Open, honest communication is the best foundation for any relationship, but remember that at the end of the day it’s not what you say or what you do, but how you make people feel that matters the most.
–Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, understands something that every brand needs to realize: the only question you need to be able to answer as a brand is, “How do you make people feel?” The engagement and experience every brand is desperately seeking cannot be attained appealing to the rationale of the consumer; it can only be reached by tapping into their emotions and senses.

Achieving Authenticity

The problem with trying to appeal to a consumer through emotion is that people don’t like being manipulated. They are quick to recognize – and condemn – a company or celebrity (or famous athlete) who is being less than genuine in their approach simply to attain a goal. To appeal to your customer authentically requires you to be honest and open in your approach.

Authenticity is a commitment from the brand to remain true to what your organization promises to be. Brands that succeed at achieving authenticity have worked to communicate a clear sense of what their brand stands for.

Truth is a point of view, but authenticity can’t be faked. -Peter Guber

People will instinctively turn toward brands who are purposeful, genuine, and trustworthy. When given the option, consumers will seek out brands born of a company’s authentic passions versus a desire to simply move merchandise.

Authenticity is the alignment of head, mouth, heart, and feet – thinking, saying, feeling, and doing the same thing – consistently. This builds trust, and followers love leaders they can trust. – Lance Secretan