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Authenticity matters more than marketing shinola.

Authenticity is not veneer. You can’t fool customers into believing your value proposition is authentic through marketing.

In my little town, a young couple opened a pizza joint a couple of blocks from our office. Every day I notice this little joint is always packed! 


It’s actually not in a great location. The food, though good, is not that special. The prices are not extraordinarily cheap, and they started their little business in the worst economy in a lifetime.

Why are they thriving when other restaurants around them are struggling to stay afloat? Why is this business immune from the unfavorable circumstances that seem to plague others? The answer is simple. It’s the real deal!

They diligently provide every customer with an authentic experience of love, fellowship and comfort over a simple meal. The value is in the authentic customer experience, not the meal.

Pizza joints are as common as a business can possibly be, and yet, this one thrives!  I repeat, value creation begins and ends in an authentic customer experience.

Authenticity demands your behavior as an enterprise aligns your value proposition to your customer’s real experience. Authenticity is yours to lose.

Home Depot provides a great example.

When Home Depot promised customers “you can do it, we can help” then, over time, did away with the experienced, retired tradesman salespeople in favor of cheaper inexperienced labor to save money.  Customers immediately knew the difference.

Their claim was bullshit and the results to Home Depot were disastrous.

Get real cuz customers can smell shinola a mile away.

You can’t fool customers ever. Authenticity and value creation are not mutually exclusive. You can’t have one with out the presence of the other.  Authenticity matters more than money-making.

When your organization makes a promise to customers, marketing is not how you deliver on it.

In our social media driven world, the value you represent is not what you claim but what customers experience–and more importantly, what they share with others.


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