Is your business “authentic”? What does that even mean? In the realm of marketing, being authentic, although an overused word, is actually harder than it sounds.

The perception of ‘authenticity’ is intrinsically linked to how customers buy from brands they trust. Building trust with your target audience is critical. 

The Power of Trust

Trust holds the power to shape customer loyalty and drive brand success. It’s a key factor that influences consumer purchasing decisions and their willingness to engage with your brand on a deeper level.

Case Study: Woolworths

Let’s look at an example. Earlier this year, Woolies was trending for the wrong reasons. 

Nico, Survivor SA presenter, tweeted that he’ll no longer be able to shop at Woolies as it’s too expensive. This sparked a wave of outcries across SA. Consumers were furious at Woolies for being over priced. This was damaging to consumers’ trust in Woolies and impacted their willingness to buy from Woolies. 

However, Woolies responded well and quickly rebuilt customer trust.

  • They released a press statement and directly respond to Nico. 
  • They launched an education campaign online and instore.
  • And they partnered with influencers to showcase their affordability. 

What happened after this speedy response blew my mind. Next thing you know, customers rose to Woolies defense and started making “what R1,000 at woolies gets you” grocery videos. A viral TikTok trend broke out, resulting in a stronger brand reputation for Woolies and increased customer loyalty. Way to turn it around!

Key Elements Of An Authentic Brand

Authentic brands are all about trust. They consistently deliver on the promises made to customers. So, how do you gauge your company’s authenticity? Measure your brand on these 3 elements: 

  1. Transparency: Transparency refers to your level of openness and honesty. Are you being transparent in your brand’s communications, operations, and practices?
  2. Consistency: Consistency refers to the way your brand is able to maintain a coherent brand image. Do you have a unified brand identity across all customer touchpoints and interactions?
  3. Value Alignment: Value alignment refers to your brand’s ability to demonstrate a strong connection between brand values and brand actions. This will build credibility and trust with customers.

I hope this has helped you understand the importance of building trust and the value of authenticity. All the best on your marketing journey towards connecting with your customers more authentically.