Authenticity is all the rage these days. Skeptical consumers can allegedly sniff a fake from miles away, and they punish those that don’t live up to their claims. Now, consultants James Gilmore and Joe Pine have a new book out on the subject.
So how do you go about delivering the real thing, so to speak? Well, first you understand what the authors call the five “genres” of authenticity — commodities (ie. largely untouched by human hands), original goods (everyone knows you developed it first), exceptional service (someone shows they actually care), referential experiences (longstanding traditions like drinking beer in England or tea in China) and influential transformations (those that seek out higher goals like improving the planet) … Then, of course, you be true to yourself and honest to customers.
It’s a tough bar to clear, and obviously not easy to execute based on the concepts in a book. But authenticity is likely to be a growing mantra of companies that face cheap competition from overseas, not to mention consumers who increasingly feel free to flit about from brand to brand.
How can you manage smarter? Bloomberg Businessweek contributors synthesize insights from the brightest business thinkers, critique the latest management trends, and comment on leaders in the news.