How to be Authentic as a brand

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Shiny machines with broken cogs?
By Susi Jenkinson, staffer. 1 November, 2016
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Authenticity is one of those buzzwords that’s easy to spout but hard to execute. The Dubs Susi Jenkinson offers some starting points for creating something so real you can touch it.

I have attended some interesting conferences over the past few months in which customer experience and authenticity were the main themes.

These are two of the biggest buzzwords of the moment. Every brand is talking about being authentic and developing customer first approaches – however these are tasks that are not achievable overnight, they need to be embedded within an organisation’s genetic make up – not just those sitting in customer research and marketing teams. Authenticity comes from within. An authentic end to end experience means authentic products, authentic campaigns and authentic people.

The overarching business objective should be to make the customer journey authentic and rewarding and most importantly add value. But this is nothing new. It has just been highlighted by brands such as Uber and Tesla putting the customer in the driving seat.

The cost of acquiring a new customer is seven times that of retaining one. That is massive.

IAG and Telstra have made steps towards this goal by creating communities comprised of their customers that they turn to for product development and testing, testing campaign creative ideas, and generally getting genuine feedback that they in turn loop back into their internal processes. Your customers. This is a good place start.

This is the contents of a slide from one of the presentations that sums up authenticity nicely.
Three steps to authenticity
1. Know what your company stands for
2. Understand how customers engage with your brand
3. Forge lasting emotional connections

Understanding where all your customer touch points are and how you act at these junctures will make or break the customer relationship. It’s important your communication is consistent whether in person, on social or in an old-fashioned letter.

This is where content marketing can really do the hard work for you. Building trust through providing genuinely useful information that is authentically produced and connects emotively with your audience is the key. This video produced by insurance company TAL (This Australian Life) nails the emotive connection with the audience:

A beautiful piece of hero content that does exactly what it says on the tin – promotes Australian life in a real and emotive way. Big thumbs up from me. It will be interesting to see what they do next...

What is your company’s approach to authenticity?

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Lover of coffee, coconut water and the sound of the sea, I really am a proper Aussie now. I spend my days immersed in all things digital, social and content and I like it that way.