Brand authenticity is currently one of the big buzzwords in marketing, but what does it really mean? It refers to the extent to which a brand accurately represents its values, beliefs, and personality to its customers. It is the degree to which a brand aligns with what it claims to be and what customers perceive it to be. How does this apply to your business? Let’s look at the recent controversy surrounding Bud Light.
Bud Light recently hired an LGBTQ+ social influencer to promote the brand. So, what’s the big deal? Influencer marketing is very popular in today’s media budgets. In aligning with a very progressive (politically speaking) influencer, Bud Light alienated its core customer base- older, conservative, and male-dominated consumers who drink their beer. All the while, the LGBTQ+ questioned the brand’s motivation around the campaign.
Why does this all matter? Answer this question- when you think of the Bud Light (Budweiser) brand, what comes to mind? If you answered Clydesdale, cheeky mascots (talking frogs), and sports marketing- those images are the brand authenticity and equity Bud Light has cemented over generations.
Brand authenticity is important because customers are increasingly looking for companies that they can trust and believe in. Authenticity helps build customer loyalty and trust, as customers are more likely to support and recommend brands that they see as genuine and transparent.
Additionally, an authentic brand can differentiate itself from competitors and stand out in a crowded marketplace. The key to achieving brand authenticity is having an honest understanding of who your customers are and what they value. This will help inform the strategies you use to reach them, as well as the messaging and communication that reflects your company.
As a marketer, I understand the desire to open your product to new customers. A portion of all marketing should target new audiences, period. However, alienating your current base in your messaging is a real risk, especially via social platforms. To ignore your core customers, you run the risk of losing them altogether. For Bud Light, it will take years (if ever) to earn back the brand.
Have a great one.
President and Founder, Engage Media
To learn about how Engage Media can help your business, please visit www.engagemedia.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our team of professionals is ready to assist you with all your digital and traditional media needs.