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Authenticity : an upcoming and rewarding marketing trend

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In a world where everything moves at the speed of light, where we are constantly subject to a ton of stimuli, new trends emerge which are exploited by marketers.

In a previous post I was talking about Dirk Smeesters’ researches on nostalgic products and numerous companies (Converse, VW, …) adopted it. Another way to follow those trends consists in betting on authenticity because it is eventually related to nostalgia.

Firms in the agro-food sector have understood it and you’ll find plenty of good old chips, grand’ma jam, … in the shelves. It is however seldom that a fast food company uses authenticity in its marketing, because it simply (at first sight) doesn’t fit the type of product they are selling. Well, McDonald’s is trying nevertheless to market its burgers that way in Italy. Look at the picture above.

McDonald’s promotes the origin of its beef and its local sourcing. I bet this is done to reassure consumers but one can wonder whether this is a smart move. Italy has indeed been and still is hit by food products scandals and playing local may therefore not reassure your clients. Another explanation for the McDonald’s campaign maybe that they are trying to play with the nationalistic feelings of their Italian clients. I don’t have the answer but have observed a similar campaign this summer on the Italian beaches. The government did launch an information campaign about Italian local products (strawberries, peaches, …) in an effort to have restaurants on the beach use those products.

My take:

Authenticity and local sourcing are heavy trends which larger firms understand very well. Those trends can easily be adopted by SME’s too if they were to understand the potential of it. I just finished a qualitative research for one of my clients and this trend was very obvious to detect. As far as I am concerned I love leveraging authenticity in marketing because they are so many ways to do it. Authenticity can be visually explained and when you think about it they are myriad possibilities to do it. In the next days and weeks I will post here some photographs I’ve taken which express authenticity.

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Author: Pierre-Nicolas Schwab

Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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