Customers today are spoiled for choice. With so many brands in the market, they have plenty of options to choose from. Customers are constantly targeted by marketing messages. To filter out the noise, customers use brand authenticity to decide who to buy from.
Authenticity is a critical factor in brand building. An authentic brand is one that is real and genuine in terms of its behavior. A brand that is honest and open can connect with customers at the emotional level. Authentic engagement with customers is the way to build a brand.
We look at 6 key steps that businesses should follow in 2022 to build brand authenticity.
1. Build A Good Brand Story And Create Emotional Connections
Stories are the best way to connect to customers on an emotional plane. Everyone loves stories since they convey something of value. If you want to implement authentic brand building, then you need to create a brand story.
A brand story is not a promotional message. It has to do with open communication with customers where a brand educates customers, answers their queries, and offers value.
Myairfreshener.com is a classic example of how a brand story is built. The company focuses on how people spend a lot of time in their cars. This makes a car freshener a product of value since it makes the air fresh and is visible all the time. Marketers can gift air fresheners to customers and brand the fresheners with their branding elements and message.
Such branding would connect at the emotional level with a customer. The customer would associate the pleasant fragrance in the car with the brand. This creates a strong connection which helps in brand building.
2. Build Brand Consistency
Consistency is very important in brand building. With so many marketing channels and a plethora of marketing messages, brands need to maintain consistency. Every story and every message put out by a brand should have common elements that are consistently projected.
When a customer spots a common brand element in all the messages and stories, it helps in brand recognition. Whether it is through brochures, e-books, social media, or through their website, branding can be established so it firmly registers in the customer’s mind.
Using a common tone and voice in the marketing messages is the best way to create authenticity. It helps customers to identify you, allowing for a better connection.
3. Prioritize Building Brand Memories
Let’s go back to the example of the air freshener. Using an air freshener can help you send a message to your customers while creating brand memories. Let’s assume you have an event coming up and want to communicate it.
Create an air freshener with the message printed on it with your branding elements displayed. Whenever your customer sits in the car, they see the message constantly and are reminded. This helps to build brand memories and they would recollect your branding colors and logo easily.
4. Get Super Clear On Your Customer NEEDS
The most important thing a business needs to do is understand customer needs. You don’t give the customer what you have. You give the customer what they need. Understand the needs of your customer clearly. This is an area where many businesses fail.
Some needs are explicitly stated while others are implicit. Effective customer communication through personal interaction, surveys, product testing, etc. can help in getting clarity on customer needs.
Once the needs are identified, then make sure your messages talk about how your brand fulfills these needs. This is a perfect way to implement brand authenticity. Customers would then identify you as a honest brand that strives to meet their needs.
5. Employ People Who Naturally Embody Your Brand
While you may run the business, it is your team that interacts with customers. They play a crucial role in brand building. If you want brand authenticity, then you need to have the right kind of people working with you. Your employees promote your brand every time they engage with customers.
When you employ the right people, your brand building will happen seamlessly. Look for people who embody your brand. Hire people whose values match with that of your brand. This is an important aspect of recruitment, which many businesses ignore. They focus more on skills rather than values.
Skills can be developed through training but values are ingrained. When you hire people understand if their values are in sync with that of your brand. Employees who have the right attitude will help you build brand authenticity in everything they do.
6. Always Give Back
Give back to customers who are loyal and who have helped you build your brand. Creating brand authenticity is not easy and to achieve it you need the help and support of loyal customers.
The customers who stick with you need to be rewarded. So give back to them something of value which affirms your brand authenticity. The best giveaway is a customized air freshener.
Use a provider like MyAirFreshener.com and create a customized air freshener. Print a message that lets your customer knows you value them. Brand the air freshener with your branding element. Whenever your customer sees the freshener, it is a reminder of your brand’s authenticity.
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