Wednesday, February 28, 2007


In my latest Imediaconnection column I write about the importance of brand authenticity.
Clearly, we're more likely to tell our friends about an authentic experience. Authenticity is important.
But, how do we define authenticity?

I would argue it's about a deep-rooted point of view. Or, in marketing terms, a deep-rooted positioning. Without it, no brand can be authentic. Without it, you don't know what matters. Without it, you don't understand what you are. And what not.

In order to provide the most efficient service to his customers, Mr. Yeganeh (the original Soup Nazi) established a set of "rules" for ordering his soup:

Pick the soup you want.
Have your money ready.
Move to the extreme left after ordering.
Supposedly, if these rules aren't followed, the offending patron is denied service and sent to the back of the line.

Al Yeganeh personifies a deep-rooted point of view. A strong, coherent view of where his business needs to go is the bedrock of authenticity.
Chrysler was a stronger brand when Chrysler was run by a Chrysler whose opinions about Chrysler could overrule any marketing study.

Unfortunately, there are not that many authentic experiences out there. Virgin. Apple.
Starbucks? Oh wait.
No soup for you.

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