Every good brand knows consumer trust and loyalty can’t be bought or won through snazzy marketing—it’s something that you earn. While it’s relatively simple to win sales through promotions or rewards, getting someone to truly believe and get behind your brand requires a deeper and more genuine connection.
This is why brands are starting to focus on authentic marketing.
When you market your brand in ways that feel relatable and real to your target audience, you not only win more sales, you gain loyal patrons who are proud to align themselves with your company.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the steps you should take to convey legitimacy through authentic marketing. Read through the insights below and see how you can apply them to your strategy:
Why the Rise in Authentic Marketing?
Before diving into specific steps, let’s first take a look at why authenticity marketing is so important:
- Consumers are inundated with messages. With the sheer amount of marketing and advertising out there, people have learned to tune out messages they can’t relate to. Authenticity marketing lets you cut through the noise and stand out to your target audiences.
- People’s ‘BS detectors’ are stronger than ever. Modern consumers can smell deceitful marketing from a mile away. As Josh Braaten, CEO of Brandish Insights, a brand measurement and consumer insights company, puts it, “with all the fake news out there today, consumers are getting more discerning than ever and have less patience for anyone who is stretching the truth or trying to deceive them.”
- Consumers are more conscious of brand values. Implementing authenticity marketing will help you express brand values and purpose. And since many consumers (younger ones in particular) are more inclined to align themselves with businesses that share their values, authenticity marketing puts you in a position to win over the right customers.
How to Convey Brand Authenticity & Earn Consumer Trust
Now that we’ve discussed why brand authenticity is necessary, let’s dive into the ways that you can implement authenticity marketing.
Get Clear on Your Values
As previously mentioned, part of being authentic means promoting your values and purpose. To do that successfully, you first need to identify what your business stands for and use it to guide your marketing efforts.
“The first thing a retailer needs to figure out is the ‘why’ of their product or business,” said Lisa Cox, a San Francisco-based brand strategist and designer. “Why does their business exist and why does it matter? I see companies try to portray what they think will come across as authentic, but consumers can see when there is nothing there to back it up.”
Cox believes the best way to get your values across is to tell the story of your business and do it in a genuine way. The company story is one of the best things brands have to work with to be more honest and authentic.
“You can’t fake authenticity so go all in and be vulnerable,” said Cox. “Share the actual reason you started your business like you are talking to a friend.”
Once you’ve gotten clear on your values, purpose and story, find ways to spread the word. Look at your marketing channels and other assets. Then use them to promote your brand’s ideals and narrative.
Chipotle does an excellent job here. The company is committed to serving food that’s sourced from the best ingredients and crafted through ethical means. Aside from stating this on their website, Chipotle reinforces its brand values on its packaging and in-store signage.
Being transparent is the ultimate display of authenticity. Giving people a look at how you actually run your business or create your products adds credibility to your brand and encourages sales and loyalty.
Here are some of the ways to inject more transparency in your marketing:
Be Open About Your Products
Give people more insights into how your products are made. What goes into each item? How much does it cost to create your merchandise? If you’re able to answer these questions honestly, you’ll set yourself apart from the majority of businesses who keep these things hush-hush.
Everlane is a prime example of a retailer that does this. One of the company’s core beliefs is “radical transparency.” To show consumers that they’re committed to it, Everlane publicly displays the “true cost of its merchandise” on its website.
Every product page has a “Transparent Pricing” section that breaks down the costs that go into creating each item, so shoppers know exactly what they’re paying for.
Pull Back the Curtain on Your Operations
Give people a behind-the-scenes look at your business. Introduce customers to the people running your operations and offer a glimpse into your processes and business activities.
Showing customers that your behind-the-scenes actions reflect your public your image earns their trust and confidence in your brand. Customers don’t trust brands unless they can truly promote themselves as ‘one of you,” which requires effort on your part.
Reformation, an apparel retailer that focuses on sustainable fashion, did this in 2018 when it posted several Instagram stories showing its factory operations. Reformation even encouraged its followers to ask questions via Instagram and publicly answered those questions in its stories.
Level Up Your FAQ Game
Speaking of which, FAQ pages are great, but the questions and answers displayed on these pages often feel canned and rehearsed. Take things to the next level and add a layer of authenticity to your FAQs. Do this by letting visitors submit questions you can publicly answer on your website.
