Compelling Because It’s Authentic – Compelling Because It’s Authentic , Authentic brand storytelling is a type of communication that focuses on creating compelling and meaningful stories about a company, product or service in an honest way. The story flows from the uniqueness and DNA of the brand.

Compelling Because It’s Authentic

Every brand has its own story around its business journey and its interaction process with consumers. Like a living entity, brands need to show how they exist through brand stories. However, in building a brand story that is able to capture the hearts of consumers, brands need to build an authentic and original story.

An original and authentic brand story means going back to the roots of the brand’s existence. The brand’s values and purpose must be conveyed in the brand story. This is wrapped in a series of content that is able to attract the attention of consumers.

Authenticity in brand story refers to how genuine and honest a brand is in conveying the message. This involves the entire chain of business processes, from its offices, factories, products and services, to its retailers and stores. A truly authentic brand will tell a consistent story.

Why is that? New and existing consumers will recognise and understand the brand more easily through the story.

that is authentic and original. Not only in building products, brands need to highlight differentiation in the story-based marketing campaign. (Graph 1).

According to a survey conducted by Matter Communication in early 2023, 39% of consumers see authenticity as an important factor in recognising brands through social media. The ease of delivery of the material in the story also resonated with 25% of consumers in helping them recognise the brand. In addition, the alignment of values is also believed by 13% of consumers to be important for them to get to know the brand more deeply.

In addition, having an original and unique perspective is considered important for 10% of consumers in the process of getting to know the brand. Then, 9% of consumers consider important issues that are happening to be an important factor in getting to know the brand. The survey was conducted among 1,000 respondents in the United States.

Compelling Because It's Authentic
Compelling Because It’s Authentic

However, building an original and authentic brand story is not an easy task. Although brands have more budget in producing content, not many brands are able to produce content that is considered authentic and original. This is proven by Stackla’s findings. (Graph 2).

Almost 60% of consumers surveyed by Stackla believe that authentic content is content produced by consumers. Meanwhile, those who believe that brand-produced content is authentic are almost 20%. Influencer-produced content is believed to be authentic by 10% of respondents. In fact, 9% of survey respondents believe that there is no authentic content. The survey was conducted among 2,042 respondents in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

In crafting an original and authentic brand story, brands need to develop a creative process first. How the company values, brand purpose, can be conveyed through the story without compromising the essence of the story.

Brands need to recognise their target audience before they start creating content. It is important for brands to know the target audience demographically, geographically, and psychographically in terms of age, gender, and income level. The more relevant a story is to the audience’s lives, the higher the likelihood that the content will be successful.

Compelling Because It's Authentic

This is what PT Bank Central Asia Tbk (BCA) does. BCA sees the banking industry as a serious industry. But in communicating with consumers, BCA uses methods that are more relevant to its consumers.

“For us at BCA, the banking business is a serious business. But if we talk seriously to our customers, it means that we are not adapting to our customers. Therefore, BCA continues to try to be more relatable to customers,” said Rendy Alimudin, VP Head of Digital Marketing Communication at Marketeers Hangout 2023 at Ciputra Artpreneur last month in the Building Iconic Brands session.

The brand story is conveyed through uploaded content on the company’s social media. One example is a post about BCA’s transfer fee of Rp 1. At that time, this content was uploaded by utilising the momentum of a football match between Liverpool and Manchester United which ended with a score of 7-0.

The content simply showed that BCA charged a transfer fee of Rp 1. However, with a caption saying that “it’s 1 not 7,” this received high engagement.

For BCA, being authentic means being adaptable. This adaptive attitude is the root, characteristic, and value of BCA that is conveyed to consumers. The 66-year-old company always strives to be adaptive to developments.

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    The same is true for PT Blue Bird Tbk. The blue bird taxi fleet believes that going back to the roots is what makes a brand story authentic. Mediko Azwar, Chief Marketing Officer of PT Blue Bird Tbk. admits that the creative process requires a lot of preparation both in literacy and trials.

    Mediko said she decided to dig deeper into the company’s roots by talking to its founder. Since Mutiara Fatimah Djokosoetono and Chandra Suharto had passed away, she met Purnomo Prawiro, one of the founders of Bluebird, and Noni Sri Aryati Purnomo who served as Board of Advisor and President of the Board of Commissioner of Bluebird Group Holding. Meeting both of them, Mediko tried to explore the company’s values and goals that want to be conveyed in the brand story.

    From this creative process, Bluebird sees that there needs to be a revitalisation of content presentation that is more suitable for the current generation. The company realises that there are changes in market segments, especially after 51 years of existence, not a few customers have changed generations. However, the values and goals presented by the company have not changed.

    This is manifested in the content uploaded on the company’s YouTube channel. The company wants to highlight the value of sharing happiness from the perspective of consumers and company employees.

    “Because it’s all about happiness. So, actually what we do is not just transporting people from one point to another, but also bringing them closer to something or someone that makes them happy,” said Mediko.

    In addition, Bluebird tries to get closer to consumers through brand stories conducted by the board of directors. A few months ago, Sigit Priawan Djokosoetono, who at that time served as President Director, disguised himself as a blue bird taxi fleet driver. The action was personally recorded by Sigit and uploaded to his social media accounts.

    The post went viral because the CEO suddenly tried his hand at taxi driving. During the day, Sigit was based at the Kota Kasablanka pool and picked up six passengers, while two orders were missed. Positive responses have emerged to Sigit’s action.

    Mediko said what Sigit did was a way for the company’s board of directors to see the conditions in the field. Both from the driver and passenger side, becoming a taxi driver is a common way for the company’s directors to review. This method was also carried out by Noni Sri Aryati Purnomo in 2019. This was also done by Adrianto Djokosoetono, who is now the managing director.

    According to Mediko, the action of the company’s directors is a characteristic of Blue Bird that makes the company’s brand story original and authentic. Without compromising the company’s values and goals, the content is able to capture the hearts of consumers.

    Both BCA and Blue Bird agree that brand stories are important. Showing that brands have a journey in a story makes them look like a living entity. Hence, brand stories need to be authentic and original which makes them unique compared to other brands.

    “For all brands, storytelling is important. It’s the same for humans. Something that has branding should have a story attached to part of its branding,” concluded Mediko.

    “Something that has branding should have a story attached to part of its branding.”

    Mediko Azwar

    Chief Marketing Officer of PT Blue Bird Tbk

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