Over the past few years, TikTok has established itself as a go-to source for authentic content that differs from the ad-heavy feeds seen on other social media platforms like Instagram.
Despite the growing number of brand advertisements on TikTok, most of the content shared by users is still rooted in unfiltered, real-life experiences.
This trend of showcasing genuine videos has gained immense popularity among consumers and has not gone unnoticed by brands, who are now using it to increase engagement and awareness.
Interestingly, this shift towards authenticity is starting to influence other social media sites like LinkedIn. Business leaders are adopting this trend and sharing more authentic content with their audience.
Additionally, there is a growing focus on personal branding on LinkedIn which was previously not even thought of on that platform. People from all walks of life crave genuine authenticity from brands and in 2023 they are demanding it.
Branding is everywhere and in everything from your favorite sneakers to your preferred cup of joe. Branding represents the perception or identity of a business and its essence.
However, in 2023, Brand Authenticity has emerged as a critical aspect of brand marketing. Keep reading to discover why Brand Authenticity is important in 2023 and why it has become increasingly vital in today's business landscape.
1. What is Brand identity?
Brand authenticity relates to the degree to which a customer perceives a company's messaging and actions as genuine and truthful. It is a critical component in shaping a business's goals and operations.
2. The Rise of Brand Authenticity
Consider the most prominent brands of today. What sets them apart from their competitors? What unique quality do they possess that draws customers back time and time again?
Many businesses have attempted to answer these questions, relying on market metrics, consumer surveys, and marketing campaigns to build a strong brand and devoted following.
Nevertheless, despite their best efforts, some companies have been unable to pinpoint their own unique "IT or WOW" factor. Most people overlook the fact that the most successful brands stand out not just because of their products and or marketing strategies, but because of their authenticity.
In today's ever-growing market, authenticity can make or break a brand's success including brand loyalty. In fact, almost 90% of consumers report that authenticity is one of the most important factors when deciding which brand(s) they like or prefer.
Now, Millennials and Gen Z want and prefer brands that present themselves as real, organic, honest, or imperfect as opposed to perfectly polished and well-packaged.
In order for a business to build an authentic brand, a brand must ask itself three main questions:
- What does my business do?
- How does my business do it?
- What is the motivation behind my business?
Many businesses have a clear understanding of their products and services, but fewer are able to effectively communicate how their value propositions and business processes actually benefit the customer.
However, there are some exceptional organizations that not only grasp what they do and how they do it but also have a distinct understanding of their overarching purpose for existence.
These companies can clearly articulate their "why" - the fundamental reason behind their operations.
3. Aligning Your Purpose Builds Brand Authenticity
The key factor that distinguishes highly successful brands is their capacity, to begin with why their brand aligns with its audience. They take the time to delve deeply, pinpoint their underlying reason for existing, and ensure that every aspect of their business aligns with that purpose.
Instead of just striving to attract customers who will purchase their products, thriving brands concentrate on building genuine connections with customers who share their values and beliefs.
These businesses do not appeal to customers solely on the basis of their product offerings, but rather on their fundamental identity and purpose. Successful brands prioritize their core values above all else by putting their why at the heart of all their actions.
Here is a detailed explanation of how a business can build brand authenticity:
- Define Your Brand
The first step to building brand authenticity is to define your brand. This means understanding your company's values, mission, and goals. Your brand should reflect these values and resonate with your target audience.
Start by identifying your brand's unique selling proposition (USP) and core values. Once you have a clear understanding of your brand, you can start building your brand identity and messaging.
- Be Transparent
Building brand authenticity is heavily reliant on transparency. Customers are interested in learning about the inner workings of your company, such as your production methods, the people behind the brand, and your company's story. It is essential to be open and candid with your customers about your business practices and processes.
Highlight the values that drive your brand and showcase the individuals who contribute to its success. By doing so, you can establish a strong and trustworthy relationship with your customers.
- Be Consistent
Developing brand authenticity involves maintaining consistency across all marketing channels. It's crucial to ensure that your messaging, visuals, and tone of voice remain uniform throughout, from your website to social media platforms. This approach helps to foster trust with your customers and solidify your brand's reputation as a reliable and dependable one.
- Engage With Your Customers
Creating genuine connections with your customers is a key element in establishing brand authenticity. Engage with your audience on social media by responding to their comments and messages, and actively seek out their feedback. This demonstrates your commitment to listening to and valuing their opinions, which can help to build trust and strengthen your brand's authenticity.
- Deliver On Your Promises
To build brand authenticity, you need to deliver on your promises. If you promise a high-quality product or service, ensure that you deliver on that promise. Be honest about your product or service's limitations and shortcomings, and strive to exceed your customers' expectations.
- Emphasize Your Brand's Uniqueness
To establish brand authenticity, it's important to highlight what sets your brand apart from competitors. This could be anything from your brand's history and story, to your focus on sustainability, or the exceptional quality of your products. Emphasizing your brand's unique qualities can help to differentiate your brand from others and create a distinct identity that resonates with your target audience.
Establishing brand authenticity requires dedication and perseverance. By defining your brand, ensuring transparency and consistency, actively engaging with your customers, fulfilling your commitments, and highlighting the distinctive qualities of your brand, you can cultivate a robust and authentic brand that effectively connects with your intended audience. By prioritizing authenticity, you can establish a loyal following and build a long-lasting, successful business.