Vision Africa

Caring about your reputation

Do you know how your customers perceive your brand and does it reflect your real brand identity? When your brand feels real, your customers will almost definitely come back for more…

The key to Corporate Authenticity

A company’s positive preach in their mission statement or slogan is not enough anymore.  Today’s consumer wants more.

Consumers are in search of honesty.  They want to be associated with businesses with integrity, transparency, and values that reflect theirs.

The above characteristics can be wrapped up in one term, “Corporate authenticity”.  “Corporate authenticity” makes an organisation accountable for the way it operates publicly and privately, and how well it lives out its own values.

Companies occasionally need to be reminded that they’re communicating with real people, and that the best way to do that is not to try to sound human, but to be human, and being human means being real. Having a “real” voice is one of the tenets of corporate authenticity. When a brand feels real, customers will almost definitely engage.

One of the fundamental values of being a real human, is to care.  If care is taken seriously for the brand’s purpose, employees’ wellbeing will also be at the forefront.  Employees are your best ambassadors and strongest advocates.  They are the ones spending 40 hours or more per week caring about your company by thinking on how to serve customers better, or how to design better products… or are they?

When it comes to employees, corporate authenticity translates into corporate culture. Getting staff on board with the goals and values of your company and enabling them to work in a positive environment will mean they are speaking positively about their work to friends and family. Customers respond to companies that function as meaningfully on the inside as they do on the outside.

Another way companies can be authentic is by admitting they have made a mistake. After all, nothing makes people more human than the cycle of failure and recovery.  Authenticity requires companies to display vulnerability, transparency & integrity.

This honesty — be it positive or negative — resonates in numbers too, and market research proves that 91% of customers list honesty about products and services as the most important part of corporate authenticity.

As in the case of an individual going on a “self-search” journey to figure out what their true dreams and ambitions are to be able to live a happy fulfilling life, so the same questions can be asked by an organisation of itself.  A brand exists in a consumer’s mind and the two questions a brand ought to ask itself is “Why do we exist?” and “Are we executing that purpose with integrity?” 

The reward of entering the discovery process of exploring and finding your brand’s true identity, resulting in your unique corporate culture is immeasurable and is impossible to compete with.

Understanding employees can go a long way in maintaining and improving a business’ financial objectives and keeping customers satisfied. The role they play in framing the customer’s perception, the image of your brand is undeniable.

At Vision Africa we can help you engage your employees and understand the underlying motivators that drive employee behaviour and satisfaction though our employee engagement surveys.  Along with this we help our clients to identify the issues and actions that build corporate reputation.  Through our insights we steer companies around the intangible mystery that transforms indifferent and sometimes even disillusioned consumers into raving fans.

By Anéle Molzahn