The Path to Authentic Startup Marketing : Under30CEO The Path to Authentic Startup Marketing : Under30CEO
arrow
Join the Under30CEO Community We deliver tips, tools and inspiration for your business. Daily to your inbox.

The Path to Authentic Startup Marketing

| July 23, 2012 | 3 Comments

Have you ever wondered how companies get away with calling their products the #1 best out there? The more products and content are released, whether it’s on television or on the web, the more descriptions are stretched in order to confuse consumers with over-promises hard to keep.

Flaunting our capabilities has become one of the cornerstones of society. We teach each other to market ourselves, but that “marketing” has somehow become equivalent to playing up and even overstating anything we even semi-accomplish.

The self-promotion culture permeates jobs & our work.

What is the result of this infiltration of inauthenticity? You probably have heard it all thousand times. A few of the most memorable taglines that ever existed include the very superfluous language I’m referring to.

  • De Beers: All the females reading this will recognize the sparkly De Beers Jewelry tagline that boasts, “A diamond is forever”.
  • Disney: Even Disneyworld is guilty, calling itself “The happiest place on earth”. I’ve had plenty of good times at Magic Kingdom, but I can think of plenty of other places around the globe that could give Walt Disney a run for his money on that claim.
  • John Deere: How about our trusty John Deere who flaunts his green and yellow equipment saying, “Nothing runs like a Deere”? Mr. Deere, I run pretty well myself, thank you very much.

We know these claims are stretching the bounds of truth, don’t we? Disneyworld can’t possibly be the happiest place on earth for everyone who walks through their gates, but saying so really does sound nice.

But what do entrepreneurs do when their carefully crafted taglines and advertisements are resulting in potential customers rolling their eyes?

Building An Authentic Marketing Plan — Your Action Plan

The gap between understating and bragging seems larger than before. I’ve come up with a way to create authentic relationships with people — especially my customers.

It’s easy: Tell the truth. Be yourself. Be authentic.

According to ancient Greece, the word authentikos is derived from the meaning of words like “genuineness” and “veritable”. With the user uprising we know and refer to as “social media”, the interactions between company brand and consumer are now at the forefront of the marketing industry. How can we market to customers authentically.

Step 1: Tell a story.

In a world where meaning and truth are floundering and the economy is something to fear, consumers are looking for something to believe in.

Some industries and companies are more adept in creating this kind of mission-based brand. For all companies, growing a story from your company’s roots is a good place to start, whether you are selling tires or saving deprived children.

Tell the story of how your company was founded, and consumers are bound to listen and relate to you.

Step 2: Live the story.

As time goes on, driving your business growth through this mission is a great way to keep that authentic momentum going. It’s important to stay true to what your customers believe in, instead of just enjoying the label.

There is a large gap between being what you claim to be and boasting about being what you claim to be.

If you stay true to being that very mission you lay claim to, the authenticity will stick with you in the minds of both your staff and your customers.

Step 3: Let others in on the story.

Consumers want something to believe in, and they want something to participate in, too. Allowing customers a way to interact, engage, and even contribute to the mission your brand is living will cement their loyalty for years to come.

Companies are used to speaking at consumers, pushing unwanted and irrelevant messages. Level up and beat these companies to the punch by listening, opening the conversation to include consumer contributions, and pull in their interest in a more relevant manner.

You never know – your brand could wind up with a new innovative idea; courtesy of your customers themselves!

For more on authenticity in marketing, check out Marcella’s book, To Be or Like to Be.

Bio: Marcella Chamorro recently released this book on authenticity in marketing, titled To Be or Like to Be, and she also writes for her blog on lifestyle & marketing. She is a blogger, speaker, and consultant based in Managua, Nicaragua, working on creating technologies. Email: marcella(at)marcalabs.com

Opt In Image
Awesome People + Awesome Places
Travel around the world while making new friends

Under30Experiences curates awesome experiences around the world for young travelers.

Tags: ,

Category: Finding Customers, Startup Advice

  • http://www.rocketwatcher.com/ April Dunford

    I am not sure what I think about this. While I agree that startups need to be “authentic” I’m not sure that that alone is going to cut it. In my opinion, the magic of startup marketing is in not just being authentic but meeting a need for a market. Authenticity alone doesn’t make people pay or keep the lights on.

    Also – I recognize that graphic (the font is rather unique :)
    April
     

  • http://www.marcellachamorro.com/ Marcella Chamorro

    I definitely do agree with you that fulfilling a need in a market is key — I just definitely feel that people connect more easily with a more personable marketing campaign or voice than a typical corporate-y, business-focused voice. If startups focus on the customers (and the need in the market) more often, they are heading in the right direction, I feel.

  • JJ

    I believe that a person to people marketing using social media platforms can feel and place more authenticity to any product or service. People believe people more than people believe a product tag line or slogan. Think about it. The promoter of the product or service is trying to make a buck, while people interacting about that product or service in social media platforms creates a more personal environment where the good, the bad and the ugly can come out. Who would you believe more?