Marketing Underperforming? Building Brand Authority Can Help

Published on October 27, 2021

The best brands, those with die-hard followers, fans, and even brand evangelists, have a secret sauce called “brand authority.” Without it, your marketing tactics could fall flat. Consumers may not consider your company to be authentic, or acting in alignment with your company values. 

Brand authority means you don’t just talk the talk — you walk the walk. Bake brand authority into your marketing plan instead of considering it after the fact. That way, you can be certain that your content is contributing to a consistent company image. It all begins with understanding what brand authority is, its importance in today’s marketing plans, and the different tactics that can help you build authority. 

What Is Brand Authority? 

When your company has “brand authority,” it means that consumers respect your brand and have confidence in it. They trust you do what you advertise, and act in ways that align with your company’s core values. Companies with well-established brand authority have adoring customers who want to spend their money. Brand authority helps increase conversions, retention, and even engagement and advocacy amongst your consumer base. 

Brand Authority Begins with a Clear Style Guide

One of the key components to marketing is a style guide that conveys the following about your brand: 

  • Colors: the consistent palette you use to promote your brand
  • Tone: your brand’s voice
  • Pillars: your purpose, personality, positioning, perception and promotion
  • Story: your brand’s pillars captured and conveyed in an engaging and memorable way
  • Copy: encompasses your brand’s voice, tone, messaging, and style, such as witty, casual, or authoritative

With these components clearly outlined in a style guide, you can begin to develop content and campaigns that establish brand authority. 

How to Establish and Convey Brand Authority

Brand authority grows when a company’s messaging is consistent with its ideals; create and share content that shows what your company does, how you do it, and why. The subject matter should ideally be compelling and shareable. For example, blog posts with actionable tips and insights establish you as experts in your industry, which helps build brand authority.

Bake brand authority into your marketing plan to ensure every piece of content points back to your core values and what’s important to your company and customers. You want to show that you are experts and, more importantly, role models in your industry. Your customers should know they can turn to you for questions and guidance.  

Good Ranchers Gives Back

Meat box delivery service Good Ranchers, for instance, believes in delivering high-quality, grass-fed, grain-finished beef, U.S.-sourced seafood, and organic chicken and pork to its customers at the lowest prices around. The company’s core value is “giving back.” Good Ranchers shares recipes, grilling tips, and insights about organic food on its blog to establish authority. The company also promotes its philanthropic efforts, noting on its website that it partners with local food banks and has donated 300,000 meals to impoverished families to date. 

Patagonia Promotes Environmentalism 

Outdoor clothing company Patagonia holds sustainability in high regard, and donates 1% of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. It strives to showcase nature in
its advertising imagery, showcasing families hiking, fishing, climbing and engaged in other outdoor sports using Patagonia products, of course. But the focus is not on the products; it’s on the experience. 

Communicate Authority across Channels

Building brand authority takes time and resources like content creation, community involvement (in your relative industry/field), thought leadership, and conversation-starting. A blend of content, combined with actions that showcase your brand’s core values, can help build brand trust . 

Create Content Based on Your Brand’s Pillars 

As you generate your marketing plan, think about creating content based around your brand’s pillars. 

For example, for Patagonia, those pillars include environmentalism, sustainability, and outdoor use. Determine the pillars of your own brand, then create content around each. Patagonia seeks to educate consumers about its products, with an eye on sustainability. Some blog posts and videos even teach and encourage its customers to repair its products, so they can lengthen product lifespan and re-use them rather than creating waste. 

Communication should be bite-sized and easily digestible. Use relevant forms of media, including your website, blog posts, social media platforms, email marketing, and influencers to share your message. Spend at least a few days focused on each pillar, breaking the theme into a few sections shared via different media, and then move to the next pillar. Continue to communicate why you do what you do and that you’re the expert in your field. 

Call on a Marketing Consultancy Firm for Help

Your brand is more than a business. It’s a passion. Leaning into brand authority is one of the best ways to keep the fire stoked on your original passion, to remember, reiterate, and reinforce what has driven you to become a business owner. 

However, often business owners are too “in the weeds” to see the big picture of branding. A marketing consultancy can help you bake brand authority into your marketing plan and develop a content strategy that makes your company’s mission clear. 

CEO & Founder Erik Huberman is a member of Grit Daily's Leadership Network. He launched Hawke Media in 2014, which is now valued at over $150 million. As a serial entrepreneur and marketing expert, Erik has been recognized by his industry peers through honors and awards including, Forbes Magazine’s 30Under30, CSQ’s 40Under40, and Inc. Magazine’s Top 25 Marketing Influencers.

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