Authentic Brand Building: 7 Strategies To Gain Your Consumers’ Trust

Last Updated on November 21, 2023 by Troika Gellido

In the age of cynical customers amidst a competitive market, gaining customer trust can seem like a daunting task. Wondering how to transform your brand into one that’s not just seen but trusted? Research, including insights from the Gustavson Brand Trust Index, highlights a crucial factor: authenticity. There’s a significant link between how authentic your brand appears and the level of trust it garners.

While the term ‘authenticity’ often circles around social responsibility, it’s broader than that. It’s about showing your customers the real, human side of your brand.

So, how do you make your brand come alive with authenticity and earn that customer trust? Let’s dive into why authenticity matters and explore five practical ways to infuse it into your brand.

How Authentic Brand Building Can Make or Break Your Brand

The authenticity of your brand is a deal-breaker for customers. Think about it: a survey revealed that a whopping 90% of consumers place a high value on authenticity when choosing brands. That’s nearly everyone!

In this digital age, where everyone’s connected and information flies faster than ever, people have become pretty good at sniffing out what’s real and what’s not. And that’s exactly where the importance of authenticity in branding comes into play. Here’s why authenticity is such a big deal for your brand. 

Trust is Everything

Think about your own experiences as a customer. You’re more likely to stick with brands that feel genuine, right? Trust is a major currency in today’s market, and authenticity is the quickest path to earning it. A brand that comes across as honest and transparent creates a strong sense of reliability. This is crucial because once trust is broken, it’s really hard to win back.

The Social Media Factor

Social media has changed the game. It’s like a magnifying glass on your brand, and anything less than authentic gets called out quickly. People value brands that interact genuinely, show real people, real stories, and real values. It’s not just about selling a product or service anymore; it’s about creating a brand personality that people can connect with on a human level.

The Millennial and Gen Z Influence

Millennials and Gen Z are a huge part of the market now, and guess what? They crave authenticity. They prefer brands that stand for something more than just profit. Whether it’s environmental responsibility, social justice, or just being brutally honest about products, these generations want brands that align with their values and aren’t afraid to show their true colors.

authentic brand building strategies on millennials and gen z
Millennials and Gen Z want brands that align with their values.

The Power of Storytelling and Standing Out In The Crowd

Authenticity lets you tell a story that resonates. People love a good story – one that’s real, relatable, and not just a sales pitch. When you share the real journey of your brand, the challenges, successes, and even failures, you create an emotional connection. And that connection is what turns casual customers into loyal fans.

But no matter what industry you’re in, it’s crowded. Authenticity will help you stand out. When you’re true to your brand’s identity and values, you offer something unique. It’s not just about being different; it’s about being real. And in a world where consumers are bombarded with choices, authenticity can be the deciding factor that tilts the scales in your favor.

Long-Term Relationships Over Short-Term Gains

Authentic brands build long-term relationships with their customers. It’s not just about the immediate sale. It’s about creating a loyal customer base that believes in your brand and will stick with you over time. This kind of relationship-building is invaluable and often leads to word-of-mouth marketing, which, let’s be honest, is pretty much the best kind of marketing you can hope for.

Like building a house with a solid foundation, your brand needs a bedrock of authenticity. Start with a data-driven strategy, sure, but remember to weave authenticity into every thread of your brand’s story.

7 Ways to Amplify Your Brand’s Authenticity

Here’s how you can elevate your brand’s authenticity and make it resonate with your audience:

1. Embrace Your Unique Brand Voice

Your brand voice is like your brand’s personality. It’s how you communicate with your audience, and it needs to be distinct and true to who you are as a brand. 

Say you’re a brand that’s all about adventure and outdoor activities – your voice should be energetic, inspiring, and a bit rugged, perhaps. Just like how the brand GoPro communicates with its audience, it’s all about resonating with the lifestyle its customers aspire to. Their content, tone, and style all scream adventure and action, perfectly aligning with their target audience.

Your brand voice needs to be distinct and true to who you are as a brand. 

