Brand Matters: Are You the Real Deal?
2. If you say you’re authentic, then you’d better be authentic.
3. It’s easier to be authentic if you don’t say you’re authentic.
This may seem simple, but it isn’t. Many brands fall back to being faux. It’s easier.
Authenticity in Action
Consumers crave the real deal. They desire companies that deliver on their promises and brands that listen and do what their taglines say they do. They seek independent thinkers, product creativity and originality in solving their problems. They want brands that respect their time.
With this in mind, here are some real-world examples of brands that deliver the real deal.
• Title Nine describes itself as quirky. A simple description of the company would be that it is a women’s sportswear company named after the 1972 legislation that enables funding to provide equal opportunity for females to compete in sports. But this description doesn’t convey its uniqueness. Instead, staffers composed the company’s description of “who we are” more than 10 years ago. It still stands true today. Here are a few snippets:
We are evangelical about women’s participation in sports and fitness activities.
We have opinions, and we act on them.
We don’t always wear shoes.
We like dessert.
Authenticity is woven into every aspect of this brand—from the real-life athletes that model the clothes in the catalogs to fun promotions like having its customers sing Christmas carols when they place an order to get a free gift!
• Frontier Airlines thinks differently and, therefore, acts differently than its competition. It still desires to make flying a pleasant experience for its customers. This attitude is best described by its mission statement:
“A whole different animal” is more than a catchy tagline. It’s a concept that uses one of our most recognizable features and ties it in with our ability to stand out from the rest. We approach our business with four key principles in mind: Affordable; Flexible; Accommodating; and Comfortable. These are the four “legs” we stand on. “A whole different animal” represents our commitment to do the little things that make a big difference to our customers.
Andrea Syverson is the founder and president of creative branding and merchandising consultancy IER Partners. For 20+ years, Andrea’s joy has been inspiring clients with innovative approaches to branding, product development and creative messaging. She’s the author of two books about brand building and creating customer-centric products that enhance brands: BrandAbout: A Seriously Playful Approach for Passionate Brand-Builders and Merchants and ThinkAbout: 77 Creative Prompts for Innovators. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.