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Authenticity as a Core Value

Get Real

7/14/2023 | Paul Kiewiet, Pursuit of Purpose

Authenticity as a Core Value: Get Real

In this continuing series on core values, we explore the Power of Being Real. Knowing who you are and what you stand for is critical to building strong relationships and a strong business.

Today more than ever, companies are constantly seeking ways to stand out and connect with their target audience. Amidst all the marketing strategies and branding tactics, one core value has emerged as a powerful differentiator - authenticity. Being authentic is no longer just a buzzword; it has become a crucial pillar for businesses looking to build trust, loyalty, and long-term success.

Authenticity goes beyond superficial marketing techniques. It is about being genuine, transparent, and true to one's values. It involves aligning actions, words, and intentions, and building meaningful relationships with customers, employees, and stakeholders. When authenticity becomes your core value, it permeates every aspect of your business, shaping its culture, operations, and customer interactions.

4 Reasons Why Authenticity Matters

  1. Building Trust:  Your customers are bombarded with marketing messages and brand promises, trust has become a rare commodity. Authenticity acts as a bridge between businesses and their customers, creating a genuine connection built on honesty and transparency. When customers perceive a company as authentic, they are more likely to trust its products, services, and promises.

  2. Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, authenticity sets a company apart from the competition. Consumers crave authentic experiences and are increasingly drawn to businesses that demonstrate integrity and a genuine commitment to their values. By embracing authenticity, companies can establish a unique identity and create a loyal customer base.

  3. Employee Engagement: Authenticity isn't limited to customer interactions; it also extends to internal relationships. When employees witness authenticity at the core of their organization, they feel valued, respected, and inspired. This fosters a sense of belonging and cultivates a positive work environment, leading to higher levels of engagement, productivity, and employee retention.

  4. Long-Term Relationships: Authenticity is the foundation for building enduring relationships with customers. By being real and transparent, businesses can foster loyalty and repeat business. When customers feel a genuine connection with a company, they are more likely to become brand advocates, referring others and providing valuable feedback.

How to Embrace Authenticity as a Core Value

  1. Define Your Values: Authenticity starts with knowing what your business stands for. Identify your core values and ensure they align with the mission and vision of your organization. Communicate these values effectively, both internally and externally, to create a consistent brand image.

  2. Be Transparent: Transparency is essential for authenticity. Be open about your business practices, pricing, and policies. Share information about your processes and decisions. Address mistakes and challenges honestly, and use them as opportunities to learn and improve.

  3. Listen and Respond: Authenticity involves actively listening to your customers and responding to their needs. Engage in meaningful conversations, gather feedback, and show genuine empathy. By understanding and addressing your customers' concerns, you demonstrate your commitment to their satisfaction.

  4. Cultivate a Genuine Company Culture: Authenticity should be embedded in your company culture. Encourage open communication, collaboration, and trust among your employees. Recognize and appreciate individuality, fostering an environment where everyone can be their authentic selves.

  5. Stay Consistent: Authenticity is not a one-time effort; it requires consistency. Ensure that your actions, messaging, and brand image align with your values over time. Continuously evaluate and refine your practices to maintain authenticity as your business grows and evolves

  6. Embrace Social Responsibility: Authenticity often goes hand in hand with social responsibility. Demonstrate a genuine commitment to causes that align with your values. Engage in sustainable practices, ethical sourcing, and community involvement. By being socially responsible, you build trust and authenticity with your stakeholders.

  7. Authenticity has evolved from a mere marketing tactic to a core value that drives business success. In an era of skepticism and information overload, being genuine and transparent has become more critical than ever. By embracing authenticity, companies can build trust, differentiate themselves, foster employee engagement, and cultivate long-term relationships with customers. Authenticity isn't just a strategy; it is a fundamental way of doing business that creates lasting impact and sets the stage for sustainable growth.

  8. Many in our industry are soloists or the individual as the entire organization. This makes being yourself a critical differentiator. Your clients buy from you because of who you are - so know who you are and be the best version of your true self.

Paul Kiewiet MAS+ is an industry speaker, writer, consultant and coach. He serves as the executive director of MiPPA. Kiewiet was inducted into the PPAI Hall of Fame and the MiPPA Hall of Fame. He served as Chairman of PPAI in 2007. A former distributor, he founded Promotion Concepts, Inc in 1982 and worked with some of America’s most valuable brands including Coca-Cola, Kelloggs, and Whirlpool.
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