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Brand Authenticity: Why It Matters and How to Build It

In a crowded market, ecommerce businesses must do all they can to stand out against the competition. An extensive product portfolio. Fast and convenient delivery. An engaging, user-friendly website. All these factors help brands attract and win sales and loyalty. But beyond this, it is brand authenticity that will encourage growth in 2024. In this article, we look at exactly what brand authenticity is, why it’s important and how you can build a genuine, credible brand that shoppers can trust. 

September 26, 2023

5 mins read

Elliot Taylor

What is brand authenticity? 

Brand authenticity refers to the consumer’s perception of a business as genuine and trustworthy. It’s an essential part of brand strategy, fostering consumer trust and encouraging sales, loyalty and deep engagement.

True brand authenticity is built on aligning your outward marketing communications with your actions. This extends to all parts of your business, from your internal ethos and values to your product portfolio. 

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Why is brand authenticity important? 

Authenticity has always been important for brands.

88% of consumers point to authenticity as a key deciding factor when considering a business to shop with. Beyond increased custom, this also translates to higher value purchases too – 40% of shoppers would be willing to pay more with a brand they can trust.

This is particularly important for younger consumer demographics. Indeed, 73% of Gen Z shoppers would purchase from a brand that aligns with their own beliefs and values.

Clearly, when a brand is authentic, sales and growth will follow.

But the value of brand authenticity has only soared in recent years. From greenwashing to rainbow-washing, businesses from across industries have been accused of lacking credibility by not aligning their professed values with their actions.

Against this landscape, a sense of authenticity has become a valuable differentiator for brands.

brand authenticity

How to build brand authenticity 

Building trust in a relationship is a complex undertaking, whether it’s been people or between a business and its customers. There is a myriad of ways to achieve trust and authenticity for your brand – here are a just a few essential steps to consider.

Capitalize on influencer relationships for trust and credibility 

Partnering with influencers is an effective and, crucially, natural way of strengthening your brand authenticity.

Influencers, particularly micro and nano, typically enjoy closer, more meaningful relationships with their followers. Their social interactions are regular, frequent and more personal.

The deep relationships that influencers have with their followers are ripe for brands seeking to strengthen trust and authenticity.

Connect and collaborate with relevant influencers to encourage social proof in the form of product videos, recommendations and, where appropriate, tutorials. Beyond this, consider a cross-platform collaboration as well.

Invite your chosen influencers to provide content and input across your channels and products – a limited-edition product, for instance, created in partnership with an influencer. 

Ensure your outward values reflect your internal actions 

One of the simplest ways to be authentic as a brand is to act authentic. Any consumer-facing claim or commitment should be supported by real action, both in public and behind the scenes.

Changing a logo to mark Pride Month while failing to adopt LGBTQ-inclusive policies in the workplace, for instance, would instantly detract from a brand’s authenticity.

And when employees themselves are brand advocates in their own right, when internal and external actions don’t sync up, consumers will know.

Take Cult Beauty and its ‘Can’t (Re)Touch This’ campaign as an example of a brand that practices what it preaches. Following the ban on using retouched model photos in its product catalogue and on social media, the beauty retailer sent a letter to the UK Prime Minister calling for stricter laws aiming at regulating the use of enhanced body images.

Aligning your outward values with your internal actions communicates consistency, transparency and authenticity throughout your business. 

A consistent brand is a genuine brand

In an omnichannel world, consistency is everything.

As shoppers interact with your brand across a range of channels – social, email, mobile, brick-and-mortar – they expect a seamless and consistent experience.

Tone of voice, brand colors, product photography, user experience – all these elements and more play a vital role in developing a meaningful, authentic connection with your audience. This, in turn, creates a sense of familiarity that fosters greater trust in your brand.

For a truly effective brand authenticity strategy, this consistency should apply through your funnel, from awareness through to post purchase.

For successful deployment, there needs to be the digital infrastructure to support it. At Ingenuity Commerce, our marketing solutions achieve exactly this, aligning branding and design with business goals for consistency at every touchpoint.

Embrace personalization for true authenticity 

Brand authenticity is built on trust. Trust is built on connection. And connection is built on personalization.

Personalization empowers brands to create deeper, more tailored experiences for their consumers. And with a wealth of analytics available to brands today, it’s never been more achievable.

At its most basic level, personalization includes including your shopper’s names in their marketing. But at a more advanced level, it extends to bespoke product recommendations, targeted promotions, celebrating personal milestones and even offering personalized products.

Leverage your first-party data to build rich, engaging personalization across your omnichannel presence. Seamless, informed and customer-centric, this personal approach to your shopper’s experience creates a familiar commerce environment that will foster trust and authenticity. 

True brand authenticity should permeate every aspect of your business – including your operations, marketing and technology architecture.

At Ingenuity Commerce, we bring all these together under one roof to deliver the expertise and solutions you need to strengthen brand-consumer relationships that are genuine, meaningful and authentic.

Ready to accelerate your brand authenticity? Get in touch today.

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