Branding: beyond the logo
From checking what hashtags are trending on Twitter to learning about ancient Mayan civilisations on Wikipedia, we undoubtedly live in an age where the entire world and its history are at our grasp. With people constantly overloaded with information, news and advertisements, how can brands ensure they stand out from the competition? Can a brand be both unique and authentic?
What is brand authenticity?
Brand authenticity is the perception consumers have of a brand being faithful towards itself and its consumers, motivated by responsibility and supporting its consumers in being true to themselves. It is much more than just a visual identity; it has psychological, subjective and symbolic value. Changing how the brand looks may work in the short term but, in the long run, authenticity has to reflect the company’s core values and what it stands for.
There are four key components of branding:
The brand is faithful to itself and able to survive time and trends.
The brand is true to its consumers and is considered honest as it practices its core values.
The company is motivated by caring, responsibility and follows established moral principles.
The brand supports its consumers in being true to themselves by fully understanding them and how they behave.
Everything that a brand does – from setting the tone of voice to practising what it preaches – is what differentiates it from other brands. When choosing your company over another, consumers consciously and subconsciously think about the brand’s history, image and what they represent. A set of expectations, memories and experiences, that’s the authenticity people are looking for.
We use brands not only as quality-control when making a purchase, but also to express ourselves and engineer our personal image. Brand authenticity is important because personal authenticity is.
By buying into brands we think show authenticity, we are saying something about our own authenticity.