8 August 2020
One thing that is either found in abundance or completely lacking when it comes to businesses in Hawaii is authenticity.
Those who know what they stand for prosper, maintaining a group of loyal clients and customers both on island and off.
Those who are inauthentic; drawing heavily from other successful businesses, taking from stereotypes about living in Hawaii, or conforming rather than identifying their own brand, have fallen victim to a very oversaturated industry.
As our economy becomes increasingly reliant on shopping and supporting local, making sure that you are consistently representing your brand authentically will be more important than ever.
What Does Authenticity Mean?
Some entrepreneurs might get confused when they first set out to create an “authentic brand”. Being authentic does not mean shedding all common manners to be “relatable”, if that isn’t what your business is about, then that isn’t authentic.
Authenticity also isn’t about extreme niching down. You want your authentic branding to attract MORE people not alienate until the pool of customers is so specific there is no way to expand.
Entrepreneur Kim Garst stated that if what you are doing matches the promise you have made to existing and potential customers, then you are being authentic. If you cannot deliver on those promises you make that is inauthentic. When your brand is being authentic you don’t have to “appear” to be or do anything, you just are.
While a lot of this may come across like something we all learned in elementary school. Much like the “Golden Rule” or “Sharing is Caring”, these are principles that many hesitate to enact when it comes to their business.
Authenticity drives customers, those who accept your authentic brand will build loyalty.
What is Visible Authenticity?
As much as many of us don’t want to admit, the ways in which we market ourselves and our business are changing. It is not just because of the continuously growing technology that surrounds us even on small islands in the middle of the Pacific; but human to human, human to business, and business to business interactions all have to exist online at the moment.
Whereas in the past, someone feels as though your business has not delivered on what you have promised, they will take it directly to you or your customer service team. Now, with social media more widespread than ever, that same unsatisfied customer will use their platform to let hundreds know about what they have perceived as being inadequate service.
While you can’t make them delete the Tweet before sending or remove it from the internet once posted (although there are other strategies, more on that coming soon…) those who have continuously demonstrated a strong and authentic brand that has built a base of loyal customers will not be taken down by a singular person’s review.
Moreover, if you truly believe in what your business is doing and who you are, there would be no hesitation in reaching out to that customer and rectifying the situation.
Social media is as much the downfall of inauthenticity as the promoter of it. We have all seen ads like “fit teas” or “miracle cures”, but how many of those ads seem genuine. If you don’t build authenticity and rapport with your customers over social media (more on that in this article) you are missing out on an opportunity to demonstrate what your business truly stands for.
Blogger J.C Kendall described it as such, “If you cannot give your audience a sense of who you truly are and gain acceptance for the same, good luck getting them to sign on the dotted line.”
Ok Great! But How Can I Let People Know About My Authenticity?
All you have to do to convince your customers that you have a genuine business that lives up to all the hype is… just that.
As entrepreneurs we tend to look at everything strategically, how can I make sure I am doing everything right to set my business up for the greatest amount of success. If you feel as though you are presenting the best version of your brand, something you believe in and are proud of, odds are you are incredibly authentic.
If you have doubts about services you offer, things you post, ventures you pursue, odds are there is work to be done.
Making sure your brand is an authentic representation of you and your business is probably the easiest thing you can do when it’s something you believe in.
Now just make sure you are telling the world about it!