It used to be all about features and benefits, pricing and programs. And it still is to a degree. But now there is a growing preference to do business with companies and brands who are transparent, credible, and socially conscious. In other words, authentic.
Merriam-Webster offers a definition of authenticity that is timely and significant, “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character – sincere and authentic with no pretentions.”
What Are Your Values?
Hidden in this definition is what customers, employees and vendors want to know about you and your company. They want to know if they patronize, work for, or supply you that you stand for the same principles they do. It’s not just the transparency, it’s what the transparency reveals. In other words. “What are your values? And do they align with mine?” And more importantly, from a marketing standpoint, how do you communicate those values?
Communication of Values
Most companies have a list of company values on a plaque in their reception area, in their marketing materials, and on their website. But how do the people you depend upon know that you are sincere, true, and authentic? How do you convey your authenticity in a believable way? How do you get them to connect with you?
One of the most authentic ways of communicating values is through true stories that demonstrate the values engaged in decision making. Why did she go this way instead of that way? Why did he chose a course that made less money but showed more integrity? Why did she spend more for higher quality parts when they weren’t necessary and reduced her profits? How was he able to convince the gatekeeper to let him in?
Outcomes Teach Lessons
All these questions have their answers in values. Stories are made up of scenes with actions and outcomes. The outcomes demonstrate the wisdom of the decisions – or not. Sometimes you can build more credibility by showing your humanity, your weaknesses, and your mistakes. Sometimes it’s more believable to witness the moments in the story that taught you painful lessons. It demonstrates how you learned and why you subscribe to a set of values today that were costly to learn.
Connecting with Hardship
If your story is to be believable, it’s authenticity is a function of not just it’s successes, but it’s failures as well. People identify with hardship. We have all faced it ourselves. Whether it’s financial, health, loss, legal, or physical, we have faced enough barriers to progress that when folks hear your story, they are more likely to identify.
There are two megatrends unfolding right now in the marketplace:
- The increasing popularity of audio as a means of communication. It’s highly mobile and on demand. It’s screen free and page free. It’s experiential and engaging. It’s memorable and applicable. It can be downloaded from your site. It’s file size and cost is a fraction of video. Audio is the fastest growing form of communication for good reasons.
- The new generation of employees and customers. They are mobile, work from home, concerned about their future, concerned about health, the environment, diversity, equal pay, security, and stability. They know they are voting with their purchases. They want to support companies and brands that reflect those values in their products and services.
Busines Audio Theatre is an effective approach to these megatrends as it offers a solution at the intersection of audio story and the new generation. It give founders the opportunity to perform their stories to save their legacies, demonstrate their values, and engage the people they depend upon. It is a platform that provides authenticity, entertainment, and education.
We all connect with someone who we believe is being authentic with us. What is more authentic that the true story of how you built your business?