This works best for specific product pages, where you can address item-specific questions. Genuine FAQs don’t just contribute to your brand’s authenticity, they also help shoppers make more informed decisions.
Otterbox provides an excellent example of product page FAQs done right. All of its product pages have an FAQ tab which displays user-submitted questions along with candid answers from the Otterbox team.
Employ People Who Naturally Embody Your Brand
The people who work for you play a huge role in promoting your brand, so strive to hire employees who possess the right attitudes. For example, if you’re an outdoorsy brand whose mission is to protect Mother Nature, then you’ll want to employ people who share the same passion for safeguarding the environment.
A good tip to follow is to hire for attitude and train for skill. Recognize that while you can teach people how to sell or to follow your company policies, it’s much harder to change someone’s values and disposition.
Some of the world’s top companies are known for doing this and ultimately creating a more authentic marketing play toward their hiring methods. Trader Joe’s, which is famous for its quirky and friendly brand, hires people who are naturally outgoing and who like to talk to others.
Mark Gardiner, author of Build a Brand Like Trader Joe’s, went through the company’s training program when he applied for a position at the grocery store. Here’s how he described his experience:
“[The] profound thing that happened after realizing, wow, these people are really not a random group of people. These people are all naturally empathetic…they want to listen to other people talking about themselves, they want to have conversations with other people.”
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By now, you may have tasted our spicy, herby #Zhoug [Shoog] Sauce—but have you tried #grilling with it? Our very own Fearless Flyer (that green guy who’s a regular on our Rose Parade floats) now chats with @bonappetitmag contributor Rick Martinez as they cook up some Zhoug Marinated #Chicken Thighs with a #Fennel Slaw… — Full-length video link in bio
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Who You Hire Says a Lot About Your Authenticity
Disney has a similar hiring strategy. The company pays a lot of attention to the details when hiring, so they recruit specifically toward people who fit their culture.
Both Trader Joe’s and Disney are known for having amazing employees who provide memorable customer experiences in line with the company’s image. Follow their lead when you’re recruiting your own team.
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Your efforts in authenticity marketing will be futile if your employee attitudes aren’t consistent with the values you want to promote. So it’s always smart to try and stick to hiring individuals who naturally embody your brand.
Stop Sugarcoating Everything
While your marketing and advertising initiatives should position your company in the best light, being overly polished or glammed up can convey inauthenticity. This could easily prevent customers from being able to relate to you.
Every now and then, it helps to be a little vulnerable. Showing your customers the wins and losses that you experience in your business strengthens the connection people have with your brand. According to Cox, one example of a business doing this well is Kween and Co Granola Butter.
“The founder [Ail Bonar] often lets us into her life, sharing her motivation to start the company and, more importantly, she also shows her struggles with running a CPG company,” she said.
(Video) Building Authentic Customer Relationships Through Branding and Content
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GRATITUDE GIVEAWAY WEEK: DAY ONE ⚡️ — Reflecting back on the past year, both Kween and I have grown so freakin’ much. This photo was from our launch shoot almost a year ago (we didn’t even have a final recipe! 😱) We couldn’t do it without you, and wanted to put together a week of giveaways and posts to celebrate YOU. 🎈🎉 — HOW TO ENTER: ✖️Comment within 5 minutes of us posting for the chance to win a free jar (1 per day!) ✖️Missed the 5 minute window? You still have a chance to win! Comment on each photo this week for a chance to win a special Kween prize package (that includes some fancy swag 😎🕺🏼)
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“Companies are afraid to show their struggles because they want to portray an image of perfection and success,” said Cox. “Showing the ups and downs of the business is more relatable and brings us along for the ride. Ali is vulnerable with her followers and this pays off in the end because you develop a real emotional connection to her and her product.”
Have a look at her Instagram Q&As. Here she candidly talks about how she does it all and what her advice is for other creators.
Consider doing something similar when you’re communicating with your customers. Tone down your efforts to appear perfect all the time and be real with the issues you face in your company.
