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You are The Voice of brand authenticity

Wednesday, 23 May 2012 | By Polly McGee

Reality TV has given us many principles to live by over the years, as well as numerous sayings and taglines.

 

For that, and many hours of entertainment, I’m sure we are all thankful.

 

Just when we all assumed that there was no format left to exploit, along comes The Voice Australia. Once again Australian viewers slip down the emotional rabbit hole of watching hopefuls achieve their dreams against all odds.

 

In the early stages of the competition, when potential stars were being weeded out, the judges had to make a call on which contestant would go through and which one would be abandoned and thrown back into anonymity.

 

A phrase used by the judges over and over when breaking the happy and sad news was, “I believed in [insert name]” or that they were “authentic”.

 

That often didn’t mean they were the best performer, but that their representation of their “brand” was the most compelling.

 

There is a powerful business truth in this assessment. We don’t succeed because we are the best, although we have to have a measure of competence [insert market demand or engagement] to be part of the selection process.

 

When our brands are competing in a big, noisy, crowded market, there has to be an outstanding quality that makes people choose us and our products over our competitors.

 

Most of the initial interactions consumers have with our products and brands is online, either via a website, blogs, social media or a combination of all three.

 

So, ask yourself, how do you and your product represent?

 

How do you speak authentically to your audience, walk the stage and perform in a way that is natural and believable, especially when the performance is being mediated by technology?

 

Reality TV even influences search engine optimisation (SEO): Google and Bing love truth and authenticity in content.

 

You are incentivised in your digital representations by higher search engine ranking when your content is fresh, authentic and endorsed by a quantum of reputable backlinks to your site.

 

The mysterious, ever changing Google algorithm is now attuned to site content being “real”, as in by a “real person”, and to the most intangible of machine measurements, “passion”.

 

If there was ever a deus ex machina to convey us to business success through being found, it is replacing endless key words with clear market communication that represents the real.

 

All very fluffy and non-evidence based I hear you cry.

 

But this is the point. We don’t make purchase decisions based on evidence, perfection or competence. We make them largely based on triggered emotional behavior, usually determined by something that connects with us on some real, human, emotional level.

 

SEO is based on popularity, as is social media, as is The Voice. Look at your content, digital collateral and social media interactions and make sure that it speaks to your audience and customer in a way that stirs emotion, builds trust and ultimately keeps you on centre stage.

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