We all get involved in our jobs, our careers and play out the roles that enable us to fit in the workplace culture.   And those “masks” we wear, that we put on each day to woo customers with promises and personas, entice and attract.  It’s hard to deny that it works. 

We give the customer what they want to hear.  We echo back their words, even mirroring their tone and pace of speaking.  It’s a technique I learned and practiced when I directed an Account Management Team.  It helped create a connection.

But does it pass the “sniff test” today? 

Not anymore.

The test of authenticity has become the bar for engaged consumers that increasingly make purchases based on word-of-mouth experience.  Access to information on the internet including customer reviews, quickly reveal any inconsistencies between what you promote and say and the reality for the customer that they readily share on YELP or on social media.

This also applies to mission-driven organizations and nonprofits, who promise they are “changing the world” and “making a difference” .  The sniff test works here too.  According to research, Millennials are the most “cause driven generation” (their words) in a long time.  They dig deep and look behind the words.  They want simplicity. http://www.hcollaborative.com/blog/2016/6/2/the-power-of-simplicity-in-communication-in-life.   They demand honesty, humility, justice, equity, and sincerity before purchasing, donating or volunteering. 

This all equates to one thing: AUTHENTICITY!

It must be demonstrated in your brand and in all your social media and marketing strategy.  It’s the new litmus test.  A recent study by the New York Times found that authenticity is even more important to consumers than brand recognition on the  impact of your bottom line.

Here are top “anchor behaviors” for companies to display to show authenticity:

Behavior                               Percent that believe this is important

Communicates honestly about its products and services              91%  

Communicates honestly about its environmental impact              87%  

Acts with integrity at all times                                                                87% 

Is clear about and is true to its beliefs                                                 83%  

Is open and honest about the partners and suppliers                     82%  

Stands for more than just making money                                           74%

Has a relevant and engaging story                                                        43%

Source:  http://www.cohnwolfe.com/en/authenticbrands

Authenticity is one of the core pillars of Conscientious Marketing.  HCollaborative is happy to help your organization craft messaging that shows your true authenticity, through relevant content management, impactful videos and creation of a unique brand manifesto. All of which will pass the “sniff test”.