How authenticity helps forge deeper connections with your audiences

Welcome to the Keel insights

In a similar way to brand purpose, brand authenticity and the use of authentic content in campaigns is becoming more important for businesses to attract and retain customers. But as we highlighted in our insight focusing on the importance of instilling genuine brand purpose – there is a fine balance when it comes to being authentic and how far to go with making your content relatable. Believe it or not, there are brands who have tried to engineer authenticity and are left to pick up the pieces when their campaign is called out for being anything but authentic.

However, marketing isn’t just about showing what’s 100% real. Unless it is your brand mission to be unreservedly authentic in everything you do, you must allow some leeway to ensure you are still showcasing your product or service in a way that will attract an audience in the first place. But how do you create cut-through and use authenticity to power your creativity?

Harnessing the power of authenticity

The idea that brand authenticity leads to increased brand loyalty and therefore increased revenue is not a new one. In their 2019 report ‘Consumer & Marketer Perspectives on Content in the Digital Age’ Stackla revealed that 90% of consumers believed authenticity was important when deciding which brands they liked and supported. And although 92% of marketers believe most or all the content they create is perceived as authentic, 51% of consumers said that less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. This shows a disconnect between what marketers believe is authentic and what translates as authentic to a consumer. And as GWI’s ‘Connecting The Dots’ report highlighted at the start of the pandemic, ‘businesses looking to grow their brand amid the pandemic will need to align with their customers’ values in ways that are genuine and sustainable. And what’s more – consumers and prospective employees will hold them accountable like never before.’ Looking beyond the pandemic, this demand from consumers is here to stay and brands need to think carefully about how they can position their brand and content to capitalise on this trend.

How authenticity drives deeper connections

So, why is being authentic so important? And why does it help to drive deeper connections with your audience? The answer is that it’s more relevant to your audience. When you speak to your target audience on their level and position your brand or service in a way that they can see themselves using it, you immediately hook them in and make them feel as though you are speaking directly to them. Have you ever seen an ad on TV and thought ‘that’s me!’ – this is how you can win people over with your content and show them how your product or service can fit into their lives. Aligning with your audiences’ values and making sure you represent them with your brand and content is another way to drive stronger connections. As soon as you show that you share your audience’s beliefs, they immediately pick up on this common ground and you can become a voice for them. By championing causes and producing content that resonates with their own views, you go beyond creating customers and begin to create fans. But to do this in an authentic way you have to stay true to your brand values – just as with your purpose itself, this can’t be used as a marketing ploy. You will quickly be found out and your authenticity will erode and cause lasting brand damage.

Bringing authenticity to the forefront in an engaging way

Although being authentic stands to gain you more customers and increase brand loyalty, there is always a balance to be struck. As we alluded to in the introduction, we’ve been helping clients find that sweet spot with their branding and campaigns. We want to make sure we’re speaking directly to customers on their level, while still using aesthetically pleasing and engaging imagery to represent their brand and products in the best light.ught women from China to Europe to North America together – was the physical and emotional tension felt during those early stages of breastfeeding. By focussing on a key central emotional insight, we were able to make a campaign that felt universal, but deeply relatable. Local markets requested the assets the moment it was launched, because they believed the campaign resonated with mums globally and elevated a support product to a new level within the business. All 85 individual assets created for this campaign across the customer journey, are live globally.

Take our work with Medela – we helped with the relaunch of their Purelan product  as part of their growing breastfeeding support range. The most important thing for us was to strike a balance between the real experience of motherhood and breastfeeding, and positioning it as a premium product. The result was a campaign that resonated with mothers globally – celebrating breastfeeding in a premium, emotive way, and showcasing the product as both effective and appealing, using visual language from the beauty industry.

