Learn the importance of brand authenticity.
In an age where customers are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing from a multitude of brands, it is critical to ensure that your brand stands out.
This is especially important considering all the noise on social media and the various other digital platforms that exist today, that has resulted in a drastic increase in the customer acquisition costs across all industries.
So, the question is how do you cut through all this noise?
Well, this is where brand authenticity becomes important.
In this article, we cover everything you need to know about brand authenticity and why it is important.
Let’s dive in!
What is brand authenticity?
First things first, before we go on to understand the importance of brand authenticity, it is key to understand exactly what brand authenticity is.
To put it simply, brand authenticity is nothing but the extent to which a brand is faithful to itself – this includes your business vision, mission and expertise.
When customers place their trust in a brand, they expect you to understand and do what you do with complete conviction. The more they trust your brand and its motives, the more they are willing to spend their time and money on your offerings.
And this is why it is critical to ensure you do a brand authenticity check every now and then.
Why is brand authenticity important?
When you have a unique branding in place already, why is establishing brand authenticity so important? Here are some of the reasons why it has become so important:
1. Brand authenticity is critical for brands to stand out
Research shows that there are more than 500,000 brands across the globe.
That’s just a lot of competition and it means that if customers don’t believe your brand, it may not be long before they look for other trustworthy brands. You may even risk losing your existing customers to competitors.
This is where brand authenticity comes in.
Apart from clearly establishing what your brand stands for, it gives your audience a reason to trust what you have to offer and continue to choose you over others. This is similar to how everyone looks up to Tiffany’s & Co. when it comes to luxury jewelry and sparkling stones!
The familiarity that this further builds owing to the strong connection with the audience, further helps improve brand recognition. This in turn makes it much simpler to stand out and capture audience attention.
2. Brand authenticity is key to building emotional connections with customers
In a recent report by Sitecore titled ‘Brand Authenticity Report’, it was revealed that as many as 86% of customers have stronger relationships with brands that are empathetic and understanding of customers and what they need.
Brand authenticity means staying true to yourself and it is important to ensure that your messaging, marketing, and ideas are a true reflection of what you believe in. This helps in building stronger and long lasting connections with customers.
This is very similar to how consumers today choose to associate themselves with brands that support a cause that they care about.
3. Brand authenticity is becoming increasingly important to younger generations
The younger generation today leans towards brands that they feel are “real”. They are less inclined towards brands that seem repetitive, packaged, and without purpose.
The brand authenticity definition varies for different brands. But, Gen Z and Millennial customers are bound to strongly resonate with brands that show a genuine concern for the various socioeconomic issues that exist today.
A good brand authenticity example is how many youngsters today feel strongly about how businesses contribute towards saving the environment. In such cases, they may insist on buying from brands that truly recognize the importance of ‘zero waste’ and strive towards keeping their businesses environment friendly and sustainable.
This nudges them to support sustainable brands even if their products and services come at a higher cost as compared to others.
Statistics that prove the impact of brand authenticity
Brand authenticity clearly plays a crucial role in driving a business forward. But, what is its impact?
Let’s look at a few brand authenticity statistics to understand the long-term impact of designing authentic brand experiences.
- 88% of customers feel authenticity is a key factor when deciding between the brands they prefer
- 81% of customers say that they need to trust the brand that they buy from – brand authenticity has a long lasting impact on customer loyalty and trust
- Only 1 in 3 customers trust the brands they buy from especially since a number of brands use socio economic issues as a marketing ploy
- 13% of customers are willing to pay nearly 50% more if they believe that your brand could make a positive impact on the world – clearly, brand authenticity can amp up your revenue!
- 94% of customers are highly likely to be loyal to a brand that offers complete transparency
- 4 in 10 customers have boycotted a brand they associate with irresponsible actions
- 86% of shoppers prefer brands that have an honest and authentic presence over social media.
How to build brand authenticity?
