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Business’s struggle for authenticity

Authentic. It’s something we all as individuals want to be and it’s something all organisations probably believe that they are. But authenticity, like so many of those really important, intangible things in life, has to be in the eyes of the beholder.

It cannot be self-defined.

Cohn & Wolfe's Andrew Escott on their recent Authentic Brands research:

Cohn & Wolfe recently completed some interesting research on what it believes is required for organisations to become authentic, or indeed unauthentic.

EE's Howard Jones discusses the importance of earmed media in building a reputable brand:

The global differences in consumer perception of brand authenticity is shown below:

Asia clearly wins the authenticity race, proving that if nothing else, all things are relative, but even. China has a relatively low score of 36%. Western Europe leads the way in terms of cynicism.

Is authenticity nice to have for business or does it really count on the bottom line?

Cohn & Wolfe’s research suggests that globally 88% of consumers will reward a brand for being authentic.

What does authenticity look like?

In terms of how authenticity manifests itself, again it’s about consumers perception. Cohn & Wolfe defines the attributes of authenticity as reliable, respectful and real.

And each “R” has a cluster of individual attributes:

The opportunity for brands when understanding their authenticity is to understand their authenticity profile, both in terms of its strengths and weaknesses, particularly in comparison to their competitive set.

If you’re still with me, this analysis comes to life when you look at Cohn & Wolfe’s top five most authentic brands in the UK. Whilst the list is excellent news if you are a high-street retailer, the data behind the scoring (shown below) reveals an interesting insight into consumer perception of brands.

Cohn & Wolfe’s Top 5 Most Authentic UK Brands

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