Be real! Value creation through authenticity

Be real! Value creation through authenticity

Recently, I discussed in the article about slow perfume (which was also recognized elsewhere) the idea that perfume creations can – in consideration of their timely constitution and long-term continuity – be thought of as valuable individual goods instead of accelerated mass products. This idea is based on several components.

One basic component is the facet of authenticity. Authenticity is extremely relevant in the case of multiple other products and groups of products that demand well-trained capacities in explaining and presenting those goods. Authenticity is a multidimensional term: it is input, output and – as a throughput – continuous fuel in the social realm between production, distribution, and consumption. It is a code of qualities like loyalty, constancy, and trust/familiarity: consumers document their connection to a brand and its products through it. In addition, direct financial developments can be related to authentic brands.

Thus, authenticity still gains importance in markets where consumers are more and more critical about over-marketed and worshiped brands. US-psychologist Michael Kernis (passed away in 2009) mentioned the following aspects of authenticity that is related to individuals:

  • Awareness of own strengths and weaknesses
  • Openness in relation to incoming positive and negative information
  • Action according to specific values and ideas
  • Honesty and sincerity

These aspects are also relevant in terms of brands and branded products more generally. Beyond the traditional argumentation that authenticity is, basically, created through real and true being that is continuously compared, changed, and recreated by its consuming audience, the above four aspects can also be addressed through intentional doing in the ongoings course of becoming a brand.

Awareness of own strengths and weaknesses

  • Certainty of the brand and its products in regard to its overall appearance, its pricing and availability
  • Individuality with a focus on the uniqueness and specificity of the brand
  • Emphasis of the unique strengths through communication, marketing, and PR

Openness in relation to incoming positive and negative information

  • Continuity and flexible, but also robust, goal-oriented action
  • Flexibility through a continuing overview of the market and consumer development
  • Sensibility for potentially important weak signals

Action according to specific values and ideas

  • Internal consistency in its decisions and actions on the basis of individual standards and goals
  • Patient communication of the relevant values and ideas
  • Achievement of objectives through commercially obtainable genuine means (which will become brand-characteristic in the medium and long run)

Honesty and sincerity

  • Stringent and economically- as well as ethically-correct actions
  • Establishment of Codes of Conduct
  • Handy, provable and recognizable signs of honest behavior

Thus, authenticity is an everyday warrantor of intentional and true action that helps to realize economic goals. Authentic brands and their products reach out and capture well-informed and knowledgeable consumers that are increasingly critical about traditional marketing.


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