Many people think that a“brand” is just a term to categorise particular products or services that companies produce and distribute. And so, not everyone has that particular notion of the term“brand” as a social concept that has emotional and even philosophical elements.
The idea of a“brand” as a socially constructed term reflects how people come up with ideas and images they associate with products and services they’re purchasing.
There is a process for generating images, names, characteristics, and other elements that represent a brand. And this process is what we call branding. Entrepreneurs and marketers are responsible for how customers will see their brands and what they offer to the public. However, a brand?s reputation is also in part dependent on the manner by which customers receive information that marketers and advertisers accord them.
Business owners and marketers are realising now that quality products sold at competitive prices are no longer enough to secure a solid brand position. Consumers today, a majority of which we know as Millennials, have become more selective than previous generations.
Most Millennials seem to demand more from brands such as meeting ethical standards that keep the companies? social, economic, and environmental responsibilities in check. And since these people now make up most of the market, being the biggest generation in their prime spending years, there is an impending change in branding that marketers and brand owners have to address.
Why branding with authenticity matters
A lot of brands are working hard to build a positive and lasting connection with their customers, in particular with Millennials. And for the past few years, building a positive transactional relationship with this market means acknowledging authentic branding as essential.
In either the print or digital advertising industries, there are now changes in the way people do promotions and product pitchings. We no longer find being directly advertised to as appealing. People prefer to make an informed purchasing decision based on facts and how authentic they perceive a brand to be rather than buying anything as a result of direct advertising. Many consumers of today would rather purchase a product or service based on what they know about the brand. They are no longer content with simply complying with what the print ads or other commercials are telling them to do.
Consequently, a marketer’s strategy should cater to these changes. By doing so, a brand can engage its customers better, delivering content that is real and genuine. This is vital to a brand’s success. A degree of authenticity is what people will be considering in any investments or bargains they have to make. And so it is only right that brands will provide them with such.
Authentic branding is about valuing genuine content
To share stories of sincerity and to have actual people who are willing to advocate for your brand as of their personal experience are a great way of demonstrating authenticity in branding.
It is also a positive way of valuing content that is genuine and likely relatable to your prospect customers. There is just no better way to proceed with your branding strategies than having people who believe in your brand values as partners.
We have, time and again, witnessed the power that word of mouth has and how it influences consumers? decisions. People will have more confidence in a brand when the people they trust can testify to the nature of a company and the quality of its products.
Setting up the credibility of a brand
It is not uncommon for people, at some point in time, to question a brand’s ability and willingness to provide sincerity and truthfulness. Questions on authenticity will likely come up when brand are building relationships with customers. And so, local and even global brands are turning their marketing efforts to address just that.
So how do you establish your brand’s credibility and build your consumers’ interests without appearing pretentious and hard sell?
Branding is an everyday process, and this entails hard work and consistency, whether long-established or not. Using a comprehensive set of brand guidelines that can cover all brand touchpoints – from print to web – will serve as a foundation to help guide a brand and it’s authenticity.
It is crucial for business owners and marketers to set aside a considerable amount of time and budget so as to develop campaigns and programs their companies will implement. And consistency in the implementation is crucial – as both will reflect the authenticity of their brand.
Related Article: Free Tool To Start Your Brand Strategy Today
It is often the small ideas, items, and practices that create and maintain a brand’s authenticity. Take for example a business that promises its clients a prompt delivery of their services to cater to specific customer needs. But if, for instance, that business cannot commit to its promise of an on-time and customised service, then that brand’s credibility will go down as people will no longer find it reliable. On the other hand, if we say another brand stays true to its claim of observing ethical standards and of following through with all required legal and proper processes, then consumers will see it as a trustworthy and dependable business.
On the other hand, if we say another brand stays true to its claim of observing ethical standards and of following through with all required legal and proper processes, then consumers will see it as a trustworthy and dependable business.
Authenticity in branding greatly helps a brand achieve a level of credibility that their customers can recognise. Consistent implementation is also the key to reinforcing what owners and marketers would claim about their brands. And consumers will only have to verify the marketing efforts that brands exert.
Accountability goes hand in hand with authenticity
With greater access to and ability to share information, social media has made it easier for people to air out opinions and complaints. As a brand, it is imperative to be professional when receiving feedback from customers. It is also just as important to be accountable for any errors on your part and to be humble enough to admit any shortcomings.
People nowadays are more than likely to accept apologies instead of hearing lengthy explanations since they understand that not everything works according to plan. And when a brand is honest about its mistakes, it is authentic about what its limitations are and what it can still improve.
Acknowledging a brand’s limitations
As we explained just now, there are limits to what a brand can do for a given period. There are thresholds for what a brand can and should be doing when building authenticity. It is best for a brand to acknowledge its limitations and to develop instead by pushing their boundaries after turning the conditions that restrict them to their advantage. After all, authenticity in branding is also about refinement and progressing into what a brand can be.
Being honest about your brand and what it can offer to your clients and prospect consumers is more cost-efficient in the long run when compared to what you have to do to maintain an identity that, in reality, doesn’t represent your brand.
Authenticity in branding helps you manage well particular crisis situations should you experience such. Also, authentic branding builds a brand forward and helps it secure a stable position in the industry.
If you need help building your Authentic Brand to make you stand out, hit reply and contact me for help!
Written by: Earl Jonathan Tech is a young marketing entrepreneur who founded PrintMeister, a company that offers a variety of products ranging from cheap business cards to desktop calendar printing. He spends most of his time catering to the advertising and merchandising needs of his clients yet still keeps his passion for writing alive.