Advertising and marketing to a desired audience can be a tricky action to effectively take.Many consumers want to see authenticity in the brands they choose. Brands that are transparent about their values and practices and use honest methods of communications are favored by more and more people. 

Brands are perceived as authentic if they can also be perceived as reliable, respectful and real. Aligning the product, company mission and marketing efforts in a streamlined way gives you the title of authentic. 

In an AdWeek article about the enduring popularity of Polaroid (in the January 6, 2020 issue), brand and technology consultant David Deal states, “Polaroids are authentic. Gen Z and millennials value authenticity in a brand.” Most people carry smartphones around with very capable cameras, but Polaroids continue to be popular. Polaroids give you a real, unedited physical picture. 

Other brands, like Dove are similarly seen as authentic.

Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty started in 2004 and has been re-named the Dove Self-Esteem Project. Dove is not just a beauty company, but a beauty company that’s mission is to help build confidence and change the conversation about beauty. Dove’s marketing efforts use real women of all different shapes, sizes, races and ethnicities who feel beautiful and confident in their own skin.

Building an authentic brand begins with aligning your values and message from the outset, and investing the time to ensure all marketing efforts broadcast these values in a real, effective way. A study by the PR agency Cohn & Wolfe found that consumers want brands to be honest and authentic and that 89% of consumers expect companies to act with integrity at all times.We can argue it’s not really optional to start being transparent in your marketing, and leaving old gimmicks aside. For example, Thermostat Recycling Corporation has one mission: to recycle all mercury thermostats in accordance with the law and to prevent any negative effect mercury has on the environment. To this end, their website, social media accounts and advertisements clearly and effectively relay this message.