90% crave authenticity

stop trying to be what you are not

The beginning of a new year is as good a reason as any to take a look at some of the marketing trends gaining traction. This is the fifth of ten THOUGHTS addressing significant trends that will be important to marketers in 2019. Some have been around for a while, and others are new.

Each of these trends reflects the evolving nature of consumers, the growth of smarter and smarter technology, and the increasing complexity of the markets in which we operate.

Yesterday’s THOUGHT addressed the issue of trust. Allied to trust and often considered by a consumer determining who can to believe is – authenticity.

The move toward authenticity in every aspect of marketing, branding, service delivery, and business, in general, is gathering pace – and with good reason. A recent survey found that:

  • 90% of millennials crave authenticity
  • 85% of Gen X crave authenticity
  • 80% of baby boomers crave authenticity

There was once a view that authenticity was an attribute mostly sought by millennials. These findings highlight the fact that while millennials are very concerned about authenticity, so are Gen X and baby boomers. In fact, we all crave authenticity.

So, what is authenticity? Put simply, authenticity is all about being you. Be who you are – promise nothing you can’t deliver, claim nothing that is not so, and being exactly what you say you are.

Unfortunately, not many people or businesses are authentic. Richard Branson once commented:

  • ‘Be authentic and organic. It can’t be forced, or it won’t work’

From my perspective a great starting point for developing an authentic business is to let go of all the:

  • Hyperbole, like – ‘when only the best will do’.
  • Platitudes, such as – ‘the name the professionals trust’.
  • Overstatement, such as – ‘the most trusted name in …’.
  • Jargon, such as – ‘truly disruptive technology’.
  • Bullshit words, like ‘quality’ and ‘service’.

Authenticity means saying it as it is, without varnish or exaggeration or embellishment. That is why people tend to trust that which is more authentic.

I read an advertisement recently that promised large numbers of ‘6 figure job offers’ if advice is taken on how to improve one’s LINKED IN presence. Waffle at best, and hardly credible or authentic.

Authenticity also means admitting your mistakes and, more importantly, embracing your fallibility.

Find your authentic self, build it into your culture and reflect it in your behaviour and your brand.
All consumers crave authenticity. Delivering an approach to business that is genuinely authentic builds trust and engages your target audience in ways they have not experienced before.

Say it as it is. Deliver what you promise. Admit your fallibility and be real – it will attract customers!


CMO, Entrepreneur, MTA, Forbes, The Drum, Brandwatch, Advertoscope, Wider Funnel, N Business, SUMO, HBR, Social Media Today and Aircall

MORE THOUGHTS – www.djohncarlsonesq.com 

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