Authenticity in a saturated market

Written by Charlotte White

The concept of authenticity can be a powerful differentiator to set apart businesses from the rest of the competition. It is therefore essential to demonstrate a genuine commitment to your business’s cause through action.

This article has been assigned the following categories: Branding, Tips,

Don’t just talk the talk

The key to authenticity is providing value beyond the catchy slogans and the eye-catching visuals. There needs to be substance behind your claims to build consumer trust and brand credibility. When a business’ marketing and customer experience align, a foundation of trust is built between them and the consumer.

Customer-centricity

It is essential to prioritise customer needs and concerns by actively seeking feedback and demonstrating a willingness to adapt and evolve with their input. Genuine commitment to authenticity is reflected when addressing customer pain points. Also consider what consumers are responding to within your market and use that research to evolve your business in line with the everchanging landscape.

Honesty

Don’t lose your brand humanity in the search for authenticity. Sugarcoating the messy truths will create a fake authenticity that consumers will reject. A realistic portrayal of your brand journey is necessary in order to build credibility and fortify stronger relationships with your audience. Let them see right through your windows – don't close the curtains and leave them wondering if there is something you have to hide.

Storytelling

Storytelling builds an emotional connection between consumers and brands, but it isn’t as simple as recounting your brand’s history and ethics. Consumers want to see brand personality and individuality. Highlighting your business’s ethics, values, opinions and activations will bring life to your brand and allow consumers to see the authenticity of the people behind it.

Lessons to be learned: BrewDog

In 2021 BrewDog faced a culture crisis relating to worker environments and insensitive marketing campaigns. Any authenticity they sought to promote as part of BrewDog’s company image was undercut by claims of transphobia, employer toxicity and more.

But in less than a year, BrewDog has transformed their brand image through multiple initiatives geared to incite meaningful change, such as the ‘BrewDog Blueprint’. There is a lot to learn from BrewDog’s growth, from their initial insensitivities and exclusions to their transformation into a brand that is responsible and authentic.

Purpose-driven brand: Patagonia

Patagonia is a shining example of a purpose-driven brand. Commitment to their cause flows through every product they produce. Patagonia continuously works towards tackling environmental and sociopolitical issues to insight meaningful change. Their website offers a wealth of information for customers on the continuing environmental crisis alongside numerous statements from the brand that outline their commitment to this cause. Authenticity and responsibility go hand in hand and this is something that Patagonia understands at every level.

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