I read an article yesterday about authenticity in marketing…and it struck a chord with me. These are difficult times, the market is not being kind. It is certainly not pleasurable to hear about a company shutting down and many people losing jobs. The prospect of a major meltdown in the automotive sector is appaling. Even my 9-year old seems to have picked up on the news about GM’s miseries. But on the other hand, it is times like these that provides opportunities for those who are nimble enough and resilient enough to buckle up and fill in the gaps left by the competition. However, it is important to be true to who you are – or what your brand really represents. In fact, this is when the good brands can stand the true test of a brutal marketplace and consistently deliver on the promises that they make.
Personal Branding Guru, William Arruda has talked about authenticity for a long time. Authenticity, according to Wikipedia, is a psychological concept in which the individual derives gratification and positive emotions from exercising signature strengths and values. And inauthenticity is indeed the most draining thing – to be not yourself. This same concept can be extended to companies as well. Don’t try to be something you are not. Know what you can deliver, how you are different, and capitalize on it. And if you don’t know what makes you different, or why that difference is important to your customer, keep searching hard till you find it.
I sometimes get requests for clients who simply want to use a “different” promotional product in their marketing. While “different” can set you apart – and same old, same old, can get boring, when it comes to marketing – or your marketing message – or your brand promise – don’t shy away from the same old, same old. Consistency in your message is one of the key attributes of “authenticity.”
So, if the brand message is meaningful to your customer, and it is authentic, stick to it! Is your message consistent? Authentic? Meaningful to your target customers? Let me know…