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‘Transparency’ and ‘Authentic’ are More Than Buzz Words

You’ve heard your boss say it; you’ve heard the client say it, you’ve heard it in a job interview.

“We need to be authentic and show our fans who we really are.”

“It’s important we are transparent and give our shoppers a glimpse behind-the-scenes.”

“How do you plan to build our brand narrative in a way that shows authenticity & transparency?”

“I love working in marketing and helping my clients present themselves in an authentic way.”

 

Transparency & Authenticity

Although all of this can seem like overkill, these words are no longer just buzzwords. It’s becoming increasingly clear that brands need to take these to heart if they want to be successful.

Why the sudden shift and importance of brands establishing transparency and authenticity?  Why now?

Well, it’s because we are in the age of:

  • The internet where everyone has access to information at their fingertips.
  • Social media where everyone has a voice and a platform.
  • Smartphones, where anyone can record and distribute to thousands of people within seconds.
  • An understanding of shared responsibility.
  • Millennials.

According to studies, millennials can be described as educated, technologically savvy, civic-oriented, conscious, and global citizens.  All of these characteristics show us millennials care, want to make the world a better place, and have the platform to do it. This also means they want to engage, work and associate with brands that want to make the world a better place, too.  

However, the days of brands making a donation or “helping out those in need” with a single day of service are long gone. Millennials can see right through that.  Millennials don’t want to just give, they want to DO and experience, and to know exactly how their actions are changing the world. This younger generation will seek out brands that do good in the world because that’s who they are, or strive to be, at their core, not because of a tax write-off.  Millennials are looking for brands that are authentic in who they are and have transparency in what they stand for.

As a brand, what can you do to ensure you are authentic and transparent when it comes to what you stand for?

  • Find out what you stand for.
  • Stand for it.
  • Stand for it in everything your brand and your employees do.

In order to be authentic and transparent, whatever your “thing” is, it needs to become synonymous with your brand.  It needs to be intertwined into everything you do… your voice, your messaging, your campaigns, your events, your commercials, your talent.  It even needs to be apparent in things the public does not see- your office environment, your office culture, your CEO, your employees and your business decisions.

 

Follow Their Lead

It sounds simple, but we know it’s not easy.  There are many brands, corporations and leaders who haven’t figured it out yet, but here are some that are doing it right

Los Angeles Clippers and Bumble

  • Both brands stand for and understand the value in female leadership, with the Clippers having the only female president among NBA teams (along with the largest female staff in the NBA) and Bumble being a dating app based on female empowerment (along with a female founder and CEO).

Peter Berg & Military Veterans

  • Successful Hollywood writer and director Peter Berg doesn’t need to give input on the people hired for his sets.  However, Peter Berg has vowed to hire military veterans for the set of every television show and movie he creates, and follows through. Not because he feels pity for veterans but because he believes they are truly great hires.  

Madewell & Blue Jeans Go Green

  • Knowing that their brand is a go-to store for new denim, Madewell partnered with the non-profit, Blue Jeans Go Green.  Shoppers can donate their old jeans at Madewell stores, which will then be turned into housing insulation for communities in need.  

Bradley Cooper & Equal Pay

  • When Jennifer Lawerence took a stand for equal pay among men and women in Hollywood, Bradley Cooper was not far behind.  Cooper has vowed, and follows through, to tell every female co-star his salary, ensuring their salary matches his.

 

 

Laura Day Headshot

About the Author: Laura Day

Laura Day is a sports fanatic who has brought that passion to her career. As a former collegiate volleyball player and a die-hard Lakers fan, she brings the sports mentality and teamwork to her leadership style and marketing strategies. When Laura isn’t in the office, you can find her traveling the world, one brewery at a time.

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