You Can’t Fake Authenticity

Authenticity in advertising seems to be the hot new buzzword. In fact, if you Google it, you’ll get more than 9 million results. So why authenticity and why now?

Perhaps as a result of Occupy Wall Street where the perceived greed, corruption and undo influence of corporations came under media scrutiny and created a consumer desire for brand transparency. Or perhaps because the media-savvy Gen Y’ers who are masters at deconstructing media messaging are demanding that the brands they choose respect them as consumers and listen to their needs.

Regardless of the reason, authenticity in brand messaging is what people really want and businesses should heed this current consumer desire. Business Consultant James T. Noble writes, “The more virtual our lives get, the more we hunger after something genuine. What people really want now is not just a product or service, it’s an experience. An experience that is more honest and transparent…more authentic.”

I would propose that family business are the best suited to utilize authenticity in their advertising. Family businesses typically have compelling stories to tell, and aren’t afraid to be transparent about telling them. If you’re a family business, here’s a few things to consider including in the narrative of your story:

  • What motivates you and your business? What are you passionate about?
  • What do you hope your product or service solves for others?
  • What core values drive your business practices and operations?
  • What are the brand promises you can keep at all times?

Once you’ve nailed down the content of your story, then do an evaluation of where you are sharing your story now, and look for other places to tell it. With a consistent effort to tell genuine stories across multiple platforms, family businesses are well poised to capitalize on this current trend.

CEO Mike Michalowicz suggests that consumers are tired of being fed empty promises and celebrity endorsements, saying “It’s no longer about finding out what the consumer wants to hear, but rather it’s about telling your story in a compelling way, a way that invites the consumer to feel like part of your corporate family.” If you don’t know where to begin, start with, “from our family to yours…”

To learn more about family business marketing visit

Jane Olvera Quebe, President