How important is authenticity in relation to branding, marketing and advertising, especially digital branding and content marketing? At first, you may believe it’s not that important, after all, no one really believes everything they see, hear and read in advertising, right? While we know that cola alone doesn’t bring the world together and driving an expensive sports car doesn’t turn us into suave movie stars, but good branding, marketing and advertising is more effective than you think.
Influenced by Outside Forces?
We all want to believe that our purchasing decisions aren’t influenced by outside forces, and that we make decisions on what products and services to buy purely based on rational, deductive reasoning and our own experiences, but that isn’t the case. Branding, marketing and advertising all influence how we perceive brands and the products and services associated with those brands. We develop brand loyalty not just through our satisfaction with a product or service, but how a particular brand makes us feel. One of the most important factors in creating and bolstering a brand that inspires positive feelings that sparks loyalty is authenticity.
You Can’t Fake It To Make It
What’s the first step towards creating and developing a digital brand that’s authentic? It’s simple: be authentic! While this may sound redundant and self-explanatory, a surprising number of companies attempt to create an artificial image and incorporate it into their advertising campaign. This often stems from a misconception about your company’s role in your industry or your local market. For instance, not every brand can offer the lowest prices or the highest level of customer service, yet many companies make an attempt to portray themselves and their brand as offering or excelling at something that’s not there. Without realizing this can be a fatal mistake for both their brand and their business.
Your Brand Promise
Why is authenticity so important when it comes to your branding, marketing and advertising? It has to do with your brand promise, or the factors that make your brand attractive and compelling. An authentic brand is one that follows through on the factors or “promises” made to customers, inspiring customer loyalty and motivating one-time customers to become repeat customers. Inauthentic brands or brands that create inauthentic advertising or marketing campaigns don’t follow through on those factors and promises. This often leaves customers dissatisfied, disgruntled and very unlikely to return. We previously referred to the “fatal mistake” of in-authenticity, as businesses without repeat customers almost always fail in the long run.
Emphasizing The Positive, Deemphasizing The Negative
Does being authentic mean that you have to “lay it all on the line” and reveal the weaknesses of your brand or business strategy to your customers? Authenticity doesn’t require that you remove any filter between your business and your customers, but it does require that you not lie or attempt to cover up your weaknesses.
Instead, focus on what your business does well, and build your brand around the strengths that make you superior to your competitors. Branding, marketing and advertising aren’t a business plan or a shareholder report, and you aren’t required to reveal or acknowledge your weaknesses in the marketplace. When you downplay your negatives instead of attempting to cover them up, you aren’t sacrificing the authenticity of your brand, just continue to accentuate the positives.
Authenticity and your brand promise go hand-in-hand, and developing a brand that’s both authentic and fulfills the promises you make to your customers is crucial to your mid- to long-term success. The branding and marketing experts at Blue Zenith can help you develop a brand promise that instills and bolsters loyalty in your customers, ensuring that your business can develop and build a strong foundation of customer loyalty!