The Importance of Authenticity in Business
In business, the concept of authenticity carries far more weight than it may seem. While there are many professional situations that require us to put on a mask, so to speak—whether it's for the sake of cooperation or to avoid conflict—being true to one's self is something we should all aspire to do.
Truth be told, it’s hard to be authentic 100% of the time. There will be circumstances wherein being authentic will put you at odds with others. That's just how things are in business and in life.
Keep in mind that authenticity looks different for everyone. It’s important to find out what is true and what feels right for YOU.
Now, that all sounds fine and dandy, but what does authenticity have to do with business?
Authenticity isn’t just for individuals—it’s for brands, too! Remember, the core of branding and marketing is being able to connect with your customers. Your audience will have a hard time connecting with you—and they likely won’t even want to—if your brand comes off as inauthentic.
According to a study conducted by the Journal of Business Research and reported in the New York Times, “consumers see three dimensions to brand authenticity: heritage, sincerity, and commitment to quality.”
Heritage is all about showcasing and telling the story of your brand’s roots. Peel back your curated image a little and show the struggle and triumphs in your company’s history. Allowing your customers to see the humble beginnings behind the brand makes it seem more genuine. Now, this isn’t just for older brands. While newer businesses may have a shorter history, that doesn’t mean they’re any less rich. Use your history, no matter how old, as evidence, as a way to show customers what you’ve been bringing to the table.
The concept of sincerity is a little harder to pin down. Brands can talk about how sincere they are all they want, but how do you prove that?
Showing that your brand is sincere requires transparency. Let your audience in on behind-the-scenes stories, share live content on social media, and always, always return to your company’s core values. Instead of cherry-picking your image to appear more enticing, use language and messages that plainly speak to your core values and beliefs. You may appeal to a less broad audience, but you will attract people who believe the same things you and your brand do.
Another part of sincerity is giving back to the community in a way that’s aligned with your brand’s values. This can be something as simple as getting excited about a client’s success and giving them a highlight. It can be about sharing the stories of yourself or your team and how their lives have changed for the better or celebrating how vital they were to the company’s growth.
Commitment to Quality
And lastly, showcase your brand’s authenticity through a commitment to quality. Follow through on everything you've built up by sharing your history and sincerity. While marketing can elevate your brand and business to new heights, remember that your product or service is still the backbone of your company. It’s not just important to get eyes on your brand. You need to be able to bring in new customers AND keep them coming back—and you can only achieve that if you are committed to giving them the best customer experience.
Bottom line: building up your brand’s authenticity is all about telling stories. Don’t be afraid of sharing even the uglier parts of your brand or even your own entrepreneurial journey.
We’re ending this blog with a reminder that you won’t be everyone's cup of tea, and that's okay. You can't change yourself or your branding to please everyone—and you shouldn’t. Be your authentic self, and you will be surprised not only at how much positive energy you could attract but also at how easier it will be to manage your business.
We hope that this blog was helpful, and we wish nothing but the best for your brand's growth! And if you need assistance, feel free to reach out to us on our website.