The word authentic gets thrown around frequently these days, but what does it actually mean to be fully authentic? Better yet, what can it do for you as a company or brand? Being authentic means being real and genuine, which gets rarer by the day and this is exactly why it can be so powerful.
The main reason authenticity is so crucial for your brand is because it’s how you gain trust within your community. When putting your product or services out there, you want people to trust you and have full confidence in their decision to pick you over other competitors. This is easier said than done!
What does gaining trust within your community look like?
It is first defining your audience and building up your community, whether this is followers on social media or physical customers. This may require you to step outside of your comfort zone! You simply need to get out there and make yourself known. You also need to determine who your core audience is.
Then, it’s about taking these early-stage relationships and making the connection feel personal and real. Be a brand people trust. The world is ever changing and that is why maintaining a sense of consistency is very important to people. Most people find themselves going back to certain brands or following specific people on social media, because of aligning values. People express themselves and their morals by purchasing from and supporting brands they trust. No one wants to see a brand go back on their word or break the trust they have with their customers. However, there is always room for transparency if something has changed and being open about the situation could be very beneficial.
Lastly, you want to bring a compelling story to the table. Creating a storyline to sit alongside your brand generates a human-like aspect and personifies the brand or product. This allows the connection to be more and more personal, which can lead to a very true relationship. People like to hear how success happens and see the process; they do not want to simply be thrown an advertisement. Be exciting and interactive and you’ll grab your audience’s attention by adding value to the brand. Being able to share your compelling story will generate an emotional connection to the product, and we all know how powerful emotions can be.
What can an authentic relationship bring to the table?
Creating an authentic and personal connection with your community can lead to success. The most beneficial outcomes from authenticity and strong relationships with your community are long-term customers. This is what every brand desires! You want to have loyal, devoted and consistent customers. Also, with this comes word-of-mouth advertising. These people love and trust you so much, they want to recommend your product or services to everyone they know.
Cancel culture is a trending topic right now and is every brand’s worst nightmare. Earning a good reputation has saved a few from being thrown into the large pile of cancelled companies, brands and people. Your reputation is built by using all the things we’ve discussed above and is kept intact by consistency and authenticity.
Authenticity isn’t going to fall into your lap. It is something that you have to work towards each and every day. As we’ve mentioned, authenticity stems from a buildup of trust, genuineness and consistency. When you put these aspects at the forefront of what you do, it becomes easier to see the end goal and stick to it. At times, it might be easy to get wrapped up in other things, however the power of authenticity outweighs most and that is what you need to keep top of mind. When you build trust within your community, create consistent messaging and actions and earn an honorable reputation, authentic relationships will appear.