Brand authenticity, without question, is an integral part of how you present your business to a target audience. But the presentation is easier said than doneNow, how do you build an authentic brand?
Building brand authenticity calls for a very detailed understanding of your target market, your offerings, and, more importantly, an understanding of what matters most to your audience.
Here are the key steps in building brand authenticity:
1. Develop a thorough understanding of your audience
Brand authenticity matters most to your customers. This is precisely why it is important to have a holistic understanding of both your audience as well as your customers. Data plays a huge role here.
Here is an overview of how to go about building an authentic brand:
Collect audience intelligence
This involves collecting highly detailed information about your audience. It involves understanding audience demographics, interests, purchase intent, brand preferences, etc.
Collecting audience data helps you understand the likes and dislikes of your customers and allows you to tailor your messages and ideas accordingly.
Track how your content is performing
How your audience reacts to your content is an indicator of how they perceive your brand. Keeping a regular check on how various types of content, such as blogs, social media posts, video content, etc are performing can help you fine-tune what you put out and ensure it resonates with your audience.
Tracking content performance also allows you to narrow down what’s working best and then build on it further.
Understand what people think of your brand
An important aspect of building brand authenticity is to understand how customers perceive your brand.
This can be done through social listening. By leveraging social media listening tools, you can better understand what customers think of you by tracking their social conversations. It is also a great way to get deeper insight into what your target audience thinks about your competitors as well.
Social listening allows you to identify patterns, topics, trends, and discussions that are important to your audience. You can use this to build content and offerings around what matters most to your customers.
Close collaboration with other teams
Teams such as sales, customer success, and PR need to constantly collaborate and work together since these teams have the highest insight into customer behavior. Seamless collaboration is key to building brand identities that truly align with what customers expect from you.
Redefine the rules for diversity and inclusion
Inclusive marketing is a key element of brand authenticity. Customers want to be heard and understood. More importantly, they are looking at brands to drive the way forward when it comes to inclusion regardless of gender, heritage, culture, and color.
Brands that demonstrate genuine and unbiased support stand out and earn loyalty from customers.
2. Leverage data to build a detailed brand strategy
Now that you have collected and built upon audience insights, the next step is to leverage these insights to build a brand strategy that emphasizes your brand authenticity.
Spend time mulling over aspects like your brand’s values, differentiators, and what customers think of your brand and your competitors.
Based on these insights, develop a strategy for different platforms, such as social media, PR, sales, marketing, etc., that truly showcases everything your brand believes in. Have a clear idea of the kind of stories you can tell and the experiences you can share. This is important in building deeper emotional connections with your customers.
Keeping all of this in mind, strategize and come up with critical goals for your brand. It could be monthly, quarterly, or even annual. The important thing is to identify the right opportunities and showcase your brand’s values at the right time and bring about an impact from these initiatives.
3. Track your success and fine-tune further
No one gets it right the first time. It requires multiple iterations and closely tracking the metrics that matter. This, in turn, helps you identify what matters more in building your brand authenticity.
Observe the performance of different types of metrics over a period of time. Use both insights and intuition to understand what it is that makes your audience feel more connected to your brand.
Identify key takeaways, ask all the right questions, and more importantly, keep experimenting. Every experiment yields a better understanding of your audience and will help you reiterate your strategy to make it better.
The internet is chock full of ads, information, marketing campaigns, and more. Cutting through all this noise and keeping your head above the water may seem like quite a bit of a challenge, and it surely is.
However, focusing on what truly matters to your audience and what you believe in is a great way to stand out.
A good way to build brand authenticity is to focus closely on your market share of voice. It is also equally important to constantly be aware of and monitor the sentiments of your target audience and customers.
In order to help you achieve this, it is important to have a social listening and monitoring tool in your arsenal.
For instance, Radarr is a tool that can effectively turn online conversations into powerful brand insights. It helps you to track and monitor social conversations with ease and gather actionable insights.
Curious to know more about Radarr can help your business?
Simply book a demo and see Radarr in action!