Walk the Talk
You can brag about your values on your website, even paint your mission and vision on the walls of your store, but your marketing will fall flat if you don’t do anything to backup your claims. As the cliche goes, actions speak louder than words. So why not make sure you’re actually doing something to forward your mission and values?
Take a Stand
A brand’s authenticity is put to the test when faced with controversial issues. A company that doesn’t speak up about things that go against its mission or ideas will quickly lose the trust— and business—of their customers.
This is particularly today when consumers are increasingly becoming more belief-driven. The 2018 Edelman Earned Brand report found that 64% of shoppers worldwide are belief-driven buyers who base their shopping decisions on a brand’s position on controversial issues.
The good news is, brands are increasingly recognizing this. From Ben & Jerry’s ice cream joining the climate change movement to Nike featuring Colin Kaepernick in one of its ads, we’re seeing more and more brands take a stand on issues.
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If you haven’t done so yet, start taking a more solid stance on topics you genuinely care about. Be vocal. Sign that petition. Publicly commit to taking action. You might ruffle some feathers, but you’ll gain the loyalty of consumers who share your beliefs.
Getting behind causes that support your mission is an excellent display of authenticity. It shows that you’re serious about your vision and you aren’t just spewing feel-good platitudes to win people’s business.
Outdoors apparel retail Patagonia is doing just that. Last year, the company announced that it would take the $10 million is saves from the recent administration’s tax cuts and donate the money to environmental groups.
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This bold move sent the message that Patagonia legitimately cares about the environment and the company received tremendous feedback from its community.
Authenticity Marketing is Here to Stay
As we mentioned earlier, consumers are increasingly becoming belief-driven when making purchases and they’re getting better at discerning insincere and too-good-to-be-true advertising. For these reasons, being more authentic in your marketing is no longer a best practice—it’s a necessity.
Let PowerReviews help in your efforts to be more transparent and authentic marketing professionals. Our content moderation services can help you scale your user-generated content efforts without compromising authenticity and quality.
Learn more and request a demo with PowerReviews today!
Guide: Amplifying the Voice of the Consumer
Study: How to Beat Amazon With Consumer Trust
- (Video) Live with Marketers: Brand Management in the Age of Corporate Responsibility
To ensure authenticity, first understand how your product makes the customer's life better, easier or more enjoyable; i.e., the product benefits. Then ensure that marketing content focuses on telling that product benefit story. This approach helps your marketing content resonate and keeps it authentic.What brands are considered authentic? ›
- Disney. Authenticity Score: 96.62.
- BMW. Authenticity Score: 94.41. ...
- Microsoft. Authenticity Score: 94.12. ...
- Amazon. Authenticity Score: 94.04. ...
- Apple. Authenticity Score: 93.71. ...
- Intel. Authenticity Score: 90.01. ...
- Audi. Authenticity Score: 89.52. ...
- Samsung. ...
- Stitching. When a product is authentic, the stitching will appear much cleaner than is duped counterparts. ...
- Fastenings. Be wary of zippers and pulls on designer bags and jackets. ...
- Logo. ...
- Buttons. ...
- Leather. ...
- Spelling. ...
- Fabric. ...
We deem as authentic products that are original in design and the first of its kind, in contrast with a 'me too' product or imitation. Levi's 501 are the original jeans worn by workers searching for gold in America's West in 1873.
Brand authenticity was defined by the Journal of Brand Management in 2017 as “the extent to which a brand is considered unique, legitimate, truthful to its claims, and lacking falsity.” Authenticity builds the customer-brand relationship by creating an emotional connection and making the brand more relatable.How does authentic brands make money? ›
Authentic Brands makes money through licensing fees accrued from its portfolio of brands. The portfolio as a whole generates some $15 billion in gross merchandise value. The company also brings in revenue from royalties when other parties use names, images and likenesses for which Authentic holds the rights.How do I become an authentic content creator? ›
- Find your voice, and don't be afraid to use it! ...
- Know your target audience inside and out. ...
- Trust your authority, and don't be afraid to write about your experiences.
- Interact with your audience. ...
- Always follow SEO best practices.