How we help brands use authenticity to connect with customers

Transparency is key when it comes to authenticity, but there are some simple ways you can make sure your brand and content is authentic enough to speak to your audience on a deeper level. Firstly, understanding your audience will put you in the best position to speak to them with authenticity. Understanding who they are, their challenges, their passions, their values and what makes them tick will all play a part in building authenticity into your brand. A brand we have helped to do this is Kiddylicious. As producers of nutritious snacks for babies and young children, the brand is built on the firm belief that great taste is the key to developing a positive attitude to food in later life. To convey this message, we looked at the broader picture of parenting and sought to engage with parents on their level. By developing a new content direction based around the theme ‘brightening your day, whatever it brings’ we launched a content programme that showcased products for children with fun, bitesized support for adults. If you want to develop your brand authenticity or create content that will resonate with your audience to increase brand loyalty, speak to our expert team today.

Amanda Roberts

Office and Finance Manager

Amanda is an experienced Office and Finance Manager with a track record of keeping the content, design and marketing industry ticking.

She ensures that we deliver our projects on time and on budget, and that we’re all having a lovely time while we’re at it! 

Leya

Resident Pooch

Leya is our resident Spanish Water Dog. Friendly, loyal, with a routine you could set your watch to, she embodies so many of the values we hold dear.

But more than anything, she inspires us to be good.

That’s why if you click the doggy link below and make a donation to Battersea Dogs & Cats Home, whatever you pledge, we’ll take off your eventual bill when you work with us.

Handan Erek

Designer

Handan has been in creative content production for over ten years, working with household name clients across multiple industries. 

She is a master at creating communication channels between the creative team, clients services and stakeholders. She cares deeply about understanding our clients’ needs, producing user-centred content and achieving optimal creativity and profitability in every project. 

Harps Bhopal

Senior Account Director

Harps has over 20 years of communications experience spanning across advertising and brand development.

He’s worked in many industry sectors that include automotive, healthcare, tech and financial services. He brings a sign of reassurance to clients through explaining the various stages of a project and builds their trust and confidences.

Jamie Stanley

Head of Content

Jamie is an imaginative brand storyteller with a decade of experience working with some of the world’s fastest-growing brands.

He has played a key role in generating engagement, audience and revenue growth for household names and emerging startups alike. His approach blends penetrative, eye-catching copy and content with smart, scalable process for maximum impact and sustainable success.

Jonathan Crawford

Creative Director

Jonathan has spent the last twenty years working for a variety of advertising agencies and digital marketing companies in the UK, Europe and most recently South East Asia. 

His expertise lies in brand strategy, campaign development and conceptual copywriting, proven by the several international creative awards under his belt.

Lara Caspersonn

Account Executive

Lara’s extensive background in influencer talent management and digital collaboration make her perfectly suited to building strong relationships with our clients.

A trained anthropologist, her deep understanding of human behaviour and cultural patterns are invaluable in helping the Keel team help modern brands communicate with their audiences.

Vicky Plum

Graphic Designer

Vicky has a great passion for branding in both traditional and digital media.

She has a huge amount of enthusiasm and understanding of the visual language of our audience. Her passion for film, website design and animation as well as experience in Photoshop, Indesign and Premiere make her a key team member for creative and design needs.

Chris Hart

Creative Director

Chris is a real creative all-rounder, with over 20 years of experience transforming brands all around the world.

He has a history of thinking his way around business problems, through visual and creative solutions that really bring brand experiences to life. He’s awarded at Cannes and D&AD, and adds a wealth of knowledge across all media and brand sectors.

Stephen Bass

Design Director

Stephen is a designer with 25 years of brand design and implementation experience.

He came to Keel from Interbrand NYC and worked with Keith on the Volvo global identity in 2002. He has a keen interest in helping clients understand the design process and why we’ve made the decisions we have, bringing as much objectivity to the process
as possible.

Jonathan Jewell

Creative Lead

Jonathan’s 30 year career since then has taken him all over the world, living and working in LA, Atlanta, Nairobi and London.

In that time he’s developed a wide range of skill sets beyond just design and has managed large campaigns with multiple channels where the ability to direct shoots, photography as well as implement a creative vision across multiple assets is key.

Keith Crook

CEO + Executive Creative Director

Keith is our strongest advocate for brand and communications working together.

He excels at strategic thinking, concept origination and art direction. His experience spans UK tech and finance start-ups through to global brand development for brands such as Visa and Volvo Cars – where he was the global brand creative director.