8 Ways to Identify an Authentic Brand

  1. An Authentic Brand consistently delivers what it says it will.

Examples: a) McDonald’s delivers fast, inexpensive food in a “fun,”child-centric environment.

b) Gillette’s patented technologies “deliver the best manual shave ever.” Or,  as their slogan claims, “The Best a Man Can Get.”

2.  An Authentic Brand can provide evidence or a measurable
track record that prove it does deliver what it promises.

ExampleToyota builds reliable, well engineered cars according to numerous personal and public* proof sources. (*Such as automotive consumer reports.)

3. An Authentic Brand has the facilities and infrastructures it needs to deliver what it says it will.

Example:FedEx delivers in more ways to more places worldwide.” The facilities and infrastructures that support this include: Fleets of trucks
& drivers, planes & pilots, airport facilities, automated and live customer service.

4. An Authentic Brand has practices and policies that match the brand’s messages.

Example: Sun Chips are made with solar power.” This manufacturing practice supports their brand’s promise to make “A healthier chip for a healthier planet.”

5.  An Authentic Brand initiates or participates in activities (like promotions, donations or sponsorships) that:

  • Support the brand’s claims/messages
  • Match its customers’ needs or values

Examples: a) Home Depot sponsors Habitat for Humanity and numerous other altruistic renovation programs. This validates their slogan, “You can do it. We can help.”

Photo By: Sgt. Hector de Jesus

b) FedEx’s Special Delivery program (6 dedicated vehicles and thousands of FedEx volunteers) have enabled worthy organizations to collect and transport more than:

  • 1.2 million pounds of food
  • 252,000 pieces of clothing
  • 450,000 toys

6. An Authentic Brand creates business alliances that extend its value by fulfilling “related” needs of its customers, which sets up a “win-win”scenario for both allies.

Examples: a) McDonalds & Wal-Mart Together they provide value to price conscious families. More families visit Wal-Mart when it also serves as a dining destination. And families that shop together spend more.

b) Starbucks & Barns & Noble Bookstores Readers enjoy browsing books with a cup of coffee. The longer they browse, the more likely they are to buy.  A high end coffee outlet attracts sophisticated, affluent customers.

7. An Authentic Brand has loyal customers and employees who willingly share their experiences and stories, which reinforce the brand’s claims and messages.

Examples: a) from cosmeticscop.com
“I have suffered from acne since I was 12 yrs old. My sister-in-law is a long time user of your products. She believed in them so much she sells them to friends & family. She set me up on a program using your products and after the first day of I could tell a difference. My skin is now clearer then it has ever been. Thank you so much!” —Debbie

b) from Macys.com (Cuisinart “Brew Central” customer review)
“This coffee maker is so easy to use. It makes such great coffee time and time again. It alerts you when its time to clean too. The digital display is real easy to use. I always use the brew time mode so I get up to fresh coffee every morning.” —CoffeeNuts

8. An Authentic Brand has a “Brand Legend” that supports its messages.

This occurs when a superb degree of consistency has been developed and people can publicly articulate the brand value proposition, whether they have ever personally experienced it or not.

Example a) Rolex is “the standard” for timepieces. This is known by those who own one and those who don’t.

Example b) The Cliff Bar legend tells the story of a man who wanted an energy bar that tasted good AND gave him the performance nutrition he needed for long distance bike rides. He couldn’t find one, so he invented one. “The Legend” is on every Cliff Bar package. Customers relate to it (and share it with others) as they went through the same experience. They applaud Cliff Bar for finally giving them an energy bar that tastes GOOD! Then they tell all their friends…who tell their friends, and so on.