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The trend of authenticity has become a major part of pop culture over the past couple of years. It’s about removing the sense of “mass production” and telling a familiar story that creates a personal touch and connection for consumers.

But why has this trend become so popular? One reason is because consumers are subconsciously looking to reconnect with familiar roots. Glenn Albrecht, a professor of philosophy and sustainability at Murdoch University in Australia, said society has what he coined solastalgia – a form of distress caused by environmental change. One major change we’ve experienced is the rapid advancement of technology. We’ve lived in such a hyper-tech world for more than 20 years that as we become increasingly digital-savvy, we look for ways to ground ourselves. And rather than unplug from technology, we are starting to look for other sources to develop relationships with friends, family and even brands.

To do this, people are turning to local and global brands that get back to their roots in order to connect with a story that rings true, honest and close to home. Companies are reaching for their historical taglines, messaging, imagery and logos to tell an authentic story that differentiates a brand in a saturated market and draw in new customers.  

So how can brands take the popular authenticity trend and apply it to communications? Here are three questions to ask:

  1. Does it feel right? Make sure it works for your organization and maps back to your business objectives – it needs to feel organic and compelling. If it feels forced, your business will most likely lose interest in it quickly and be forced to reimagine its communications strategy months later. 
  2. Would your customer base understand the change?  In order to ensure it’s appropriate for your business, make sure this type of messaging resonates with your audience. Some great ways to test if it aligns is to research your audience through surveys, market research reports or even small focus groups.
  3. How far is too far? It’s important to not get to the point where your business loses focus on its future. If this trend feels right and aligns to your objectives, gradually incorporate it to test the water. For instance, start by incorporating a few tactics during a product launch or large news cycle. By beginning small with a nod to the past, the brand can still hold onto its prospective future.

 

Revitalizing what once made a brand successful by jumping on the authenticity trend can add energy into a business. Not only will it bring back fond memories and conjure up delight but it can help build stronger connections with current customers and even reach new ones.

Image courtesy of |vv@ldzen.

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