In today’s age, it’s difficult to get in touch with an actual person when interacting with companies. Chatbots, automated options, and “contact us” buttons open a box and feel impersonal. Authentic businesses add a human element for customers to connect with them. With AI software and digital solutions available, some people prefer the old-fashioned way. Companies that add authenticity to their business strategy will grow at all levels. Humanizing your brand creates a positive experience for customers and employees. The work culture becomes centered around people instead of technology.
Authenticity is the number one trait that customers demand from larger companies. Startups can implement honesty and transparency first thing. Authenticity builds brand trust and leads to success. Being authentic is being true to not only yourself but also your business. Leaders who embrace openness create a genuine brand with integrity. Acting phony or not being forthcoming with your stakeholders harms your reputation.
If you’re a small business owner or leader in a company, here are some tips to be more authentic.
- Identify What Sets You Apart: What makes you different from other brands? Even if you have a competitor, ask yourself how you’re not like them. It can be lower prices, better customer service, or giving a thank you card or gift with every purchase.
- Stick to Your Mission and Values: You need to stay consistent in your mission from when you started your business. Brands that frequently change their value statements confuse customers. You need to stick to your roots and why you founded the company. The book, Lion Taming, explains creating a vision and executing your mission.
- Hire the Right People: When you’re looking for employees, hire people who align with your values. Having a staff that possesses authenticity creates a positive work culture and environment. As your company grows, your employees will grow with you. Make sure that you have the right people around you throughout all business stages.
- Be Consistent in Messaging: Make sure your content matches your brand when you do marketing. Be genuine with your communications that go out to existing and future Stay authentic in your messaging and see your business grow. Avoid any marketing that is considered “clickbait.” Your loyal customers will know how you act as a business, and you can lose them with inconsistency.
- Don’t Stop Putting in the Effort: Never stop working to deliver on being an authentic brand. Communicate with transparency and teach your employees to do the same. Your words and actions reflect you and your business. Continue working to build relationships with clients and attract new ones.
- Make Authenticity a Priority: Instilling your values should be at the top of every to-do list. Always keep your integrity, honesty, and trust intact when operating your business. When you keep it real at all times, you have a sense of liberty and are more approachable. Lead by example, and employees will follow and feel more comfortable. New customers will be drawn to your brand, knowing that you possess authenticity.
- Let Everyone Know Your Story: Many customers love to know the story behind the business. People love to see the passion that led you to start a company. Be authentic in telling customers the challenges and adversity you faced. Delve deeper and let people know how you stayed motivated and driven.
Implementing authenticity as a business strategy will only deliver positive results. Developing your brand identity is critical, and always stay true to yourself. Lion Taming goes into depth on company vision “Who are we and who are we becoming?” The mission of a business is knowing “what your purpose is and what you’re here to do.” Every company has different value statements, but not all mention authenticity.