Creating an authentic brand is crucial for success in today’s competitive business landscape. People are increasingly seeking companies with values that align with their own. Businesses must explore innovative ways to communicate their message effectively and establish credibility. One powerful method is to shift away from traditional spokesperson choices and instead focus on mining stories from employees and satisfied customers to earn audiences’ trust.
1. From CEO to Employee Narratives: A Shift in Brand Storytelling
CEOs and other senior executives have long represented the public image of numerous brands, but times are changing. Instances of prominent corporate turmoil, as seen in cases like Hawaiian Electric or Norfolk Southern, have contributed to the lack of confidence in organizations. Today, audiences expect authentic stories that resonate with them emotionally and intellectually. By tapping into the experiences and perspectives of various employees and customers, companies can humanize their brand and establish a more genuine connection with their target audience.
2. Media and Trust: Addressing Disinformation and Sharing Valuable Information
In the age of information, consumers seek accurate and trustworthy sources. Rather than expecting media outlets to promote their corporate agenda, brands should focus on sharing valuable and accurate information with the public. This approach helps build trustworthiness and credibility, as the majority of people expect companies to prioritize doing the right thing.
3. Embrace Transparency and Evolving Narratives
Transparency is key to gaining and maintaining trust in a rapidly changing world. Brands must be open and honest about their actions, challenges, and aspirations. By staying true to the essence of their stories, even as narratives evolve, companies can build lasting credibility with their audience.
4. Stand Behind Your Values: A Pillar of Credibility
Consumers are drawn to brands that embody strong values and principles. It is essential not to waver in the face of questioning or criticism. By standing firmly behind your values, you can gain the loyalty and support of like-minded consumers who share your beliefs. Companies such as Patagonia and Subaru use corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a central element of communication strategy for their spokespeople. Their commitment to social and environmental causes goes beyond marketing tools, resonating deeply with its ethos. Companies can create a powerful narrative by embodying their values and consistently aligning their actions with messaging.
6. The Power of Diversity
When selecting spokespeople, consider diversity and representation. Different voices and perspectives bring fresh ideas and authenticity to your brand. Each individual’s unique background, experiences, and viewpoints contribute to building well-rounded messaging. They can also help bridge the gap with specific demographics and communities, expanding your reach and influence. The diversity of input allows for creativity in your brand’s identity but also fosters a strong resonance with a diverse audience.
7. Engaging with Local Groups and Organizations
Connect with local groups and organizations that resonate with your target audience to build credibility. Partnering with these groups demonstrates your brand’s commitment to the community, enhances credibility, and keeps you in tune with your audience’s needs and concerns.
Consider updating your go-to list of brand spokespeople—shifting from a traditional CEO-centric approach to transparent storytelling through the eyes of employees, customers, and other brand advocates. But remember, credibility is not built overnight. It requires consistent effort and a commitment to staying true to your values. Over time, this approach can elevate your brand to new heights and set it apart in a competitive marketplace. So, take the leap and let others’ stories shine as the guiding light of your brand narrative.
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