Building an authentic online presence
The past year has seen many of us spend more time inside our homes than ever before. With shops closed and highstreets deserted, brands had to quickly adapt to meet the needs of online shoppers. When out and about, it was easy enough to pick up items here and there without really thinking about how much we needed them. But, being online saw many of us being more careful with what we bought and who we bought it from.
Gone are the days of brands simply posting about their services and users rushing to sign up. Now, users want to buy from brands that align with their values and are doing more than just selling products. As 2020 changed our shopping habits, it too shifted what it means for brands to be authentic and altered the way brands need to interact with users if they want to build a loyal following.
So, what are the new values of brand authenticity and how can you build an authentic online presence for your brand?
Brand transparency has become a hugely important factor for consumers when choosing where to make their next purchase from. Users want to know things like how your products are made, how sustainable your supply chain is and what kind of worker rights you have in place. It’s no longer enough to just promote the quality of your products and services, as users are searching for brands that openly align with their values.
To begin creating a more transparent and therefore authentic brand, start by using your brand voice to build a set of values upon. Adding values to your brand will help to humanise your company, building a more personable online presence that users can trust.
In the past year, there were multiple crises and events that demanded and deserved attention. Social media became a hub of response, as Twitter users showed support with #ClapForHeroes and Instagram users raised awareness with black squares. Yet, for brands, response can be more challenging to navigate. To jump on and off the bandwagon of important social issues without truly engaging with the values, risks brands appearing opportunistic instead of authentic.
The solution? Establishing your brand’s voice and values from the very beginning. Having a strong and consistent brand identity will encourage user trust, whilst enabling your brand to more freely respond to world events and appear authentic whilst doing so.
Following on from response, one of the best ways to solidify the values of your brand is by making an actionable difference. It’s easy for brands to talk the talk online, but authenticity is often found in those brands that actually walk the walk.
If your brand hasn’t yet established core values but you feel passionate about responding to an event, taking action can help to ground your response as one that is authentic. Making an actionable response will present your brand as one that cares and one that users can trust. A few examples of this would be making a donation, starting a campaign or offering free services, displaying your brand values in the choices and actions you make.
Overall, brand authenticity lies in the presentation and communication of your brand values. If you’d like to find out more about the importance of authenticity and how to build a reliable brand identity, get in touch below. We’d love to hear from you!