Building authentic relations between a brand and consumers has become ever more important recently. So much so that we have written blog posts such as our “Year in Review: 2023 PR and Marketing Trends” and “Influencer Marketing and PR” that emphasize the need of either being authentic or collaborating with authentic people as a step for success. A Google search of the concept also produces plenty of articles and blog posts that list this factor and only briefly explain it. But what does it mean to truly be authentic and build relations around it?

What is Authenticity?

In the words of this article by Burrelles, “Authenticity in public relations and communications goes beyond mere transparency; it is the embodiment of truthfulness, sincerity, and a genuine commitment to values.” In essence, rather than simply making posts that attempt to be inspirational or virtuous, being authentic means that your brand states their values and follows through in their actions. A particularly effective strategy that the article suggests implementing is “openly sharing information regarding your brand’s intentions, actions, and outcomes.” This level of transparency results in there being very little room for consumers to interpret your behaviors as something other than what has been expressed.

Moreover, in stating a set of goals, how you intend to accomplish them, and the outcome of those efforts, you are showing consumers that you are not only genuine, but you are also open to making mistakes, learning from them, and growing. This idea is supported by a chart that Burrelles cites by Marketing Charts. With a sample size of 1,120 adults in the United States, the top three words that were associated with a brand’s authenticity were honesty, integrity, and a commitment to quality products and services. The commitment to quality products and services narrowly edged out transparency by a single percentage point, while consistency was another five points lower in fifth. With honesty, integrity, and transparency being among the top four words that are associated with a brand’s authenticity, it is clear that they are crucial in successfully building relations.

Strategies for Authentic Connections

Central to establishing authentic connections is a brand’s purpose, as it provides a foundation for business decisions that resonate with consumers. According to this article by Agility PR, a robust brand purpose not only attracts and retains talented employees but fosters meaningful engagement with consumers, driving growth through increased loyalty and positive word-of-mouth.

Aligning your brand’s purpose with consumers’ values involves five key approaches outlined in the article. In summary, you should first gather input from stakeholders such as employees, customers, and industry experts to help you understand what’s pivotal for your brand’s image. Secondly, crafting compelling narratives and leveraging media relations for authenticity are recommended. This entails creating posts that reflect your brand’s values and transparently engaging with your audience.

From there, regularly gathering data on the effectiveness of your strategies and adapting accordingly is crucial, as continuous evaluation ensures that your brand remains aligned with consumer values and evolves to meet changing preferences and expectations.

Lastly, we would add that one should be willing to admit mistakes. There are far too many companies that make mistakes and either continue to operate as if nothing happened or somehow find ways to avoid responsibility. Such behavior is the quickest way to lose credibility with your audience.


The significance of building authentic relationships between brands and consumers has never been more pronounced. As evidenced by numerous blog posts, articles, and studies, authenticity serves as a cornerstone for successful engagement and lasting connections. Authenticity is more than mere transparency, embodying truthfulness, sincerity, and a genuine commitment to values. It involves openly sharing intentions, actions, and outcomes to eliminate moral ambiguity. Polling shows that honesty, integrity, and transparency are among the words that are most associated with fostering authentic brand-consumer relations. To achieve and maintain truly authentic relationships, brands must align their purpose with consumer values, engage stakeholders, craft compelling narratives, continuously evaluate and adapt strategies, and admit to their mistakes. In essence, being authentic means not only stating values but also demonstrating them through actions, fostering trust, loyalty, and meaningful engagement.

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