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Revealing authenticity

There is a lot of discussion about brand authenticity. A lot of money being spent on trying to figure out the most authentic message. What I feel is happening in much of this discussion is losing sight of where authenticity begins. It begins with the core values of an organization, its culture and the principles it was founded on. When what you are saying on the outside doesn't match what you are on the inside, well, that's not authentic.

What is wrong with these pictures?


SPONTANEOUS

VIBRANT

DYNAMIC






INFORMAL

UNCONVENTIONAL

AVANT-GARDE








What are you feeling after seeing these pictures and words? Do you trust the message? The words used to communicate to the outside don’t match we clearly see is on the inside. Now let's see what happens when you have that inside/outside match established.


THOUGHTFUL
IMAGINATIVE
REFLECTIVE








RELIABLE
CONSISTENT
EFFICIENT

You trusted the words this time, right? It's because now you can feel that inside/outside match. When that match exists it makes sense.

This is what it feels like to a client, consumer or customer when what you are saying to the outside matches who are on the inside. That's authenticity.


Authentic is who you are on the inside.

Authentic is your values, your dreams and the principles upon which your company operates.

A brand should not be about the most hip, cool or sexy campaign because that's the latest trend in advertising. If you're company and your culture is meaningful, skilled and approachable, a hip, cool and sexy campaign will not build trust with anyone. A campaign that authentically reflects what you are on the inside will build trust and trust breeds success.

Revealing your authentic self is critical to brand success. It is that simple. The hard part is knowing who you are.