Behind the buzzword: What “authenticity” means for your marketing strategy

By Camilla Dudley
Trends and insights
Happy couple walking and talking in the countryside

Today’s consumers want more than good deals and cheap products. They want real, human experiences that enrich their lives and align with their values.

In fact, 90% of millennials say authenticity is an important factor when deciding which brands they like to support. And this isn’t just true of millennials: 80% of baby boomers and 85% of Gen Xers reported the same sentiment. Yet, more than 50% of consumers think that fewer than half of brands create authentic content. What’s more, 30% of millennials have actually unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt the brand’s content was inauthentic.

So, how do brands close the gap between the authenticity consumers want and the advertising they currently deliver? The answer is honesty. Customers want a brand that is true to its word, true to its customers, and true to itself.

Tell your brand story

Just like every person, every brand has a story. Whether you have an inspiring founder, loyal customers, or you bring a new solution to an old problem — tell your customers what makes you, you. Telling your brand story will not only make your brand more relatable, it will also communicate that your brand cares about the people who make business happen (instead of just the bottom line). 

Let your customers take the marketing reins

Perhaps the best way to establish authenticity is to leverage user-generated content. Consumers are smart, savvy, informed, and they can see through marketing ploys. But when customers see real people sharing real experiences with your products, they are more inclined to trust your brand’s advertisements. 

Rely on word-of-mouth

Micro-influencers have already established themselves as an authentic and reliable source of advice and recommendations for consumers. Share your product with micro-influencers so they can give a trusted report to their own loyal fans and help boost word-of-mouth recommendations of your brand.

Get involved

Authentic brands have their own values and beliefs customers can relate to. Find a cause that your brand can support or a problem that your brand can help solve. You’ll show your customers you care about the world they live in — and you’ll also help make the world a better place.

Be true to yourself

Make sure your marketing has a consistent style and tone. Consistency is the key to reliability, and reliability is the key to building trust. While you might post different content on Twitter than you would send in an email, make sure all of your communications tell a consistent story.

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