AUTHENTIC: Authentic People Don’t Say They Are Authentic, They Just Are
The next time I hear someone say the word, “authentic” I am literally going to break out with hives. So many speakers, thought leaders and so called “millennial experts” are quick to turn to this word, “authentic” as the golden ticket to build trust with the millennial audiences.
I have news for you. Irrespective of what you say, we have already reached a conclusion about your authenticity from the energy that you gave off the minute we felt your energy. It’s marketing and advertising 101. People form opinions about other people or a brand within 15 seconds of meeting that person or coming across that brand. The brand of who you are being, whether as a personal brand or as a brand that represents a particular good or service cannot be disguised as real when in fact it is not.
From my experience, those who over emphasize their “authenticity” by over using this phrase are often not authentic, and millennial professionals and consumers pick this up immediately. Here is a my definition of the phrase, “authentic” that you may want to adapt if you are looking to hire millennial workforce or market your goods/services to millennial consumers.
1) Being truthful and honest about what you are proclaiming without fluff, deception or a hidden motive or an agenda.
2) Being genuine, real, open, not-fake.
Millennial consumers immediately can feel whether a brand is real or not. We can also immediately detect whether a person is being real or not. Many millennials are just as intuitive as other generations. The difference is, we will call you out on it or just not engage with you. The days of buying into someone’s fake facade or a brand’s fakeness are long gone. People often ask me why millennials are not engaged, and a huge part of the reason is because of your fakeness.
Stop sugar coating and disguising yourself and your brand to be what it is not. If you are genuinely being real and honest, you won’t have to keep over emphasizing how “authentic” you are being because we will just feel it so we will know it. This is how you will engage us. This is how your product will succeed in marketing to and closing sales with millennial consumers. This is how your millennial work force will want to stay longer with your company and you can avoid a high turnover; This, is how you will attract talented millennial professionals to collaborate with you.
Stop saying, “authentic” over and over again and instead, just start being real!