We live in a world of brands chasing links and Google rankings to secure their share of voice. The problem with this strategy is that it’s inauthentic and relies on an algorithm working in your favour. Instead, brand authenticity should be the focus. By building an authentic, trustworthy brand, you can build a genuine connection with your most important asset: your audience.
Brand Authenticity: Why It’s So Important for Your PR and Comms Strategy
Today, consumers are more skeptical of marketing than ever before. They’re more aware of what brands are saying. More interested in what they’re doing. And more prepared to publicly call them out. As you can imagine, this can make effectively engaging with your audience a challenge.
A solution for this? Brand authenticity. Consumers’ skepticism means marketing and PR strategies based on inauthentic messaging simply won’t resonate, especially with Gen Z audiences. Simply telling your customers that they should trust you just won’t cut it anymore. You need to establish a genuine relationship with your customers and demonstrate exactly why they should trust you.
“Offering a great product or service isn’t enough anymore. Consumers now have so much choice at their disposal that the brand behind the product matters too, sometimes more so than the price. They want to be able to trust your business, connect with your business. Authenticity is everything.” Sarah Evans, Head of Digital PR @ Energy PR
Studies have shown that up to 90% of consumers think that authenticity is important when deciding which brand to support. But brand authenticity doesn’t mean simply rolling out Innocent’s tone of voice or Ryanair’s social media strategy. The key is being consistently clear on who you are. Find out what your audience thinks of your business. What your brand stands for. What makes you, you.
Once you’ve found it, share it. But it’s important to practice what you preach. If you say you’re only using the highest quality materials in your products, use them. If you say you’re focused on sustainability, focus on it. Today’s consumers can spot an inauthentic brand a mile off, and false advertising can have massive reputational consequences. However, if your brand gets authenticity right, the benefits can be immeasurable…
- Building trust – A transparent and consistent brand that remains true to its values and maintains its authenticity will find it much easier to build trust with current and potential customers. Trust is vital for maintaining long-term relationships and is often the differentiator between a brand and its competitors.
- Humanising a brand – One of the best ways for to resonate with your target audience is by demonstrating shared beliefs and values, and acting on them. Consumers are more likely to engage with brands that show genuine personality, empathy and understanding. This is where knowing and owning what you stand for becomes incredibly important. By being authentic, you can create emotional connections and forge stronger relationships with your audience. It’s the difference between being a liked brand and a loved one.
- Navigating crises – During a crisis, brand authenticity becomes even more critical. By maintaining transparency, taking responsibility and addressing issues honestly, you can mitigate the impact of a crisis and rebuild trust more effectively.
- It’s future-proof – Brand authenticity is key to fostering long-term, meaningful relationships with customers. These relationships will go far beyond any algorithm.
Brand authenticity is absolutely essential to building trust, credibility and strong connections with your audience. It helps differentiate your brand from your competitors, fosters loyalty, and provides a foundation for long-term success.
But brand authenticity doesn’t just happen. It requires constant consideration and must be consistent across all the touchpoints between your brand and your customers. How do you appear on social media? In the news? In customer newsletters? In reviews? Does your product or service match your messaging after a customer has purchased? A cohesive PR strategy, including a mixture of online and offline activity, will be successful in both building your brand and establishing a clear and consistent message – helping achieve strong credibility and authenticity.
Don’t know where to start? Let’s talk.