If you follow online or social media marketing you know a big topic is authenticity. Specifically if you want to be successful at either you need to be authentic.
That’s what a large part of the issue mom bloggers had with a campaign called “Fishful Thinking”. Susan Getgood writes an interesting take on it. The company tried to recruit mom bloggers and had an interesting pitch but in the end drew a ton of criticism for how they handled it. The campaign would have worked fine had the company running it just said what they were doing up front and been authentic from the start.
Yet authenticity is an issue as much offline as it is on. Seth Godin opined that it doesn’t really matter what you are, as far as everyone else is concerned what you do consistently is what you are.
Never has the need for authenticity been more clear to me then in the case of Michael Steele versus Barack Obama. At the end of the day Obama is our president because he didn’t try to be anything he wasn’t. Now Steele’s credibility was already behind the eight ball having been installed as RNC chair only after the Republican routing by the Barack Obama lead Democrats. However when he started saying things like it’s gonna be off the hook and using other “urban lingo” he just comes off as plain unauthentic.
I was raised a Conservative Jew, but I wouldn’t throw in any extra oy vey’s if I was trying to convince Orthadox Jews of something. I would speak to them in my language. Sure I’d use arguments that appeal to them and draw from my knowledge of the religion, but I wouldn’t try to say that because I’m Jewish we’re the same. I don’t have the same values or issues as they do. Well neither does Mr Steele when it comes to most black Americans.
Is Eminem really hardcore or ghetto? probably not. Yet he acts the same way consistently so enough people believe he is that his songs don’t seem ridiculous (well that and he’s talented).
If nothing else being inauthentic just like lieing is tiring. It’s hard to keep track of who you’ve told what and how you’re supposed to act and when. So do yourself a favor act consistenly, market your company in a forthright and authentic manner and you’ll probably have much less stressful days.