How to cultivate an authentic brand
AUTHENTIC BRAND DEVELOPMENT
- Be Real: Build your strategy around knowing who are are and what your company is all about.
- Talk Honestly: Whether it’s in person or online, get constant feedback from your customers so you know what you are doing well with and how you can improve.
- Cultivate Trust: Cultivate a purpose for your business that goes beyond wanting to make money. Share your passions and constantly build relationships with your customers.
- Believe in your story: Tell customers why and how your company exists. If you don’t believe in your story no one else will.
You may ask yourself, what’s so important about being authentic? In today’s world merely existing as a business is not enough. People want to know about the people behind the brand, they want to know your story and how your product is made. When consumers perceive your brand as authentic, then they feel comfortable putting their trust in you. Creating an authentic brand needs to be cultivated, well planned and executed. To help you, we’ve made a list of branding strategies to follow.
It’s fairly easy to do a quick Google search on branding strategies that cultivate an authentic brand and pick the best one from successful case studies. However, copying another company’s strategy is not the best way to go. Chances are it will lead to you loosing who you are along the way. The key to authenticity is knowing who are are and what your company is all about. Once you know that you can build your strategy around your authentic identity.
It’s great that you are a leader in your industry and you’ve won X number of awards but how does that make a difference in your customer’s life? When all you do is talk about your achievements and what makes you special, it’s off-putting and can make you come across as arrogant. Instead of merely saying “Our customers are important to us”, prove it. Have honest conversations with customers face-to-face, over email or social media that will give you valuable insight into what you are doing well and what you can improve on. Engaging takes time but it allows you to create a culture and brand that is constantly relevant to your customer’s life.
Share your passions with the world and your unique company mission. Think about what drives you. Cultivate a purpose for your business that goes beyond wanting to make money. A brand is deemed authentic not only because of its culture, but also by the nature of the relationship they have with their customers.
In 1982 the Johnson & Johnson brand took a major blow when seven people died in Chicago after someone had tampered with their Tylenol bottles. What’s important to note is that the company acted quickly and handled the crisis well by keeping the public informed providing a hotline to consumers to call the company, they inspected their factory to be sure the problem didn’t originate there and recalled all bottles on the shelf at the time. The company showed the public that they weren’t willing to put the public’s safety in jeopardy even if it would be expensive. What your customers care about most is that you provide open and honest conversations about your company and the products or services you offer.
BELIEVE IN YOUR STORY
Often businesses have a powerful story but don’t put it to good use. Imagine if the world didn’t know Apple’s origin story, would they treat the company differently? Consumers want to see your heartfelt declaration of why your company exits. If you don’t believe in your company why should anyone else?
Bear in mind that authenticity grows over time. Trust is not earned overnight. The key is to be consistent; in what you do, say and advertise.
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