\Au`then*tic"i*ty\, n. [Cf. F. authenticit['e].]
1. The quality of being authentic or of established authority for truth and correctness.
2. Genuineness; the quality of being genuine or not corrupted from the original.
Not corrupted from the original, being genuine to oneself – these are the sentiments that I think of when using the word ‘authenticity’. And this is what I mean when I talk about Brand Honesty.
I don’t care whether you are socially, politically, environmentally motivated or completely politically incorrect – all I care is that your brand is true and authentic.
Why do I say this now?
Last night, I went to a networking evening run by Neil Croft of Authentic Business. He has written a book called Authentic – How to make a living by being yourself.
Fiona, knowing my Brand Honesty schtick though I might find it an interesting experience. And she was right – I did. Lots of great people talking about how business can be a catalyst for social and environmental change. Great businesses, great values and a sense of business responsibility I can readily identify with.
But, the event gave the impression that authenticity equals such social or environmental awareness. This is plain BS. Plenty of perfectly objectionable (to me) people and brands are authentic.
I loved talking with the businesses I met last night. However, many would be horrified to think that this recent article about Hardee’s might also show authenticity:
Hardee’s serves up 1,420-calorie burger
As many fast-food chains introduce healthier fare amid fears of being sued, Hardee’s is bucking the trend, serving up a megaburger with 1,420 calories and 107 grams of fat.
In an interview on CNBC, Hardee's chief executive Andrew Puzder was unapologetic, saying the company's latest sandwich is "not a burger for tree-huggers."
"This is a burger for young hungry guys who want a really big, delicious, juicy, decadent burger," he said. "I hope our competitors keep promoting those healthy products, and we will keep promoting our big, juicy delicious burgers."
To be honest, I don’t know Hardee’s from Adam but this shows a refreshing honesty and thinking that others in marketing should embrace. Brands such as Hummer, Harley Davidson, Viz are unapologetic about who or what they are and have thrived. I may not buy these products but they are as authentic as hell.
Authenticity is an inclusive word. No matter what your values are.