In a world where you can be anyone, why not be yourself? I have seen so many influencers, brands and businesses make the mistake of trying to be everyone else, and they lose sight of who they are and what they stand for. Authenticity is one of the many factors that are key to building trust with a customer because they relate to you and your brand through common characteristics, and if they can’t trust who you are, why should they trust your brand, your business, your products, or the words coming out of your mouth. I have come to realize that a lot of people don’t know how to be themselves with the ability to create and recreate what you want with thousands of options on the Internet to make the perfect stand-in,s o I’m sharing the simple and easy actions to help build trust with your customer through authenticity.
Sincerity is a huge part of authenticity, and you have to show your audience that you’re empathetic to their needs or wants. I always tell people that the basis of marketing is for people and organizations to fulfill the needs and wants of customers to achieve organizational goals, which is where the statement “the customer is always right comes from”, but that isn’t the case. Marketing is a two-way street, marketers give to the market, while the market gives back to the marketer. Not every customer is designed for your business, but showing yoru target market who you are and how you treat them attracts those who align with that. This means that your messaging, communications, interactions and all aspects of the business voice need to show your personality as a brand and that the customer is who you’;re doing this all for.
Authenticity is fueled by visuals, so keeping your look original and consistent is important. If a customer likes you for who you are, and you suddenly change that, be prepared to lose followers and customers. People join a brand’s journey because of the characteristics and style to portray, and brands can do this by having brand standards. Brand standards are a collections of guidelines about how the brand looks and feels, including color pallets, fonts, logos, imagery, and whatever else is required to ensure the brand is consistent and authentic.
The biggest downfall I find with organizations, especially larger ones, is that they communicate with their customers from a script. This is a huge pet peeve of mine. Although it helps with consistency and maintaining communication standards across an organization, it’s inauthentic to who that person is and it leaves little room for a brand or person to express their personality. When talking with customers through email, phone, social media, or other channels, male sure to always to empathetic to the customer, take time to understand questions or concerns, and address what they need in an authentic voice that you formulate.
Too many marketers get tunnel vision when formulating a post for their social media or website. They only focus on editing and posting that singular image, but look how that one image falls into the whole concept of the page. Does that image look and feel consistent with other images on your Instagram? Does your Facebook cover photo match your posts? Does your website feel cohesive from page to page? And lastly, does all of your communication channels, including digital and print, fit together aesthetically and verbally? This is essential to generating a perfect, cohesive and trusting brand, because regardless fo where the customer engages with you or your brand, they will have a similar experience and expectations will be met.