The Importance of Balancing Performance with Authenticity
Coined by the Harvard Business Review as the Authenticity Paradox, today we discuss how marketing content can toe the line between genuine and curated.
Research is revealing that unfiltered, authentic content increasingly appeals to consumers. So how then can we position our brands as relatable when all things marketing are made by strategic design?
Add to the fray the dual definition of “performance”, as it relates to outward presentation and internal analytics, and you’ve got yourself quite the quandary.
To give you the simple answer that will only present more questions, we suggest transparency.
By acknowledging that your business is only human (you know what we mean!), your customers can begin to trust your transparency and foster a sense of loyalty that encourages customer retention.
As an advert agency, OtherBirds deals with this dilemma on a daily basis and it’s certainly easier with some businesses than others. No matter where you stand, however, there is always a way to maximise performance and authenticity.
Get in touch today and learn how your business can put on a show that consumers can trust.
How Transparency Helps
As fake news, greenwashing and issues of privacy all batter the modern consumer, it can be hard to know which brand is worth our hard-earned cash.
Most customers should understand that a perfectly ethical business is relatively far-fetched. Instead of pretending to be the perfect business, then, the value lies in admitting fault and striving to become the best version of oneself.
A survey from Sprout Social revealed that 86% of their respondents in the United States believe that transparency has never been more important.
If you’re wondering how exactly the respondents defined corporate transparency, they sought values of openness, clarity, and honesty.
According to the survey, these could be displayed through a whole host of actions, including admitting mistakes, giving honest responses to customer questions, as well as revealing manufacturing practices and financial performance.
We found it especially noteworthy that two-thirds of respondents deemed video content to be the most transparent medium.
So, what is the benefit of transparency to your business? Well, a majority of consumers (53%) are more likely to consider a brand that is transparent on social media for their next purchase. By contrast, a lack of transparency on socials would cause 86% of people to shop somewhere else.
The performance of authenticity almost speaks for itself.
The Authenticity Paradox
Being authentic attracts more customers, but true authenticity can be haphazard and haphazard marketing is oxymoronic. Alternatively, curated marketing creates results but can come across as engineered and unnatural.
What do we do with this information?
Another simple answer is to stop trying too hard and genuinely offer value to your customers through your marketing.
Give them a new way to use your product; highlight its helpfulness in everyday life; hero a customer in a case study. There are so many ways to pair performance with authenticity. All it takes is to put your customer before your business objectives and the latter can actually take care of itself.
Of course, there will be some strategy behind this whole caring campaign, but your customers don’t really need to know that.
Marketing expert, Neil Patel, suggests using brand stories as a helpful tool to achieve performance and authenticity.
This intimate storytelling tool creates trust between a brand and a customer, as people relate to your story and see themselves within the narrative.
Without totally ripping off Neil, a strong brand story should develop a unique personality for your brand – adding some form of character or iconography into the mix should help. In its simplest form, it should outline a customer pain point, solution and benefit. And it should also emphasise your deeper purpose.
The same narrative could span an entire campaign or you could use individual assets to develop multiple storylines of similar themes.
Whatever works for your brand, there is sure to be value and authenticity found in a strong brand story.
So, what’s your story? Who is your brand and how can that translate into marketing performance?
To answer these questions and many more, get in touch with our team and book a consultation that will set your business on the path to success.