Branding Tips

Honesty & Authenticity in Branding

Nowadays, buying local, organic foods is becoming the norm. People actively search for meat and produce in their local grocery store that might have come from a farm down the road or at the very least, in their home state. So, it's no surprise that brands are highlighting this information on their package design. If you're local, organic, and the best quality meat, it only makes sense to advertise yourself as such.

Just recently, a British grocery company replaced their "Everyday Value" branded products with products named similarly to British farms. Simply put, the farms don't even exist. Seriously...they're just made up. So, when customers think they are picking up roasted turkey or a bag of apples with the extremely British countryside sounding "Rosedene" and "Nightingale" label, the product itself is being imported as far away as Chile. Yikes!

Phil Bicknell, the UK's National Farmer's Union Head of Food and Farming said: "It is clear that Tesco have identified that customers have a positive affinity with farmers and want to capitalise on this."

"The key question to ask with this is, what are these brands trying to communicate? If this is not aligned with the origin sourcing and specification of the product we must ask if this is misleading to customers."

Bicknell is exactly right. It's one thing to be the best of the best, but it's another to lie about it to entice customers. When the truth came out, Tesco was left looking foolish and dishonest. Though Tesco is a very popular and public example, dishonesty in branding is all too common.

At Peppermill Projects, we are invested in our clients and their success. During our Brand Discovery phase, we really dig deep into the heart of the brand to find out what they stand for, why they do what they do, and to whom they provide products or services. More than that, we focus on understanding and empathizing with a particular brand's customer. We aim to align the customer's wants and needs with our client's honest values to provide the best brand experience.

The only way your brand can be successful is by gaining (and keeping) the trust of your customers. Tesco, for example, has likely lost the trust of many of their customers that shop at competitive grocers. Tesco tried to make their produce seem like something it was not — organic and local. Perhaps their marketing efforts would have been better served by honestly communicating their strengths, whether it's cleaner stores, cheaper prices, a better rewards program, etc.

Authenticity and honesty in branding is a result of actually living your brand's core values. With honest and transparent communication, your brand will build a loyal fanbase. And truthfully, what good is a business without raving fans?

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