According to recent Stackla data (via SocialMediaToday), 90% of customers mentioned authenticity as an important factor in deciding which brands they like and support. There are many reasons why I believe brand authenticity is crucial for winning customers.Is authentic the same as fake? ›
Authentic goods are real and genuine products that are sold by brand owners, distributors, or other authorized parties. Counterfeit goods are imitations of genuine, authentic products that were manufactured without authorization from the brand owner.Is Nike an authentic brand? ›
Nike is considered one of the biggest sportswear brands in the world. Its authentic and transparent approach to marketing and focus on company innovation, growth, and development makes it one of the most attractive sports brands for athlete sponsorship.
Increasingly, customers reward brands they consider to be more 'authentic. ' Amazon is the most authentic brand in the United States, according to a report from communications agency Cohn & Wolfe. The company took the top honors in the "2017 Authentic Brands" study, followed by PayPal and Burt's Bees.Is authentic considered original? ›
Authentic means "genuine" or "original".What is the difference between real and authentic? ›
In addition to describing something real, the adjective authentic describes something reliable, based on fact, and believable. If you have to write a research paper for school, be sure to use authentic facts and figures.What does authenticity mean in marketing? ›
What Does It Mean to Practice Authenticity in Marketing? Being authentic means that you are real and genuine. When you shake it all down, authenticity means you're being true to who you are as a brand. You're presenting yourself and your brand from a place of sincerity and genuineness.Why authentic products are important? ›
Having a great product is critical, but it's not enough. Brands need to connect with their customers on a deeper level if they want to develop loyalty. If you're not being authentic to your customers, you're going to lose them to a brand that is. That's why authenticity is the most important thing a brand can offer.What is an example of authenticity? ›
The definition of authenticity refers to the proven fact that something is legitimate or real. If no one questions the fact that the desk was made in the 14th century because experts determined it was, that is an example of its authenticity.Why is authenticity important in a brand? ›
Brand authenticity is important because:
If you can be authentic in everything you do and say, then your customers will do your marketing for you through word-of-mouth, social media, email, or any other marketing avenues. It builds stronger connections. It's easy to tell whether someone is being genuine or not online.
authentic, genuine, bona fide mean being actually and exactly what is claimed.Who is the owner of Authentic Brands? › Does Shaq own ABG? ›
When the NBA legend sold the management rights to his name and likeness to ABG in 2015, it did not come without immediate returns. O'Neal is the second largest shareholder in the company. In an interview with Footwear News, ABG CEO Jamie Salter explained how the shareholder deal came about.
- Create your own online course.
- Start a masterclass.
- Become a freelancer.
- Create paid newsletters.
- Offer premium content.
- Write guest blog posts.
- Do an interview.
- Try public speaking.
The average salary for content creators in 2022 is $44,192 per year. That works out to be just over $22 an hour, or $3,680 per month. The salary range is $36,000 to $58,500, with top earners generating up to $74,500 annually across the United States.How content creators are paid? ›
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways you can make money as a content creator. This is when you work with a brand or business as an ambassador to promote their products or services, in exchange for a portion of revenue from every referral.How much should I pay my content creator? ›
The average hourly wage for a Content Creator in the United States is $19 as of October 27, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $17 and $22.What are the 4 behaviors of authenticity? ›
- They Admit What They Don't Know. When was the last time you said, “I don't know” out loud at work? ...
- They're Aware Of All Their “Selves” ...
- They Have Strong Values—And Live Them. ...
- They Listen Carefully To Those They Disagree With.
The “age of authenticity” thesis is based on a philosophical and historical approach that follows the development of Romanticism, culminating in the expressive individualism of late modernity.What does authenticity mean to consumers? ›
A new study in the Journal of Marketing defines authenticity as a holistic consumer assessment determined by six types of loosely related judgements involving: accuracy, connectedness, integrity, legitimacy, originality, and proficiency.Does authentic mean trustworthy? ›
not false or copied; genuine; real. having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified. representing one's true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy.Is authentic bag fake? ›
Examine the bag for brand tags, authenticity labels, and serial numbers. Check to see if your bag has an inside tag with a brand name and a serial number on it (because almost all authentic purses will). The inside tags should be hand-stitched or stamped into the leather.Is the authentic self real? ›
Your authentic self is who you really are deep down. The part of you that doesn't care what others think. Learning how to be your authentic self is an essential part of building meaningful relationships. Authenticity happens when your words, actions, and behaviors consistently match your core identity.
