86 percent of consumers say that authenticity is an important factor when they are deciding which brand to try.
Millennials command some $200 billion in purchasing power and showing your authentic side is key to grabbing your share of their shopping bucks.
So clearly authenticity matters in marketing, but how do you go about it? Here are four brands that are creating authentic connections with their audience to inspire your authenticity marketing plans.
Social media management utility Buffer has transparency as one of their core values. To live their values, they took the radical step of posting all kinds of company information on their website: salaries, employee emails, pricing, content ideas, books their staff are reading, revenue, and core values.
Between 2015 and 2016, Buffer’s annual recurring revenue grew by over 49 percent. That’s a powerful impact from radical transparency.
You don’t have to share all your data like Buffer did, but consider what you can share. Whether it’s “behind the scenes” videos that put consumers in your back rooms to blog Q&A with your workers, recommended reading, or blog posts that shine a light on projects in your pipeline, there are many ways to let your audience into your creative process and win big brand fans in the process.
Concern for the environment is baked into outdoor clothing retailer Patagonia’s mission statement. What’s unique about the clothing company is how they live that mission through inspired, authentic ads.
Consider a recent Black Friday campaign which urged shoppers NOT to shop under the headline “Don’t But This Jacket.” Ad copy broke down the environmental cost of creating and distributing clothing. The ad aimed to disrupt the shopping holiday while raising awareness of the high environmental costs of disposable fashion.
The year after the campaign, Patagonia’s revenue grew by 30 percent. Patagonia encourages consumers to trade in old clothing for discounts and strives to make high-quality items that last for years, thus helping to save the environment.
While you don’t need to actively discourage consumers from shopping, consider how you can align your business and mission in an ad campaign that shows how you’re the maverick in your industry. Then get a copywriter to create buzzworthy press releases, email ads, and other assets.
3. Burt’s Bees
An early adopter of the organic, natural skincare niche, Burt’s Bees provides an inspiring example for combining authentic brand activism and user-generated campaigns.
Last year, the company created a selfie ad campaign for a limited edition line of lip gloss. The campaign, which featured celebrities, including Taylor Schilling and Zosia Mamet, promised to donate money for wildflower planting for every purchase and selfie shared. By planting wildflowers, Burt’s Bees was thus providing food for the bees on which the line is based. The company routinely raises awareness about the dangers bees face and the importance of pollinators.
Such activism keeps the brand top of mind for its target consumer’s audience while dovetailing perfectly with what the brand is about. It’s an obvious way to do authentic and do good.
So how can your brand learn from Burt’s Bees? Consider what causes align with your mission and how you can create a user-generated campaign to tap into those values and raise brand awareness.
While Amazon may receive negative press for its treatment of workers, consumers via the brand as the most authentic.
The reason? Amazon follows through on what it promises (like two-day shipping) and has great customer service when things go wrong. Plus, the company worked hard to build its credibility in the early days of ecommerce by ensuring that products were accurate as described in listings and setting up generous return policies. This worked so well that customers pay to receive preferential treatment (like free shipping and free streaming media) through the company’s Prime offering.
The lesson here? While social media stunts and bedazzling blog posts increase interest, you’ve got to do the groundwork. Consumers can spot a brand that’s faking its authenticity cred. Take a cue from Amazon and follow up your marketing talk with old-fashioned customer service to stay a leader in authenticity marketing.
Authenticity marketing requires creative thinking and risk-taking, so no wonder many brands are uncertain how to get started. If you take the risk, inspired by these 4 brands, know that you’ll be amply rewarded: last year, 91 percent of consumers indicated they would support a brand they considered authentic, whether through purchase or endorsement. 62 percent of consumers said they would buy or more strongly consider an authentic brand over its competitors.
You don’t have to go it alone when it comes to authenticity marketing. A copywriter can generate high-quality content that connects with your audience through authentic techniques like storytelling, video scripts, and ad campaigns.
Lindsey D enjoys learning new things, researching, and applying her writing skills to improve your web content and your web presence. She can work with you to develop a content strategy for your business or write high-quality content that follows your stated goals for increasing ROI, connecting to your target audience, boosting brand awareness, and more.