In this blog post, I will be discussing authenticity and branding. Brand authenticity is a huge topic in the world of marketing today. In fact, it has been said that authenticity is one of the most important factors when it comes to brand identity. This article will talk about what authenticity means in regards to your brand and how you can incorporate these principles into your work.
↘️ Sign up The Purposeful Branding Library for a deep dive on tools to build an effective brand that is true to you.
Before we go any further, let's get on the same page about what branding and brand identity means:
Branding is an overall representation of your company and its values as a whole. They're the things you do to project a certain public image of your firm. For example, thinking about your vision, new mission statement and strategy.
On the other hand, your brand identity is made up of tangible elements that together provide one brand image. For example, your logo, color palette and specific visual elements you use in designs. Your brand identity is informed by your branding.
Now that you understand the difference between the two, you can dive deeper into brand authenticity.
Brand authenticity is an important element that can be applied to any industry. Authentic brands are able to stand out because they're not afraid of being their true selves. The world is full of inauthentic, generic brands that are trying to project a certain public image. Authentic brands don't have this problem because their brand authenticity allows them to stand out from the pack.
Brand authenticity is honesty in action... authenticity means doing what you say and saying what you do. It's being able to express your thoughts, actions and values without having second thoughts or hesitation about it.
Brand authenticity comes from the soul of a brand. Authenticity shouts out loud and clear! You can feel it when you see it, it's unique to its own being. It has so much character that people gravitate towards.
An authentic brand tells the truth about themselves and what they offer consumers. They don't hide behind polished images or act like they have all the right answers. They're honest about their strengths and weaknesses, they know who they are and what their purpose is in this world.
Authenticity has a significant impact on how consumers perceive your brand as well as how potential customers feel when interacting with it. In fact, 86% of consumers say authenticity is a significant factor in supporting a brand. Brand authenticity is crucial to building relationships with your customers and the more relationships you build, the stronger your brand becomes.
An authentic brand can take their message and products beyond just selling them because they're able to connect on a deeper level with people. It's this authenticity that enables brands like Zappos or Patagonia to become so successful today. They've created something that goes far beyond just making money but rather makes an impact in people's lives for years to come.
Start by looking inward. What are your core values as a business? What your brand stands for and what makes you unique? Once you have a better understanding of this, start to communicate these values through all aspects of your branding.
This means that every decision made when it comes to marketing efforts and communication must align with who you are as a brand–including your brand identity.
Before you start designing your brand, define the qualities that make up your business and the values that your brand will stand for. Here are some principles of brand authenticity:
Find out who you are and what makes you different from other brands in your industry. Once you know these things, make sure all of your branding decisions support this information. Your brand authenticity will shine through and help customers connect with you on a deeper level.
When it comes to authenticity branding and brand identity, remember that it's not only about what you say but how you show it too. Visuals can be translated faster than text, meaning, infusing your visual elements with the same intention you set within your branding is a must.
Imagine a brand that's all about grassroots environmental groups, anti spam solutions, a quality product, and renewable energy but their visuals are so cluttered that it looks like they're polluting the world right now. The little flyer they printed and mailed to your house probably isn't aligning with what they stand for. The point is, stick with your values and use your identity kindly to evoke positive emotions.
Feelings and emotions are what makes us human. Maya Angelou was spot on when she said “I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” How would you describe the feeling or emotion you want your customers to feel when they interact with your brand? Set those with intention so that your audience and future clients can feel your energy behind your brand.
For example, let's say you're a meditation teacher and have a personal brand. You're an introvert, empath but humor is your love language. You like to treat your clients like long time friends. And, your business is all about mindfulness applied in a modern setting. Your key attributes could be humor, empathetic, mindful–how could you reflect this brand authenticity into your visual elements?
That's the beginning of it all. Once you know those feelings you'd like to convey, you can use visual tools like color psychology to instantly express your brand's authenticity throughout.
P.S. Still trying to figure out your brand colors? Check out this article.
Build brand authenticity by choosing a single color palette and style of imagery that communicates the essence of who you are as an individual or organization, which should be reflected in all branding materials and marketing efforts including website design, social media posts, logos, etc.
This will not only create a strong visual brand identity and emotional connection with your target market but also helps you create brand consistency.
I've spent my entire career as a designer working on numerous advertising firms, and I've learnt what phony brands are all about. They follow trends.
Building brand authenticity goes beyond what everyone is doing. Trends are catchy but they don't withstand the test of time or make a big impact. Cookie-cut visuals and overused graphics eventually lose its appeal and disappear quickly. All that effort for just a few months of attention, not a great investment!
And people can sense mediocrity, trust me. They filter non genuine messages and marketing strategies that don't take themselves as consumers seriously.
We now have substantial data that brand consistency is very important to a company's success. In fact brands that use their identity consistently make 33% more profit. They're building trust slowly and winning genuine fans simply by standing up on their own power: their authentic personality! So, create your style guide and stick with it.
That's why authentic brands win every time. They grow as their audience and business evolves. Brands all share one thing in common: they stay true to their intention and value proposition—no matter what! With an authentic approach, you build stronger connections with your audience over time which leads to more loyal customers and a bigger impact.
Bryn is a leadership coach that inspires and empowers business students and executives to move forward with clarity and confidence. Bryn's roots (Growing up in the South and being half-Native Hawaiian) and subsequent work in business and education cultivated her core values of integrity, honesty, kindness, joy and learning. These values have served as an anchor throughout her brand–from strategy, messaging to elements we used like her color palette, logo and overall style.
Larissa is a therapeutic yoga teacher and an advocate for trauma-informed care in the health and wellness world. She went from writing public policy reports for 10 years (!) to working 1-1 with motivated and curious women. Larissa is all about defying conventional notions of what yoga should be like or feel like, and her brand identity combines her warm and professional personality with her rebel spirit.
As the owner of a boutique content company, Rachel began to view her role and relationship with content as daunting rather than a vehicle for creativity. She began Slow Stories Podcast, a platform that explores slowing down in our digital world. Her brand identity conveys warmth, sophistication and encouragement which not only reflects the brand but also the woman behind it.
Whether you need to know more about branding vs. identity, or learn how to create your own brand, I can help you.
Look no further than the Purposeful Branding Library. Sign up for inspiration and guidance on what it takes to build an effective brand that is true to who they are as a small business owner.
And if all this still seems overwhelming and you just want someone else to take care of the details? That’s where we come in! Let's get started on developing the ideal branding for your company so you can start seeing those sales rise! Click here to contact me and get started.
Happy authentic branding!