Hyperbole, one-upmanship, and exaggeration. These have become the norm in marketing and advertising. Companies ask for it. Agencies deliver it. And consumers have grow to expect it.
But at what cost?
While this bravado and boasting may help meet short-term sales goals, how is it affecting long-term brand and reputation goals? Consumers are increasingly savvy and have become adept at tuning it out. When they do buy a product based on hype, they feel let down because it didn’t change their lives as promised.
So, what then?
More and more companies are trying something radical: Authenticity. Simple, smart storytelling that clearly articulates who you are, what you do, and most importantly…what your customers get.
“ The thing people most want is open and honest communications about products and services. And that finding was consistent around the world.”
– Geoff Beattie of Cohn & Wolfe on research into the 100 most authentic brands.
When Dove began its Campaign for Real Beauty, (now the Dove Self-Esteem Project) it transformed itself from just a soap company to a company with a vision. Their new mission statement was “beauty should be a source of confidence and not anxiety.” They didn’t say their soap was better than other soaps. They went from a company selling a product to a company selling confidence.
Disney’s mission is to entertain, inform and inspire people around the globe through the power of unparalleled storytelling. Go to any Disney theme park or watch any Disney movie and you’ll be proving their mission. No one-upmanship. No boasting. They do one thing: entertainment. And they do it so well that customers come back again and again.
Buffer is known for their dedication to transparency both internally and externally. When the company was only seven people, the founders decided they needed to define what their culture was and put together a list of their values. This has not changed. Not adjusting to market or sales pressures. Just living their principles. And their customers appreciate it.
To us, being creative means solving a problem. It means standing out without beating your chest or putting your competitors down. It certainly does not mean winning an advertising award for over-the-top-ness. Communicating as an authentic brand means investing the time to discover what your brand stands for and ensuring that your message aligns with your core values and actions. Sales will follow.
Find out more
Want to know more about this our thoughts on authenticity? Or find out how we can help you tell your real story?
— Visit the Nonfiction website.
— Email us at email@example.com.