brand marketing best practices

The Power of Authenticity in Branding During Economic Downturns

In the face of global challenges, such as the recent tridemic (COVID, RSV and flu), the role of authenticity in branding has never been more critical. While these healthcare crises are managed through medical interventions, the economic strain on consumers is palpable. This period, however, offers a unique opportunity for brands to connect genuinely and elevate their image authentically.

Branding becomes more critical during troubled economic times. However, remember three main points:

  1. Your brand is everything that people experience about you and that makes them want to utilize your facilities and your services.
  2. Your brand is how others see you, not how you see yourself.
  3. Keep your brand authentic.

Consumers have clamored for authenticity since the start of the pandemic with 88% of consumers saying authenticity is important when deciding on brands they support. They don’t care about platitudes or superlatives. They want to know how you intend to care for them and then to experience the care you promise.

Authenticity in branding, simply defined, refers to the quality of being genuine, real, and true to one’s principles, values, and identity. When it comes to branding—particularly when increased day-to-day costs are on everyone’s minds—authenticity ranks as one of your most valuable and powerful attributes.

Here are five ways that authenticity in branding can elevate brands in an economic downturn or anytime:

  • Builds trust. When a brand consistently delivers on its promise and presents itself openly and honestly, consumers are more likely to trust it. Accolades and tone-deaf messages fail to inspire safety, trust, and credibility. Instead, messages that provide patients with free community resources, reiterate the value of prevention, and offer cost-conscious programs benefiting their health go a long way to instill trust by prioritizing their health and wellbeing.
  • Differentiates from competitors. In a crowded marketplace, especially with competition on all sides, authenticity can set a brand apart from competitors. Authentic brands’ unique stories, missions, and core values help them stand out.
  • Attracts a loyal customer base. Authenticity fosters a connection between brand and customer. These connections occur at every touchpoint—from your social media content to interactions with your customers. When consumers feel genuine connections, they become loyal advocates who promote your brand to others. To elevate the consumer experience, ensure that your brand reflects your core values and that employees are aligned with those same core values. If you promise exceptional service, do your best to treat customers like they’re your only customer.
  • Elevates brand image. An authentic brand is usually perceived as more credible and reputable. However, achieving that status doesn’t happen overnight. FleishmanHillard’s study showed that brands needed to act to meet consumer expectations. About 95% of the industries studied did not meet expectations of providing their customers with better value. Credibility and authenticity typically go hand in hand to elevate your brand image.
  • Increases perceived value. Authentic branding elevates your brand and can elevate the perceived value. When consumers trust and believe in the brand, they are often willing to pay more for services or procedures even during economic downturns.

While many brands talk about authenticity, it’s crucial to truly embody it. Authenticity in branding helps achieve brand trust and credibility. Authenticity helps elevate your brand by connecting with audiences on a deeper level, creating stronger bonds, and driving business even during challenging economic times.

TotalCom is a full-service marketing agency helping brands like yours tell their story to the right audiences. Email Lori Moore or call TotalCom Marketing Communications at 205.345.7363 to see how TotalCom may be the right fit for you.

Should You Go All-in on Brand Marketing?

Healthcare systems across the country seem to be jumping back on the branding wagon. They are hiring marketing vice presidents from consumer brand companies and engaging multinational advertising agencies. The idea is to create a pull strategy that causes consumers to demand your healthcare system. That, in turn, gives you leverage when negotiating insurance reimbursement rates.

But will new logos and television ads alone create that demand?

Probably not.

Designer team sketching a logo in digital design studio on computer, creative graphic drawing skills for marketing and branding (own design elements on the computer screen)