Consistency is key here. Whether it’s your social media posts, your email campaigns, or your website content, maintaining a consistent voice helps build a recognizable brand identity. This doesn’t mean you can’t evolve – as your brand grows, your voice might too. But this evolution should feel natural and authentic, not like you’re suddenly changing personalities overnight.

2. Provide Social Proof 

You’ve probably heard us say this before, but social proof is a powerhouse in building brand trust. What is it, you ask? It’s all about showing off how much other customers enjoy your brand. This includes reviews, social media shout-outs, and case studies. These nods of approval from others are crucial in authenticating your brand’s trustworthiness.

Remember, customers are more inclined to trust their peers over an unknown brand. So, sprinkle your marketing with social proof – on your website, your landing pages, everywhere you can showcase genuine endorsements.

3. Engage in Two-Way Conversations

Engagement is a two-way street. It’s not enough to just push out content; you need to listen and respond to what your audience is saying. This could be through social media, customer surveys, or comment sections on your blog. The idea is to create a dialogue, not a monologue. 

One great example is how cosmetic brand Glossier has built its brand around customer feedback, frequently engaging with customers on social media and incorporating their feedback into product development.

This engagement should feel genuine and not just like a marketing tactic. When you respond to a comment on social media, personalize your response. Show that there’s a human behind the brand. Organize Q&A sessions, ask for feedback, create polls – do things that make your audience feel like they’re a part of your brand’s journey. Engagement like this not only builds authenticity but also fosters a strong community around your brand.

4. Keep Visual Branding Consistent

Visual consistency goes beyond just using the same logo and colors. It’s about creating a visual language that your audience can instantly recognize, regardless of where they see it. Think about how Apple uses minimalist design across all its platforms – from its products to its ads to its stores. This consistency in design creates a strong brand image that’s hard to miss. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about creating a visual identity that your audience can connect with.

This also extends to the type of imagery you use, the fonts in your content, and even the style of your graphics. The goal is to create a cohesive look and feel that can be immediately associated with your brand. When your audience sees a particular color scheme or a certain style of imagery, you want them to think of your brand. It’s like visual storytelling – and you’re the narrator.

5. Showcase Real Customer Stories and Reviews

Real customer stories and reviews are incredibly powerful in building authenticity. They offer proof that your products or services deliver what you promise. But it’s more than just posting a five-star review. It’s about telling the story behind that review. Why did the customer love your product? How did it make a difference in their life? 

Take, for instance, how Dove showcases real women with real stories in their campaigns. It’s relatable and it builds a deeper connection with the audience.

dove uses real stories of women for authentic brand building
Image courtesy of Dove

Encourage your customers to share their experiences in a way that’s easy and engaging. Maybe it’s a hashtag for social media, a photo contest, or a feature on your website. The key is to make these stories and reviews a prominent part of your brand narrative. This not only boosts your credibility but also creates a community feel around your brand.

6. Use Influencer Partnerships Wisely

Collaborating with influencers who resonate with your brand values can add to your authenticity. It’s essential to partner with individuals who genuinely align with and use your products or services. 

Remember, smart influencer partnerships are about finding the right people who can authentically represent your brand to their audience. It’s a blend of alignment, authenticity, and creative collaboration that makes these partnerships work in boosting your brand’s authenticity.

7. Stay Transparent in Every Interaction

Authenticity isn’t just about how your brand looks; it’s also how you act, especially in your interactions with customers. Honesty and openness are key in any healthy relationship, and that includes the bond between you and your customers.

When things don’t go as planned, be upfront about it. Take Calendly’s approach: they shared an honest, post-outage apology that came straight from the CEO, detailing what went wrong and their commitment to doing better.

Photo grabbed from @HardlyAllison‘s tweet

Remember, Authenticity Is a Continuous Effort

Building an authentic brand is an ongoing journey. It involves constant communication with your customers and showcasing your brand’s true purpose. Once you’ve got your marketing materials, your work has just begun. Keep striving to make your brand more authentic, and watch how trust and loyalty grow with your audience.

At Nimbletoad, we highly believe in the power of authentic brand building. We work with you to communicate your brand’s message to your customers through engaging and authentic content and marketing. Connect with us and let’s start making your brand stand out.