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What is Brand Authenticity?

Brand authenticity is defined as “the extent to which consumers perceive a brand to be faithful toward itself, true to its consumers, motivated by caring and responsibility, and able to support consumers in being true to themselves,” according to the developers of the Perceived Brand Authenticity Scale.

Brands that are perceived as authentic will also be perceived as delivering more value to customers, which will make customers more likely to remain loyal to the brand. When deciding which brands to support, 86% of customers say that brand authenticity is an important consideration.

Ninety-two percent of marketers believe that their content comes across as authentic with consumers, but unfortunately, customers don’t always agree. 51% of consumers believe that less than half of brands create content that feels authentic.

So what is brand authenticity, and how can your brand deliver on its promise? Let’s take a closer look.

Components of Brand Authenticity

Brand authenticity has four primary components, according to the Perceived Brand Authenticity Scale: continuity, credibility, integrity, and symbolism.


When we think of continuity, we think of a brand that has longevity and has survived the rise and fall of trends over time. For instance, look at a brand like L.L. Bean. This sporting goods and apparel brand was founded in 1912 in Freeport, Maine and is still headquartered there. While it’s grown substantially from its origins, it still focuses on selling high-quality outdoor recreational gear and clothing and continually adapts its products to what its customers are looking for, while keeping iconic products like the Bean Boot.


Brand credibility refers to the belief that a brand will live up to its promise. Companies can gain credibility by being as transparent as possible in the story of their brand, spotlighting how products are made and how their supply chain is managed. It’s also easy to damage credibility by, for instance, falling victim to a big data breach, or by misrepresenting the results that customers can expect to receive from using your products. Morning Consult’s Most Trusted Brands 2020 found the USPS, Amazon, and Google among the most trusted brands in America.


Brand integrity is about whether a brand reflects a set of moral values. A clothing brand, for instance, may focus on sustainable style and eliminating unnecessary waste, using recycled materials to develop its products. Brands can create inbound marketing content and participate in PR initiatives that showcase their commitment to these values to educate consumers about how they live by them. The shoe company Allbirds, for instance, has a “Flight Plan” to cut its footprint in half by 2026, with a detailed list of sustainability initiatives that it reports on transparently.


Brand symbolism is visually apparent in your logo and design choices, but it can also reflect the way that the brand is represented in your customers’ lives or in the culture at large. Apple, for instance, has a very strong brand identity that focuses on sleek, uncluttered, and modern design that helps its customers without getting in their way.

How to Deliver on Brand Authenticity

Understanding your customers’ sentiment about your brand is the cornerstone of developing brand authenticity. To build an authentic brand, first, make sure that you understand all of your marketing personas so that you know what stories and messaging will appeal to each of your customers.

You can then start building content that highlights your brand values and helps your customers understand your history. To deliver true authenticity, you should make sure that your customers see more than just your own content. By encouraging users to tag and submit their own social media content that incorporates your brand or product, you can highlight what your brand actually represents in your customers’ lives.

Your brand should aim to develop an open, transparent culture that welcomes feedback from customers, and, in turn, fosters a conversation with these customers by responding. Put messaging guidelines in place to ensure that you’re sharing the same information across all of your social channels in response to customer questions. If your brand makes a mistake, own up to it and make it right for the customer as quickly as possible.

Your marketing communications should reflect consistent messaging and brand guidelines, though your style may adapt on a channel by channel basis. (Social media may take a more casual tone than your web copy, for example). You can repurpose content across channels, choosing the right form for each platform. For example, you might develop a two-minute brand story video that lives on your website and on YouTube, and send a 30-second clip of the video to your subscribers via email and SMS. Make sure to present your content in a way that’s most likely to appeal to customers on a channel-by-channel basis.

Brand Authenticity in Cross-Channel Marketing

It's also important to create consistent brand experiences for your customers across all of your marketing channels. To do this, you should integrate all of your customer data in one centralized location, so that you can keep track of all of your interactions with every customer in your network and deliver personalized experiences that reflect their unique needs and values, regardless of which channels they prefer to use to engage with your brand.

Using a cross-channel marketing platform like Iterable, you can develop streamlined workflows that help you deliver the right content to each customer based on their specific customer journey. That might include delivering personalized product recommendations based on products they’ve previously viewed on your website or app, or following up on a purchase with a customer service survey.

By following your customers’ cues to deliver the right content on the right channels based on their personal preferences, you can ensure that your brand delivers on its brand promise and demonstrates authenticity in all your interactions.


Iterable is a cross-channel marketing platform that powers unified customer experiences and empowers marketers to create, optimize and measure relevant interactions and experiences customers love. Leading brands, like Cinemark, DoorDash, Calm, Madison Reed, and Box, choose Iterable to power world-class customer experiences throughout the entire lifecycle. Discover our growth marketing solutions for personalization, increasing customer engagement, and more. Discover our platform and schedule a demo today.