Excited, I brought home my just-purchased de-frizzing finds, thrilled that this was going to be the start of a new era. These products were going to make my hair healthier, stronger, and easier to style. Plus, they promised not to contain chemicals but instead boasted organic additives. This all meant my hair was going to be fabulous, right? As I created a new home for the game-changing products I decided to compare their ingredients to my current stash. Scanning the list on new and old products, my smile flattened. The ingredients lists were the same! Not kind of the same, not similar, but nearly the EXACT same! I had been swindled. I had bought into the hype, the packaging, the dupe.

Along with feeling defeated, I noted my feelings towards this trickster brand became dismally negative. I willingly spent more money on a product I had perceived to be a higher value. When the curtain fell though, it was a whole bunch of meaningless fluff. I paid for a lie and now associated the brand with my disappointing experience.

My unhappy adventure though is merely a facet of a growing consumer demand for honesty, aka brand authenticity. This consumer quest for authenticity is here to stay for the foreseeable future, it can outweigh cost to consumer, trump convenience, and commands brands to take note.

The Hard Truth

It pays to be authentic, 91% of consumers globally indicated that they were willing to reward a brand for its authenticity by making a purchase, investment or an endorsement in 2017, according to a report by Cohn & Wolfe. The same study found that in the U.S. alone, 62% of respondents said that would either purchase or be interested in purchasing from a brand that they viewed as authentic.

Additionally, a whopping 90% of Millennials say brand authenticity is important, thus showing that younger consumers prefer ‘real and organic’ over ‘perfect and packaged’. The negative effects of inauthenticity are striking as well, on average, 20% of consumers (and 30% of Millennials) have unfollowed a brand on social media because they felt their content was inauthentic.

What Brand Authenticity Means for You

What does this mean for the consumer? If you’re a frustrated consumer this means that you are not alone. Utilizing tools such as online forums with real people, actual product users, and consumer reports are an excellent way to review before you buy.

What does it mean for brands? It means it is of paramount importance to strive for honesty, real reviews, and grass-root brand advocates. Relying solely on traditional advertising is one sure way to ruin your authenticity as Millennials have a deep distrust of traditional advertising. A consumer study on millennials found that a mere 1% of those polled would trust a company because of advertising.

Authenticity is more than just a buzzword, it’s what happens within the brand, it’s the experience, it’s the interaction, it’s the purpose. Align yourself with authenticity and you’ve aligned yourself with success. If you’d like to see what brand ambassadors, messaging, and authentic content can do for you and your brand we’d love to sit down, pop open some seltzer, and talk. You can reach the Kolbeco team at (fill in blank, could be social handle or url).

 

Sources:

https://www.inc.com/business-insider/most-authentic-brand-united-states-america-amazon-paypal-burts-bees-2017.html

https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/brand-authenticity/

https://www.thebalancesmb.com/how-to-shop-for-real-organic-food-and-products-2538172

http://millennialbranding.com/2015/millennial-consumer-study/

https://www.crowdspring.com/blog/small-business-branding-lessons/

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