Creating Authentic Brands – A Moving Target of Brands and People
Jill, Justin, and I were chatting with a client the other day and they said something that stuck with me – we were talking about nothing in particular, but the client brought up advertisers and influencers and it was something akin to, “oh no, we need to come off as being authentic for this initiative, we can’t use influencers.”
Our team prides itself on staying on top of shifts in the consumer zeitgeist – these shifts in consumer mentality can and will happen every couple of years and we are indeed seeing a downward trend in influencer engagement, but with some caveats. First, it looks like Instagram influencers are the ones losing… influence. Gen Z and younger Millennials are instead turning towards TikTok for that personal connection that so many crave. Our assessment is that Instagram influencers took it a bit too far during the pandemic showcasing lavish lifestyles and displays of caring little for the environment (such as taking private jets). The average consumer realized these influencers were nothing like them – and many then moved on.
Enter TikTok. Its popularity skyrocketed during the pandemic – the appeal being that anyone could have a world stage platform to be funny, witty, insightful, and real. Adding to the allure was that you didn’t have to be famous to get the attention of everyone, you just had to know how to game the algorithm. Do it right, and then you were trending and your content in front of millions of people. All of these points swirl into an attractive user experience and fills that authentic void people search for.
Authenticity shifted and now brands are reacting. With America’s obsession of “will we/won’t we” recession talk, it makes sense that many global brands are reconsidering budgets for the year and taking a second look at what is essential and what is a nice to have. Authenticity matters to nearly every brand out there, but with consumer expectations shifting every few years, brands should remain vigilant about keeping up with the times. At Catapult, we pride ourselves on our approach agnostic methodology to solving our clients’ issues. So, if you need modern strategies for building authentic connection with your customers, our team has a history of developing custom measures of authenticity across multiple industries and business types. We’ll put our brains to the test and come up with a custom solution that fits your business and industry and is attuned to the current environment. And if we keep our ear to the ground, we can look to the future for the next big shift together.
DIRECTOR, INSIGHTS & INNOVATION