3 Strategies to Build Genuine Brand Authenticity and Trustworthiness

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Research shows consumers spend more money with brands they think are genuine and trustworthy. Here are ways to build your credibility.

Nearly three out of four consumers spend more money with brands they deem authentic, according to consumer psychologist Cathrine Jansson-Boyd.

Building Brand Authenticity. Research shows consumers spend more money with brands they think are genuine and trustworthy.

What exactly causes consumers to consider a brand to be authentic is not clear cut, but generally consumers want brands to be “genuine, transparent, and consistent in their communication and behavior,” Jansson-Boyd writes in an article published in May on the U.K. Psychology Today website.

Unfortunately for companies, conveying authenticity is easier said than done. Jansson-Boyd notes that as many as eight in 10 consumers say they have trouble trusting brands.

But there are steps you can take to build trust, engender loyalty and stay true to yourself.

As an example, Jansson-Boyd points to how companies are dealing with inflation. “Companies … have been accused of using inflation as a way to cover up price increases, something that is likely to create a strong negative association with the company and/or brand,” she says. “If price increases are essential, then this should be honestly and openly communicated with the consumers to ensure that authenticity is maintained. Create a narrative that outlines ‘good reasons’ for the price increase that can be used by the consumer to determine if the brand is still worth purchasing. Business needs to be empathetic and think of ways that will make the consumers understand that they are still the priority.”

Here are a few other authenticity-building techniques:

Let consumers get to know you.

Whether starring in TV spots or appearing in photos on the sides of delivery trucks, many mattress retailers have built personal connections by featuring themselves prominently in their advertising and marketing. Customers feel like they’re purchasing bedding at a friend’s shop rather than a nameless company’s store. A simple thing to do is to create webpages that explain your company’s history and values. Don’t forget to introduce key members of your team with short, engaging bios. Cross-post all the relationship-building information on social media.

Be careful with rebranding.

Jansson-Boyd notes that “brand authenticity appears to be socially constructed in that childhood memories, previous experiences and expectations come together and determine how brands are perceived.” If you’ve been in business for years and are considering rebranding, you’ll need to cautiously bridge the gap between customers’ long-held perceptions of you and the fresh identity you are trying to create. To do so, Jansson-Boyd suggests presenting “future-oriented framing” that consumers will perceive as “a message of hope.”

Be consistent.

If most of your advertising focuses on the importance of sleep, yet your storefront is festooned with a jumble of sales banners, you’re sending mixed messages to shoppers. Your branding should be cohesive across marketing channels, on your e-commerce platform and within brick-and-mortar stores. Similarly, you should use a consistent voice across social media, whether that’s lighthearted, serious, earnest or authoritative.

The efforts will pay off. As Jansson-Boyd says, consumers “form a stronger emotional attachment to brands that have high levels of brand authenticity.”

Julie A. Palm is lead wordsmith at Palm Ink LLC and is a past editor in chief of BedTimes and Sleep Savvy magazines. You can contact her at japalm623@gmail.com.