Gone are the days when a photographer could turn a White House into Camelot. The tools we have today (internet, social media, etc.) allow us all to peel back the curtain and discover what is real, what is authentic, and share our opinions with others across the globe.
Today's society and more importantly today's consumer desires for authenticity. If what you have to offer them is perceived as unreal, you will be labeled as inauthentic, or worse a fake! -- and that word will spread, quickly.
However, companies such as Disney understand the dramatic opportunity that exists here too. Disney's mission is to "create happiness" -- that is it's authenticity. The parks, the movies, the games, the television shows, they are simply the means by which they create this happiness. In doing so, trust is built among their customers, which in turn leads to loyalty.
Recently I read Pour Your Heart Into It by Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz in which he stated, "Authenticity is what we stand for. It's part of who we are. If we compromise who we are to achieve higher profits, what have we accomplished? Eventually all our customers would figure (it) out . . ."
Customers, your customers, are longing for you to get real. They know when you are, and they know when you are beginning to compromise.
Remember, they are already sharing their feelings about you with others. The real question is what are they sharing? You have the potential to influence it. Loyalty cannot be bought but it does come with a price.
Are you willing to pay the price?