Important Reminder: Authenticity Is What Makes A Brand Great

Are you authentic?

This was the unusual question posed by M2.0 Communications strategic planner David Castillo and content director Karlo Cleto to members of the Junior Philippine Institute of Accountants (JPIA) at the University of the Philippines in Diliman at a forum last April 27. In their presentation entitled The “Problem with Authenticity,” the two stressed to their student audience the importance being real in public relations in the Philippines—up to and including how people conduct themselves.

Branding is really personal. It starts from you,” Castillo says. Essentially, “it’s the sum of the conversations about you and your brand.” He further explains that it’s this reason why marketing and public relations strategies are now geared towards telling stories. “Branding now is about making people care through stories.”

Great storytelling is now the norm when it comes to branding and marketing—but that doesn’t mean quality should be your only consideration. When it was Cleto’s turn to talk, he stressed the importance of authenticity. “People recognize bullshit,” he says, which drew laughter from the student audience.

Cleto then stressed the important elements of branding, whether it’s personal, or for a company or product. “It has to have integrity, [it has to be] trustworthy, and [it has to be] genuine,” he says. He cites how social media profiles don’t really show what people are really about. “It’s curated to show an image you want people to see.” He then points to his own Tinder profile to show exactly what he meant—again drawing laughs from the audience.

To end the talk, Castillo showed different ways brands are telling genuine stories that hook audiences worldwide. The key, he shares is to show empathy, that you understand what people are going through. At the end of the day, branding starts from within, hesays. If you’re genuine in your endeavors, you’ll be able to parlay this authenticity to others.

Is your organization looking for speakers to shed light on marketing, public relations, and social media topics? M2.0 Communications can be of help! Send us an email.