Authenticity: The Currency of this Generation

July 29, 2011 / by Michael K. Redman

AUTHENTICITY… What is it?  Does it matter?  Does it matter in business? Yeah, I think so, but why does it matter and what exactly is it? And if marketing were to be more authentic what would THAT look like? We know we want it and sometimes we are fooled into believing that people are being authentic when they are not.  So what’s the big deal?


Authenticity is the currency of this generation even for growing our businesses.  The mantra seems to be either, “so what” or “don’t just tell me show me.”  We have been told for so long that, “it’s all in the message”, or “it’s just how you spin it”, or “people won’t buy your stuff if you don’t hook their emotions” etc. and they’re half right… and half wrong.  What happened was the business people, not just the marketing folks, forgot that people care about the authenticity of what is being offered “the steak” as much as they care about the experience “the sizzle.”  People want to have an experience but all too often over the past 40 years the promise of the sizzle fell far short of the steak. Because of this reality, some people want to throw out marketing and advertising altogether, but have you ever heard the term “Truth in Advertising?”

Think about it: Truth or Authenticity is important and marketing and advertising is neither honest nor dishonest by nature.  It is just a tool and the tool only does what its master tells it to do.  If we are to survive in business and for that matter in life we must figure out how to be authentic so our sizzle doesn’t outshine our steak.  We must also figure out what authenticity is.  What are its behaviors?  So answer the question for me, “What are people doing and saying when they are being authentic?”

The closer you stay to emotional authenticity and people, character authenticity, the less you can go wrong. That's how I feel now, no matter what you're doing.
-David O. Russell.

Please let me know your opinions… it’s important.

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