How to Build An Authentic Brand
Building Authentic Brands
Did you know in 1971 a woman named Carolyn Davidson created the Nike logo for $35? Billing 17.5 hours of work at $2 an hour, she created one of the most recognizable brands in the world. Around every corner it’s likely you’ll see that swoosh on shoes, shirts, or even as tattoos. Brands, quite literally, are everywhere. Within minutes of waking up, we are exposed to tens, if not hundreds, of brands. We wake up on them—mattresses, bed sheets, and blankets. We dress ourselves with them—T-shirts, pants, and shoes. And we freshen up with them—toothbrushes, shampoos, and towels. We interact with brands everyday.
But What Is a Brand?
Brands are everything consumers see, hear, and experience. With daily exposure to thousands of brands through media and word-of-mouth, consumers build relationships with services and products that match their wants and needs. While logos and slogans are important in brand identification, they don’t define brands. Brands are defined through consumers’ individualities, lifestyles, and personal experiences.
“Your brand exists only in someone’s mind.” - Forbes
What Does Authentic Really Mean?
Have you noticed ‘authenticity’ is an emerging buzzword, and society is starting to gravitate toward values and vulnerabilities in attempts to be authentic?
Nike, for example, supported the Black Lives Matter movement. People who opposed BLM decided to retaliate by burning Nike products. In response, Nike released a memo advertisement on how to burn safely. Nike’s values came first, and in expressing their vulnerability they were willing to deter some of their consumers. As a result, remaining consumers’ support and brand loyalty increased.
But here’s the thing… Being vulnerable doesn’t always mean authenticity. Brands don’t need to take bold, political stances if it’s not in their nature. Staying true to their values and beliefs is more important. Authenticity is rooted in the source of one’s intent, and consumers can spot false intentions from a mile away.
Think about the deaf-owned Italian pizza restaurant, Mozzeria, located in Washington D.C and San Francisco. One of their brand motivations lies in authenticity, which is proven by their mission to deliver authentic experiences by using imported/locally-sourced ingredients and handmade wood-burning ovens from Naples, Italy.
Does this ensure everyone will love it? No. Some people may prefer chain-based pizzas like Domino’s. Authenticity does not necessarily promise consumer desirability, but it does promise truth, trust, and credibility.
How Important is Brand Authenticity?
Shared values and beliefs attract consumers to businesses and their services. According to Business Wire, 63% of consumers prefer to buy from companies whose purpose aligns with theirs. What does that mean for business owners and freelancers? A focus on authenticity and consumers’ motivations can generate brand loyalty and build strong relationships. Having clear goals about how you can satisfy consumers with your services can attract devoted audiences.
What Exactly Is a Brand’s Goal?
The goal is to answer the why, which is the foundation of a brand’s mission statement. A clear mission statement summarizes a brand’s purpose.
An effective, purposeful statement from the outdoor/clothing brand Patagonia: “To save our home planet.” Simple, yet impactful. They prove their mission by giving employees paid time off to volunteer for climate change and “pledged 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment.” Their actions match their goal, which supports their authenticity.
A goal with highlighted purposes is only one of the first steps in building a brand.
How To Get Started on Brand Building
- Self-assess your reasons for starting a brand
– Brands and its consumers deserve care
- Establish a clear mission statement
– Without a why, your brand lacks direction
- Listen to consumers’ feedback
– To maintain brand loyalty and satisfied consumers, listening to feedback is key
- Be inspired; don’t imitate
– Be authentically you
Building a brand is a forever process, not a one-time thing. Ready to start a brand today? Come visit Dripple for consultation services with enthusiastic brand experts and business owners. You can reach them through Dripple’s website: www.dripple.me or their Instagram, @dripple.me. They would love to work with you!
If you would like to learn more about how to build an authentic brand, please watch this recorded webinar hosted by Leila Hanaumi where she talks about how to build an authentic brand that lasts. Check it out :