Things are starting to change. Can you feel it? In many parts of the world, restrictions are beginning to ease, which means that many businesses are starting to get back to at least something that resembles a semi-normal operation.
Well, a post COVID normal operation anyway. The new normal is going to look quite different to anything we’ve experienced before.
I think it’s fair to say that the world will never be the same again.
For businesses to survive, they need to understand some of the ways in which consumers have changed throughout this period of lockdown.
The one that really stands out for me is an increased desire for dealing with brands that are genuine, authentic and real.
Does this sound like your business? Brand authenticity has never been more important.
So, here’s my message to all business operators…
You might be a fast food vendor, run a gardening business, a chain of furniture stores or even an international soft drink brand. The size of your business or the industry in which you operate in are largely irrelevant.
If you want to develop a long standing and successful brand, ‘authenticity’ is an aspect of branding that is important to consider in order to remain competitive in the post COVID market.
Authenticity may sound like yet another fluffy marketing buzzword, but there are good reasons as to why you should incorporate it into your marketing strategy if you want to make a real difference to the impact of your marketing activities.
Basically, brand authenticity means honesty, transparency and integrity – three elements that any good business should possess anyway. It is the set of core beliefs that drives the brand and the activity. It’s the stuff that just happens, naturally and truthfully.
It means not saying your brand is something that it isn’t or stands for something that it doesn’t. Authenticity is having an open window into your business that customers can look through at any time. Think about that. Would you be ok with what your customers would see if they looked into your world, warts and all?
Well, guess what. As part of their purchasing decision, modern day consumers want to know that your products are coming from sustainable sources. They also want to know things like whether the hygiene levels in your food manufacturing plant are up to par, and that you are treating your workers well and paying them fairly. If you are falling down in any of these areas, then there’s a fair chance that it will soon be all over social media, which can do your brand irreparable damage overnight.
Hence, the importance of brand authenticity and everything that it stands for.
Consumers are shopping differently now than they were only 6 months ago. No longer are they easily swayed by the old push marketing techniques or by traditional advertising.
Instead, they are looking for solutions to their life’s problems, and brands that meet them where they are, communicate to them on their level and engage them are going to beat out competitors that are left behind in the old world.
Authenticity comes down to giving people a reason to care. Consumers want to care. They want to believe that their purchase is making a difference somewhere, somehow, and that the brands they are supporting with their hard-earned dollars are living out the values that they believe in.
People respond to honesty, integrity and enthusiasm, and they can spot frauds from a mile away. It’s never too late to look for the authenticity that exists within your business and to capitalise on it with thoughtful, engaging marketing.
I always love to receive feedback (positive or constructive) on this or any of my posts. Feel free to contact me at any time.