In an age dominated by digital transparency, inflated online reviews for providers of goods and services, fake news, etc., the use of the word authenticity has grown in popularity. Candidly, as I have previously posted, authenticity has evolved into a repetitively, over used word.
The definition of authenticity: (noun) – The quality of being authentic (of undisputed origin, genuine). Synonyms: Originality, legitimacy, validity, bona fide.
As a food-away-from-home channel marketing specialist, I recognize how food companies are facing more pressure/demand for supply chain related information. Consequently, the full disclosure of the sourcing/integrity of their ingredients is better known as biodiversity – sustainable farming and agricultural practices including regenerative ecosystem procedures, animal welfare, labor practices, etc. Last month at the UN Climate Action Summit, nineteen leading companies announced the formation of the OP2B (“One Plant Business for Biodiversity”) coalition to drive transformation in the food and agriculture systems for the benefit of people and our planet.
Authentic? Definitely, authenticity 2.0! However, I believe TMI. Some marketers are over subscribing and creating authenticity marketing ploys. Detailed below are two examples:
- Nestlé® Toll House® – Nestlé introduced the Nestlé® Toll House® Artisan Collection, a line of premium baking chips made with single-origin chocolate from Ghana. “Cocoa beans are the top agricultural export from Ghana; its rich soil is ideal for growing the intensely aromatic cocoa that is captured in these new premium baking chips,” says Ruth Braden, associate marketing manager for Nestlé® Toll House®. “Made with chocolate sourced from a single origin delivers a premium chocolate to the Nestlé® Toll House® portfolio.” Something you will think about the next time you dunk your cookie made with premium priced chocolate chips in a glass of cold milk.
- Starbucks – The brand juggernaut has always been dedicated to buying 100% ethically sourced coffee and was ahead of the transparent/authentic supply chain curve. But now, with 31,000 locations worldwide, their creative team has decided to publish their brand systems guidelines. Their iconic logo has been the same for years, but now we can learn about their regional in-store signage design elements complete with color codes and typographic weights, as well as the creative strategy behind their Instagram posts. Authentic? Definitely, but TMI. I am not convinced the average consumer that is purchasing a cup of joe cares about the design elements of their in-store signage/promotions.
Is TMI authenticity necessary or a new marketing ploy?