All companies want a brand that sticks. They want to create an idea that customers can latch onto and love, one that will translate into revenue and consumer loyalty. The key to this is authenticity.
Being seen as a leader and getting noticed online both come when your voice and input are helpful, real, genuine and meaningful, which are all the elements of authenticity.
Successful brands are authentic and influential at the same time, and in turn shaping the opinions of people and driving action. With these ideals in mind, follow our tips to creating an authentic brand, which will come in handy for both a brand new company and one that has been around for a while.
Here are 5 tips for creating an authentic brand online:
1. It’s All About Communication
Communication is so important. You are trying to gain customers, let them know about your brand, and be genuine. How do you achieve this? Excellent communication. You know that relationships are all about communication and listening; well, your brand and your customers also have a relationship. If you are going to have a successful relationship with your customers you must listen to them, and respond. If your brand is on social media, this is the perfect place to open up discussion and create lasting and loyal customer relationships. Watch for new comments from followers, get involved and respond naturally.
2. Establish Your Voice
You have to establish your identify online, and to do so, you establish your voice. Align your voice with your values, morals and mission of the company. Another important pointer is to regularly review the social media profiles of a few of your competitors, ones that resemble you the most, and learn from their mistakes and successes. Examine the voice they use and how their customers respond to it. Strive to write for your brand in the same way that you would write on your own social media, or talk to your friends. Speak casually and professionally, so people know there is a real person behind the posts. This will humanize your brand and in turn show your customers your authenticity.
3. Honesty is the Best Policy
People are drawn to honestly. Why do you think our closest friends are the ones that will call us on our crap, or always apologize when they are wrong? We trust these people, because they are sincere.
A trusted brand is the same way. For example, when Honda messed up its airbag system and recalled 5 million cars, polls showed that the public’s perception of the automaker’s product quality was hardly compromised. This is because Honda built up years of trust with their customers and the public, honestly admitted their mistake, and fixed the problem as best they could
If your product has a recall, or failed in any way, be honest, especially on social media. The old saying, ‘honesty is the best policy’, will always be true.
4. Act in the Present Moment
As technology advances, social media and marketing tools get more convenient for busy schedules. While some of these tools are great in the right situations, they aren’t something to use for every single social media post. Sometimes these services have a downside, as they put you on a blind routine. Followers may eventually notice that you post the same day every week, and your posts seem robotic. Make sure to at least once in a while post in real time. React to a news article, post an image of your afternoon coffee or make known to customers in some way that you are there and you are listening. Social media is social, so be real, act human, and live in the present moment.
5. Tell Your Story
You may love your logo, and have nailed the font and colors, but it isn’t your story. Social media is a place to get that story out. The story about the people behind the brand, its mission, and the people they serve.
Take the opportunity on social media to tell stories about the people who work for your company, their families, and your purpose. Weaving these stories together, whether it’s on your website or in a video, tells the stories of who you are, and that’s what the customers care about. If your story is meaningful, then customers will care about your mission. If they care, not only will they purchase products and services from you, but they will also become vocal advocates and influencers for your brand.
With five these tips, your customers should find you more authentic in nature, because you will be more authentic. If you see your customers engaging more and more, that is evidence your authenticity and sincerity are working. At the end of the day, just be yourself.