Make Your Brand Ring True: Transparency & Authenticity
For decades, marketers have been known to pitch products and services in a way that made them seem a whole lot better than they actually were. Whether it’s by pumping up some tiny aspect of a product, or forgetting to mention the ‘fine print’ consumers just rolled along taking it in because what other choice did they have?
Well, we’ve got a choice. Today’s consumer has so many options, it’s kind of overwhelming. If you don’t like one business, you just move on to the next. Toss in the internet and the consumers ability to research, fact-check, and hunt down information can be done faster than you can say ‘smoke and mirrors.’
What does that mean? That you might as well be as real as possible, because if you aren’t, you will quickly get called out on it. Transparency in business is more than just being open about policies, procedures, data, etc etc, it’s also about being transparent with your brand and marketing.
Your Business Brand is Based on You
In small business, more often than not, your business brand is based on you, the individual. It connects to your values, your beliefs, your motives, and even personality. On the chance that you’re building a business that is totally incongruent with your values, your believes, your motives, and personality, well…you might as well stop reading because you aren’t going to like what we’re about to say. (Kidding, you should totally read this!)
People, more than ever, want to trust the businesses they decide to make purchases from. So before hitting that buy button, they are taking the time to check out reviews, look for news items, and follow on social media to figure out what their vibe is like. That’s where your brand comes in.
Transparency + Authenticity = Trust
Transparency and authenticity go hand-in-hand. When you build and maintain a brand that adheres to being transparent and authentic (please note that doesn’t mean you are giving away all of your secrets or living your life online!) then your audience will have the opportunity to know you, like you, and trust you, which leads to them making happy and informed purchasing decisions.
Want to know if your brand rings true with you? We’ve got a quick exercise that you can do in under 20 minutes to help you determine just how transparent and authentic you are in your brand.
- Write out your personal top 3 values, beliefs, what motivates you, and traits of your personality
- Write out the same but from the view of your business
- Ask yourself if they align – Yes? Great! No? Where is the disconnect and are you ok with it?
- Pull up one of your social media accounts and review the content you have shared over the past month (if you don’t post often, look at about a dozen posts)
- Do those posts consistently reflect what you recorded for points 1 and 2?
This is a great starter to understanding if and how you are transparent in your branding. You can work on refining your messaging where needed to help you build that better connection with your audience.