Authenticity isn't a Strategy
Authenticity is one of those words we hear a lot in relation to marketing, but very few businesses (or marketers, for that matter) really understand the concept. If you’re thinking of authenticity as a marketing strategy, you may be missing the point.
In SAP’s latest blog post, Sparks SVP of Creative, Mike Ellery, explains how authenticity shouldn't be forced as a strategy to increase sales. It’s about self-expression; about creating a story around your brand and letting customers know why you’re different beyond the real-world benefits of your product or service. It should be a means to tell your brand's story and to make customers feel happy with their decision to work with you. He further explains the three keys to creating brand authenticity for customers: listen, engage and humanize.
In his post, Mike’s contends that, "Authenticity isn’t a marketing strategy that you can deploy like a campaign. It’s something your company must develop over time through real human interactions at conferences, at events, and on social media. Understanding what makes your audience feel good allows you to address them in their world and on their terms, which is the first step toward creating a meaningful brand relationship."
Building relationships is a simple way to connect to customers. Relationships take time and energy which is why authenticity is an ever evolving aspect of building a brand. As Maya Angelo has said, “People won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Speaking directly to customers gives them an emotional connection to your company. Relating to customers indicates that the company is authentic and real. In the end, customers should feel that the company listened to their needs and stays true to the brand’s story.