Using Digital for Brand Authenticity

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You often hear the phrase “the customer is always right” in industries ranging from fast food to public relations. This comes from the understanding that, without a strong base of consumers, a business will die. So the importance of knowing what a consumer wants and values is paramount to building a brand. Studies by Cohn and Wolfe and the Boston Consulting Group  have identified brand authenticity as one of the top factors in attracting customers.

While it looks different for everyone, brand authenticity is the proximity between the image a brand projects and the reality of what that brand represents. One of the most notable businesses to use brand authenticity to its advantage? Wendy’s.

 Wendy’s (yes, THAT Wendy’s) has gained a massive social media following by maintaining an authentic approach to its Twitter page. The page, which posts only about once or twice a week, uses most of its posts replying to fans or even competitors with witty responses and talking about that day’s trending topics.

There may not be a better example of Wendy’s connecting with its followers than when a student from Nevada decided to try to solicit free chicken nuggets from the restaurant, and rather than dismissing the ridiculous request, Wendy’s gave the student a challenge: 18 million retweets for a year of free nuggets. The result was the most retweeted tweet of 2017. Even though the post fell a bit short of 18 million, Wendy’s still honored the challenge and showed that, even if a brand deviates from the norm, it can still achieve great results from its social platforms.

Brandon Rhoten, head of Media, Advertising, and Digital/Social for Wendy’s, described the page’s voice as “Chris Pratt’s in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy.’ We don’t have any superpowers, and we’re not superhuman. We’re just a regular guy who happened to be funny and a little sarcastic.” The page/brand is successful because, rather than putting itself in a box by trying to appeal to everyone, Wendy’s has a defined brand voice and makes sure to use it across all platforms.

While most brands try to distinguish themselves from competitors, authentic brands do this with a purpose. By knowing what they do and why they do it, a company’s communication efforts can align to form an authentic and consistent voice across all platforms. This consistency can in turn come back to benefit the company and help serve as a foundation for long-term customer relationships.

Look out for a future post on how MP&F has worked with clients on brand authenticity using digital platforms.

If you and your company would like help developing an authentic brand voice or improving the voice you already have to your consumers, MP&F Public Relations would love to help! For any inquiries, visit http://mpf.com/contact-us/

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