This article is part of a series of writings we’ll be posting to our blog that are excerpted from The Authentic Brand by Chris Rosica. This book explores, in depth, how authenticity impacts awareness, credibility, reputation, and brand perception for B2B, B2C, and nonprofit organizations.
Commitment to authenticity in dealing with customers is another common thread that connects the entrepreneurs we work with. This is demonstrated by strong mission statements that transcend their internal communications to reach their target audiences. Most, if not all, of these business leaders have connected emotionally with their customers.
By emotionalizing their brands and producing exceptional quality not commonly found in competitive products and services, these entrepreneurs have created loyal and enthusiastic consumer bases.
Today’s consumer, like today’s businessperson, is more perceptive, skeptical, street-smart, and savvy than ever before. Addressing your audiences on their own level and having their best interests at heart, whether they are internal, including employees, or external, such as potential and existing customers, or business partners. To thrive in this highly competitive business landscape requires being different.
Below are the four cardinal rules of authenticity we recommend following when building relationships with your customers.
Four Cardinal Rules of Authenticity in Customer Relations
1. You must offer a genuine advantage to your customers or consumers.
2. Your marketing messages must be real, customer‑centric, and must add value to the product or service being offered.
3. Your sales and distribution team must relay these key differentiators.
4. You must stand behind your product and keep your brand promise.
Jim Koch, creator of the Samuel Adams brand, has a particularly succinct way of looking at the authenticity of his relationship with his customers. “When I recall starting Sam Adams, one of the reasons I did it was that I wanted to have beer that I liked to drink, and nobody else was making it,” he explains. “So, it was really easy to identify with my consumers because I was the first one!”
How can you be more real about standing behind your product than that?
We have found that today’s most successful entrepreneurs take the needs and wants of their customers seriously. They don’t speak down to them, but rather speak to them on their level. Connecting with the customers is the cornerstone of building brand loyalty and a brand following.
By following the four cardinal rules of authenticity in consumer relations, you will ensure that your relationships with customers are dignifying and add value to both parties.
Chris is president of Rosica Communications, an award-winning national PR, digital marketing, and integrated marketing communications agency that specializes in the nonprofit, education, and healthcare sectors.