Not everyone is immediately convinced of the value of branding. They’re understandably skeptical, because, like many aspects of doing business, it can be challenging to show a direct correlation between brand development and financial performance. We get it. But there’s building a brand then there’s building an authentic brand. And when you start to grasp the benefits—both tangible and intangible—of building a truly authentic brand, you realize you’d be crazy not to make it a top priority. Your brand, after all, is how your company is perceived by the world. Don’t you want to be perceived as the best at what you do?
Here are 10 proven benefits of building a truly authentic brand.
1. Grow Your Brand Equity
It’s like we always say: your brand is your company’s most valuable asset. Investing in that asset is arguably the most effective way to sustainably grow your business over the long term. Authentic brands have weight. They carry with them an invaluable cachet that’s critical to the opinions of your customers and investors. The brand equity that’s generated true authenticity pays off year after year by increasing market share, reducing advertising costs, and allowing for premium pricing.
2. Solidify Your Brand Authority
Authentic brands don’t try to be something to everyone. Rather, they are laser-focused on what they do best. They identify their optimal niche within the marketplace, and own it. When you’re that zeroed in on the unique value of your product or service, you become an authority on the matter. Authentic brands possess an unshakeable confidence and clarity when it comes to their positioning and differentiation. It’s a genuine authority that naturally enables them to become leaders within their industry. And what brand doesn’t want to be an industry leader?
3. Establish Radical Brand Differentiation
Every brand seeks to differentiate itself from the competition. Most try to do so solely on the characteristics of their products or services. Authentic brands are different. Authentic brands differentiate on purpose. All of the actions of authentic brands are born from and aligned with their core purpose. They are deeply in touch with why they do what they do, and for this reason they’re perceived radically different than their competitors. Even if their service offerings are essentially the same, the purpose behind those services is as distinct as a fingerprint.
4. Deliver on Your Brand Promise
Unfortunately, when it comes to brands, the modern consumer is as jaded as ever. She’s been let down so many times by the empty promises of advertising that she’s come to expect a disappointing brand experience. In stark contrast, authentic brands deliver on their promises—every time. They know unequivocally who they are (and aren’t) and what they do best (and don’t). They know which promises can be kept, and they do what they say they’re going to do. What a concept!
5. Stoke Customer Trust & Loyalty
By delivering on their promises, authentic brands cultivate two things that are increasingly rare in the brand/customer relationship: trust and loyalty. It can’t be overstated how valuable these qualities are when it comes to the connection you have with those you serve. Lasting, long-term customer relationships are at the heart of every successful brand. And it’s only by truly knowing itself that a brand can provide the type of consistent, reliable experiences that are the bedrock of such relationships.
6. Elevate Your Brand Awareness
The simple fact is that authentic brands stand out. Consumers are bombarded by commercial messaging every day. It’s only when they genuinely connect with a piece of messaging that they sit up and take notice. And what type of messaging do consumers connect with? That’s right, the messaging from authentic brands. Authentic brands are doing something different in a marketplace crowded with tired and hackneyed marketing. Their genuineness is refreshing because it is relevant. It is relevant because authentic brands have a comprehensive understanding of both who they are and who they’re serving.
7. Attract Ideal Customers More Efficiently
Scattershot marketing in the attempt to appeal to everyone is an inefficient way of getting your message out. Authentic brands have put the time and brand research into knowing exactly what types of customers are aligned with their unique culture and values. The right customers are willing to pay a premium for a product or service, and are exponentially more loyal over the lifetime of their relationship with your brand. This loyalty is manifest in customers who advocate for your brand, convincing their friends and family to buy your products or services as well.
8. Render Your Competition Irrelevant
By its very definition, an authentic brand is one of a kind. And for brands that embody this caliber of uniqueness, there is no competition. Think of a brand like Apple. For Apple’s ideal customer, there simply is no alternative. The only question is which product within the brand best suits their needs. Again, it all boils down to relevancy. Authentic brands are consistently relevant because their actions are always born from a consistency in purpose. When brands occupy the most relevant space within the marketplace, competition is no longer an issue.
9. Attract the Industry’s Top Talent
As mentioned earlier, authentic brands possess a distinctive quality found nowhere else. It is precisely because of their uniqueness that they are the best at what they do. And the best brands have a way of attracting the best talent. Not just the most impressive resumes, mind you, but the talent that is best suited to their unique environment. Because authentic brands have clearly defined values and culture, they attract talent that is aligned with these essential elements. That’s the type of talent you want. And it doesn’t just stop at employees. Authentic brands attract the best business partners, investors, and more.
10. Command a Premium Price
The final benefit of building a truly authentic brand is also the most quantifiable. By positioning themselves as industry leaders with a unique set of value propositions offered by none of their competitors, authentic brands solidify themselves as the best in class. And if there’s one truth that everyone knows, it’s that to get the best you have to pay for the best. With all of the above elements in place, authentic brands are optimally positioned to command a premium for their products or services.
We could go on and on. The list of benefits when it comes to authentic brands is a long one indeed. These are just the most immediate and obvious gains you can expect. In the end, though, a brand’s worth is determined by the way the world perceives it. And from customers and investors to employees and business partners, the best perceptions are born from a genuine connection to authenticity.