Authenticity is important for brands. A 2019 survey among 1,590 consumers and 150 B2C marketers from the U.S., UK and Australia found that 90% of consumers said that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support – up from 86% in 2017. The same survey found that 92% of marketers believe that most or all of the content they create resonates as authentic with consumers. Yet the majority of consumers disagree, with 51% saying less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. Which begs the question; if the current content is not resonating with consumers… what will?
A potential answer comes from a series of (psychology) studies that identified a core concept of authenticity: something called realness. The researchers describe being real as the tendency to act on the outside the way one feels on the inside, without regard for proximal personal or social consequences. Even though the research is not necessarily about brands, but mostly about people instead, it can still be interpreted as advice as to how to convey a certain trait.
We live in a world that is dominated by fake news and a lack of trust in institutions and brands. Brands rather play it safe and try to please everyone. But especially while Generation Z is putting much more emphasis on authenticity, instead of curated and perfect brand communication, it could be wise to consider how you could be genuine as a brand. One way might be to ask yourself, are you real enough?