Consumers have trust issues with brands. They're skeptical of brand messaging and instead turn to peers to inform purchase decisions. Consumers want honest relationships with the brands they support and they reward the companies that communicate honestly about their products (63% of global consumers claim that they would buy from a company that they consider to be authentic over all other competitors), while shunning those that do not.
So what makes for an authentic brand? How can your brand become more authentic? Here are seven habits of remarkably authentic brands.
1. Listen to your customers
Your customers are talking about your brand online. Word-of-mouth has been hugely expanded be the reach of social media, and customers are out there voicing their opinions about your products. It's worth finding what they're saying.
Social listening can help your brand learn how customers use your products post-purchase and what they like and dislike about their touch points with your brand. 83% of consumers like when a company responds to them on social. Join the conversation and 'Like', 'comment', and 'share' positive submissions. And also, do your best to accommodate the negative ones.
2. Let go of who you think you are
When you start listening to your customers on social media, you might just learn something. While your brand may see itself in a certain way, the way customers are discussing it online may not reflect your brand message. Customers can do a lot to shape and enhance your brand lifestyle. Don't be afraid to let go and collaborate with your audience to build a stronger and more authentic brand.
3. Stand behind your values
In the outdoors industry, you hear a lot about representing "the tribe", how outdoor brands cater to the values of their community. Particularly, you hear about brands wanting customers to believe in what they stand for, not just to buy their products. What this often means is that brands position themselves behind causes their community supports. 64% of people cite shared values as the main reason they have a relationship with a brand. Clearly stating your values is a mark of brand authenticity.
4. Be honest
Authentic brands represent their products in a truthful way. 91% of customers believe that brands should represent its products honestly.
What this means is that you don't deceive your customers with distorted reviews and product images. Offer additional transparency by displaying customer-created photos collected from social media on your product pages directly next to your stock images> Such efforts can provide a greater sense of transparency and trust.
5. Personalize your outreach
Show your customers that you care about their needs. 73% of consumers prefer to buy from brands that use personal information to make their shopping experiences more relevant. With today's technology, you can upsell customers based on what they've bought in the past. Offer complimentary product discounts through package inserts, Instagram display ads, or a tailored email marketing campaign.
6. Embrace your story
Chances are, you have a powerful story line that you are not putting to use. Whether it's an amazing founder's story or simply why you believe in the brand you represent, consumers want to know why you care about your brand. If they find that reason compelling, you might convince them to care as well.
Everything is about building a brand story - a story that your customers can see themselves in.
7. Make every day matter
Remember that consumers are interacting and buying from brands each and every day. When it comes to being authentic, you need to be consistent. You should actively work to ensure that every interaction a customer has with your brand leaves a positive vibe. You don't get to take a day off representing your brand. Create great marketing collateral that reflects your authentic brand voice and stay attentive and helpful to your customers.
This article was originally posted on the Pixlee Blog.