How to Maintain Authenticity in Your Branding

In order to cut through the noise of our highly-saturated advertising world, consumers are trying to identify the brands they resonate with the most. In an age full of options for everything from headsets to driving services, companies often need to put more effort in to gain a loyal customer following.

Because of this, it’s growing more important than ever for organizations to maintain sincerity in their branding. If audiences sniff out a hint of inauthenticity in a company’s message, it’s all too easy for them to defect to a company with a more sincere one.

Here are a few ways you can make sure that your brand portrays genuineness and honesty to keep a loyal customer base.

Social Proofing

Younger generations, namely millennials and members of Generation Z, are placing high levels of importance on recommendations from others when selecting a product or service. In fact, 83% of Gen Zers trust product information from other shoppers on social media more than advertisers. They trust other consumers more than companies largely due to the fact that other consumers are less likely to bend the truth about what they’re buying than a business is.

To convince audiences that your products or services are authentically top-quality, your potential customers will need to hear it from someone other than you. One way to accomplish this is by emphasizing customer reviews and testimonials on your social media pages and website. If a potential customer sees that other shoppers are raving about your company, they are more likely to trust your assertions about what you’re selling.

You can also perfect social proofing by working with social media influencers to promote your brand. 63% of Generation Z trusts recommendations from social media influencers in advertisements over those from traditional celebrities due to the perception of these influencers as being “real people” – whereas celebrities are considered just part of the advertisement.

Contributing to the Social Good

Few brands are considered more authentic by the public than those with a sincere commitment to improving the world in some way. With 69% of millennials – which are quickly becoming the main consumer base in the United States – wanting businesses to better facilitate customers getting involved in social issues, organizations are starting to feel the pressure to step in and help out their communities to be considered sincere.

One way you can showcase social responsibility is by identifying problems in your local community or in the larger world that your business can help fix. You can then include these initiatives in your brand messaging to get the word out to the public. For instance, you can donate a portion of profits to charity, become a partner or sponsor for a specific cause, or even follow the “buy one, give one” approach of donating one of your products to a needy person for every product sold.

The main issue to remember is that you must sincerely care about the cause you’re working for. If customers suspect that you’re only going through the motions to get sales, they can turn on your brand quickly and search for a more authentic option.

Letting Customers Get to Know You

Another option to protect the authenticity of your messaging is helping your customers see the real people behind the marketing. Everyone values person-to-person connection, so presenting your company as a team of individuals rather than a faceless corporation can do wonders for the sincerity behind your brand.

To be legitimately authentic and transparent, it can be a good idea to give the public a peek behind the scenes of your business. One great way to accomplish this is through live video; through this technology, you can show audiences the processes behind your production, host live question and answer sessions, and generally interact with them more intimately.

Even better, people love this method of connecting with companies: 82% of consumers would rather watch live video from a brand than see their social media advertisements. This could be why social media sites like Facebook are beginning to prioritize live online video in their news feeds – which helps you expose your message to more people and help them get to know the human behind the branding.

It can be difficult for organizations to convince the public of their authenticity. In a world in which many companies will say anything to get sales, it’s easy for potential customers to be skeptical. Luckily, if you focus on keeping your message sincere, you can cut through the noise and build a loyal customer base.

What are some other ways you’ve been able to convince the public of your sincerity?