On authenticity: Contrived approaches feel icky, and don’t work

On authenticity: Contrived approaches feel icky, and don’t work
Authenticity is being, talking, and acting like who you really are, whether the “you” is your company brand or yourself. Consumers today are uncannily good at sniffing out a fake personality or greasy sales message, and they don’t respond well to them. They won’t hesitate to let their friends know to steer clear as well.An authentic company is one that knows its raison d’ệtre-what some would call its mission. Even if some of your less-enlightened executives scoff at the introspection required to be really clear on the company’s purpose, it’s more important than ever to get to that clarity. It fuels everyone’s mandate within the company, and it’s what your customers, fans and followers bond to and (most importantly) get evangelical about. For example, Facebook has a very galvanizing mission: to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.

While everyone in a company is a walking representation of the brand, marketers are the key caretakers of corporate authenticity. Brand personalities, visual designs, tones of voice, and product innovation all evolve from this source, and pass through a marketer’s hand in one way or another. Take this role very seriously. Help your company get clear on its mission, make sure every single employee is on the bus, and ensure every marketing output (even your internal reports!) reflects it authentically. The impact of one off-brand action can be felt far and wide.

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