02 Mar Authenticity is the New Black
When customers are asked what they seek the most in a brand, most of the time, they will say honesty or authenticity. According to AdWeek, 91% of customers would like the brands they follow to be authentic with their posts. However, in todays’ digital times where companies carefully select and edit shareable content, authenticity is not always obvious. Because customers have almost the same apps that companies do to represent themselves, brands have to be sensitive about their transparency. Much like a magician showing tricks to a crowd of magicians, they have to be cunning and deliver from an angle that is safe, and perhaps even be so authentic that people will believe it is magic. What safer way than to just tell the truth.
The need for authenticity is growing as emerging companies compete with each other for a limited audience. Advertising, marketing, branding, and all the components of a business are shifting their focus to engage with their customers. For example, advertising has focused on highlighting features of a product or depicting a brand or product in a certain light. The message told is the message received. However, customers want more. Customers want to know the company culture, behind-the-scenes processes, where the products are sourced, and aspire to contribute to the growth of goodwill and transparent brands.
The long-term benefit is that authenticity can actually translate to dollars. Customers will be willing to pay a little more for something that’s authentic, openly ethical, or locally sourced. Because of this, authenticity delivers a high ROI and inspires trust and can prolong the lifespan of a brand. This can be attributed to an open-source approach to app development, higher accessibility, and oversaturation of the marketplace. While customers prefer their brands to be authentic, there is a lag for customers to deliver authenticity in their personal lives but there is an interest.
Apps like Beme are encouraging authentic behavior among its users. Beme is an app developed by filmmaker Casey Neistat that is programmed to capture candid moments for social media. The app functions like Snapchat but it’s high stakes. Footage disappears after it’s viewed by others like Snapchat but doesn’t give the user a preview. It sends immediately actually. The proximity censor has to be covered in order to capture media so the user has to hold it against their chest, cover it with their hand or hold it against a wall. If another user wants to give them feedback, there aren’t any likes or hearts, but they can send a real-time selfie of them watching the footage. It’s the most authentic way to share stories and the vulnerability of being authentic is going to drive more users to sway in this direction.