Authenticity Is (Unfortunately) A Novel Idea

I don’t think that anyone would promote being fake as a good strategy. Yet, many firms end up trying to convince customers that they’re something that they just aren’t (see JetBlue’s “Happy Jetting” Is More Than Empty Promises). So I really enjoyed an article in Business Week by Sohrab Vossoughi (Founder of Ziba Design) called How to Stand Out? Try Authenticity.

Vossoughi hit the nail on the head with this statement:

A single, beautifully designed product is nothing more than a beautiful object without the focused intent of a company that has taken the time to understand three things: the deep-seated desires of its customers, its own DNA, and the sweet spot where the two overlap.

The article looks at the unique culture of Umpqua Bank (who I recently interviewed for my research on customer-centric DNA),  the transparency in Starbucks’ comeback attempt, and the consumer relationships forged by Anthropologie.

My take: The article is completely aligned with my concept of Experience-Based Differentiation, so my only real comment is: read it.

The bottom line: You can’t fake customers into believeing that you’re authentic.

Written by 

I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about leading-edge XM topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

One thought on “Authenticity Is (Unfortunately) A Novel Idea”

  1. Hi Bruce…congratulations on your blog

    Like you I’m speaking 4-5 times per month on customer experience/loyalty/advocacy etc and whats emerging is a realsation that the organisation needs to be aligned. by that I mean execs need to focus on advocacy of both customers and employees…their combined experience is what adds to improved business performance.

    I’ve a great article on authenticity and link to customer equity that I’ve sent you. Incidentally your Forrester research colleagues have recently interviewed me as an expert in this area and I’ve mentioned some of these points in the interview.

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