Authenticity – keeping it real


authenticity, authentic, trust, cultureWe’re all aware of the trends. In this time of increasing digital transparency and empowered consumers and shoppers, brands telling a genuine and original story are winning the battle for our hearts and minds.

People believe in honesty and sincerity. They are seeking out authentic brand interactions and experiences. They are drawn to brands that stand for something and those that are totally clear about who and what they are.

Think Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, Ikea – all top performers when it comes to authenticity. All ensuring that every engagement with their brand provides a consistent message, never faltering from their roots. Not trying too hard to be something they are not, but instead ensuring that they, and their audience can believe them to be exactly who they are.

In return, they are rewarded with loyalty, trust, and advocacy, the holy trinity of brand marketing.

When working with our own clients we often look to these industry leaders and learn from their behaviour. What are the keys to creating and maintaining an authentic brand and how can these translate across any channel and category?

Storytelling – One of the greatest assets to your brand is taking people on a journey, sharing history, creating a connection and inspiring loyalty.

Clarity – Being totally clear about who you are, what you stand for, and= what you do best, and being intentional about how you communicate this.

Consistency – Ensuring every interaction someone has with your brand communicates your brand personality and provides an engaging and memorable experience.

Bulleit batchesFor Diageo’s Bulleit Bourbon, authenticity enabled it to build its brand personality and differentiate itself in an extremely consolidated market. The brand’s position is brave and distinct, enabling it to stand out from the crowd and engage a passionate audience seeking something unique.

Bulleit’s history and storytelling traverses pre-store, instore, and post-store touch points, from bespoke visibility items in the on-premise, to bold activations creating theatre and cut through in store.

Enabling its agencies to stretch their creative capabilities and be courageous, Bulleit Bourbon has pushed boundaries and become category trend leaders. Across materials, design, messaging, experiences, and stories Bulleit gave its audience a single minded, consistent, and authentic brand proposition.

It stepped away from the mainstream and became the more personalised choice for the “anti-established”.

Karen Spear is director of shopper marketing at The Zoo Republic. She can be contacted at


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