One of the key takeaways from Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year was the importance of authenticity in marketing. Appealing to Millennials and Gen Z requires more than a great product but, with several brands being caught out as being all talk in their progressive stance, consumers are looking for proof that brands are taking action and not just woke-washing their campaigns.
Authentic marketing might sound like an expensive and risky idea. Many brands have found themselves in a social media storm that left their PR departments rocking in a corner after trying it. Although it can seem complicated, doing it right can have a huge impact on your bottom line and brand loyalty and, if you stick to a few simple rules, you can make it work. Trust us!
One hole several brands have fallen down is choosing a cause that is unrelated to their brand or does not align with their brand values. Don’t just pick the latest trending topic; take the time to assess what your brand stands for and which cause fits with that. Get your team together and write down the key words associated with your brand, make a note of your brand purpose and start pulling these things together to create a list of things your brand considers important.
Authenticity isn’t about appearing cool, it’s about being true to your core values. If your brand is conservative, don’t try to force yourself into a socialist box. Own your brand’s values and take a stand that fits them.
We could point you to a thousand articles or angry tweets about brands who used a cause for their advertising but didn’t back it up with action. This year’s Pride saw a large backlash from the LGBTQIA+ community, fed up of rainbows on products, especially from companies who financially supported anti-gay politicians. This makes it more important than ever for you to choose a cause which matches your brand’s goals. Failing to support whichever topic appears in your marketing financially and through your company’s internal policies is a surefire way to see your campaign do huge damage to your brand’s reputation.
Despite taking a stand being a key video marketing trend this year, that’s not the only way to embrace authenticity. Tell the story of your brand, warts and all. Interview your founder, allow employee Stories take-overs, do Lives at your events or behind the scenes (also easily re-purposed later on), humanise your brand voice.
Outside of social media you can choose transparency by ensuring full details of your products are easily available; where you source things, where they’re made, who makes them and in what conditions. Be open and honest about your methods, where you came from and who you are as a brand.
Authenticity isn’t about being hip or liberal, it’s about being honest and showing your customers who you really are. Do it right and it may well become the most important marketing choice you’ve ever made.
To discuss how to bring authenticity into your marketing using video, get in touch and let’s make your brand irresistibly authentic and devilishly handsome.