Always check for the 'Article No' which is given inside the tag of the shoe. That will always need to be unique and try searching it on google search. Found out the original product after searching, then the article may be genuine (still not sure 100%). If not then there is a problem with originality of the product.What is Nike's original logo? ›
In 1964, Nike was “Blue Ribbon Sports”. The logo for this company was a set of interlacing letters (BRS) with the name of the brand underneath. Though the logo wasn't the most legible on the market, it served the company for a few good years. In 1971, the basic Nike swoosh was introduced for the first time.Is Nike on Amazon authentic? ›
We only sell authentic, 100% genuine shoes. We do not sell fake or replica items and ours would come in the original shoebox.What brands are owned by authentic brands? ›
Apparel and retail brands Aeropostale, Brooks Brothers, Forever 21, J.C. Penney, Lucky Brand, Nautica and Nine West are part of the Authentic Brands Group. Its other brands include Airwalk, Barneys, Eddie Bauer, Frye, Herve Leger and Juicy Couture.Where is authentic brands located? ›
Headquartered in New York City, ABG elevates and builds the long-term value of more than 50 consumer brands and properties by partnering with best-in-class manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers.Does authentic mean real on eBay? ›
The eBay Authenticity Guarantee helps buyers shop for luxury or collectible items with confidence. Eligible purchases are physically inspected by experts before being shipped to the buyer or returned to the seller.How do I check if a document is real? ›
- Check for obvious mistakes. This one may seem simple, but check for obvious mistakes – some fraudsters aren't too good and can make simple mistakes! ...
- Look for unusual formatting. ...
- Check documents against official databases.
AUTHENTIC Definition & Legal Meaning
Genuine; true; having the character and authority of an original; duly vested with all necessary formalities and legally attested; competent, credible, and reliable as evidence.
Authentic originates from ancient Greek word “authentikos”, which resembles both in form and in meaning the contemporary word “authentic”: original, genuine, principal.What does it mean when something is 100% authentic? ›
The adjective authentic describes something that is real or genuine and not counterfeit.
This means that in order for something to be authentic, it has to be 100% real. Authentic watches are genuine pieces from brands – think of the big players like Rolex, Tudor, Omega, Patek Philippe and more. Authentic watches are: Genuine pieces from the brand. Not a copy or replica.Is 100% original authentic? ›
The word 'authentic' means reliable or genuine which can be equivalent to original, but not original. While, the word 'original' means the first or the earliest of all, which exist from its birth, the real true form from which replicas can be made, but those won't be the original one.How do I authenticate my product? ›
Physical product authentication is applied by using holography, security inks, labels, hidden images, and other visible and invisible signs and features, while digital authentication utilizes QR codes, bar codes, watermarks, tokens, certificate-based authentication etc.Is authentic original or fake? ›
Authentic means "genuine" or "original".What is an example of authentic? ›
The witness provided an authentic record of what actually took place. She prepared a very authentic Mexican meal. The building is an authentic reproduction of a colonial farmhouse.What does authentic code mean? ›
A keyed cryptographic checksum based on an approved security function; also known as a Message Authentication Code.
Original means "first." Genuine means "real" or "not fake." So the Apple cable could be genuine but not original, if Apple really made it, but it isn't the actual cable the item first shipped with.How do you know if a brand shoe is original? ›
Check that different shoes have different tags inside and with the unique article number. If different articles have same code, then they are duplicates for sure. 3. Brand Bill – It is mandatory for shopkeepers to have brand bill & sell only original brand footwear, no first copy, no local copy.How much does it cost to get an item authenticated? ›
Premier Autograph Fee:
|Declared Value||Premium Fee|
|1. For 1-3 autographs, all signatures are graded individually.* If Autograph Authentication Price =||Grading Price =|
|$10 - $49||$10|
|$50 - $99||$25|
|$100 or higher||$50|
|2. For 4+ autographs, grades are averaged.||$75|
In authentication, the user or computer has to prove its identity to the server or client. Usually, authentication by a server entails the use of a user name and password. Other ways to authenticate can be through cards, retina scans, voice recognition, and fingerprints.