6 Rules For Building Brand Authenticity

Chris WrenMay 25, 20174973 min

6 Rules For Building Brand Authenticity

In The New Marketing Manifesto, John Grant says “Authenticity is the benchmark against which all brands are judged.” Authenticity is about being true to oneself; radiating a genuine quality. For brands, this means being loyal to internal ideas about their purpose, vision and strategy versus chasing the trends that seem to shift daily. And while loyalty to internal ideas may seem to connote a fixed mindset, even the fastest and most agile sailboats are made sturdy by their keel.

Along with authenticity, transparency in operations, clarity in stated vision, and living a brand’s stated mission combine to let customers know the brand has indeed a beating heart. In a time of declining trust, maintaining credibility is essential for holding on to the ability to persuade.

In Trust Agents, Chris Brogan and Julien Smith offer six rules for becoming more authentic, and more worthy of trust – from the day to day interactions with colleagues, to the armies of friends, followers and fans of brands. Use them to build your brand’s authenticity.

1. Make Your Own Game: Use a synthesis of what is out there to find creative uses for tools that exist, or invent new tools to solve problems and create opportunity. What a brand does today, may be tomorrow’s cost-of-entry. It’s the best way to stay ahead of the curve.While technology offers brands a blank canvas, putting human value ahead of shiny new objects will make the best impact.

2. Be ‘One Of Us’: People want to belong and fit in. We often use the word ‘tribe’ to describe this, which is no surprise. When brands can bring forward the human qualities beyond their products and services, they may be shown to be more relatable, and ‘one of us’. And because we like people who are like ourselves, we tend to believe what you say more.

3. Remember The Archimedes Effect: Leverage means you “never have to reinvent the wheel” Think more about the opportunities (and opportunity cost) versus who’s got the advantage. Since both sides of a lever have the same power, it’s all about optimizing the focal point.

4. Go For Agent Zero: Connecting is the name of the game, and there’s great opportunity for brands to get even more personal and meaningful. Programmatic, marketing automation, and account-based marketing help to lay foundations for connecting potential, but understanding how to meet your customer needs and the relationship they want to have is critical in using these tools.

5. Become A Human Artist: Etiquette and human understanding are the cornerstones of any meaningful life. Like people, if a brand is to have trust, it must have respect, and understand how to interact with people. Whether face to face, or engaging on Twitter, always remember that people are people, and expect that they want to be treated that way.

6. Build An Army: To be a leader, you must be able to call resources to your command. Help grow your army by helping your team build skills and share their experience. There are millions of people out there with unique points of view that may challenge assumptions or offer a key ingredient overlooked in marketing strategy.

With trust at such low levels, brands that show authentic qualities and behaviors stand to shine out. Think about how your brand will meet your customers expectations for authenticity and exceed those expectations with ironclad proof.

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