Brand Authenticity

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Categories: Branding
DEFINITION:

Brand Authenticity

Brand authenticity should first be genuine, then seek to meet customers where they are by tuning in the brand message with what they perceive to be an authentic brand (Efomi, 2018). For example, Consol and Kate Efomi are co-owners of an e-commerce business called “Notebook Love”. They started this e-commerce business out of Kate’s love and passion for quality paper notebooks. Notebook Love is using the unique hashtag #PurePaperPassion across all Notebook Love social media and product packaging. This is genuine representation of the brand through Kate, who is also responsible for designing and producing Notebook Love’s products and selecting other notebook brands for the company to sell.

OTHER DEFINITIONS

Another way of understanding brand authenticity is when companies “meet customers where they are and ensure the messages they put out are both genuine and in alignment with their brand principles.”(Deibert, 2017). Based on that definition, Deibert expands by saying that the irony is that marketing, by nature, isn’t really authentic. It’s an all-out arms race as brands compete to showcase their products and services in the most attractive, clever and appealing light possible while simultaneously downgrading their competitors and sweeping any negative commentary under the rug.” (Deibert, 2017). This view seems to lean more toward a brand trying to be perceived as authentic in the eyes customers. However, if a brand is not true with itself it will certainly end up compromising and show signs of inconsistency, instability, lack of uniqueness, and inability to keep its promises (Efomi, 2018).

Authenticity is connected to brand integrity, which concerns the company’s respect of the brand promise and the honesty of its message. This way it becomes easier for the brand to sustain that authenticity (Efomi, 2018).

For example, an individual is seen as authentic if he or she is sincere, assumes responsibility for his or her actions and makes explicit value-based choices concerning those actions and appearances rather than accepting pre-programmed or socially imposed values and actions (Fritz, et al., 2017).

Consol Efomi defines brand authenticity as “closing the gap between what a brand is saying about itself and what the brand is actually doing, the customer expectation and the customer experience.” It is not only about believing  you are authentic but also being perceived by others as authentic.

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NB: The rapid changes that comes from digital technologies, marketing and business mean definitions are forever changing. Please feel free to join the conversation.« Back to Glossary Index

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