In a world as visual and data-exposed as we are, you need to intentionally align all elements of your core values ​​with your branding and actions. Wouldn’t you want the companies you support to do the same?


About Shirley L. Kreger

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