Brand authenticity during the time of a pandemic is paramount. Curating the right tone and remaining humble — when consumers are living in a state of heightened alertness — will directly impact your bottom line.
How? It makes your organisation relatable, and in times of uncertainty customers will naturally be attracted to anything that feels stable, secure, and ‘normal’.
A study by the Harvard Business Review found that individuals consistently preferred companies that values ‘openness, relevance, empathy, experience, and emotion’ — with a brand’s performance on these points being found to directly impact profit.
And authenticity in a brand’s messaging not only secures an identity of a principled business, but also solidifies its credibility and its commitment to core values – helping consumers feel more comfortable in dealing with them.
A brand can deliver on this when it has clarity of vision — knowing why it exists and what it stands for. This lucidity feeds through to customers, encouraging them to form long-term relationships with not only the business, but the people behind it.
In fact, in an international Cohn and Wolfe survey, 72% of those questioned ranked authenticity above innovation and product uniqueness when asked what they valued most in a brand, evidencing that you could have the best product or service on the market, but will be avoided by prospects if they believe the brand to be dishonest.
But how can you demonstrate that you are authentic? Consumers like to see the human side of business, so being transparent about your path to success and any hardships you have encountered will encourage engagement. Using this form of messaging strategically and consistently throughout your content, messaging, and day-to-day interactions will act as a magnet, drawing people to you.
This attraction to known humanness by consumers explains the rise in user-generated content, the most honest and relatable comms of all.
Authenticity allows individuals to engage with each other in powerful ways, enabling us to innovate together and drive real change within our industries. And it isn’t just limited to our interactions with customers — as a management style, authenticity is engaging and effective, with leaders able to see powerful results by incorporating this approach.
So, how can businesses showcase their values and integrity to consumers? Once you have built your branding strategy and have identified the key parts that make you authentic, investing in long-term brand management efforts are essential.
This should transcend product lines, allowing your business to grow while maintaining a loyal and engaged customer base that is more likely to not only purchase from you, but to become an advocate by recommending you to their networks.
When done correctly, authentic messaging delivers fantastic ROI, but your brand story must stay consistent and aligned to foster a great experience for your customers.