July 26, 2011


before and after (click to enlarge)Authenticity is doing what you promise, not “being who you are”.
— Seth Godin

You're a faker. I am too. That's fine.

There's so much talk about the importance of being authentic. Who would want to be inauthentic? Yet we are and need to be.

We're continually working to make ourselves look better than we really are. Our studio photos look better than we do (at least mine do). Wordsmithing makes our words more convincing. Our clothing and accessories affect our impact. We get coaching. Our designers make our logos and websites look better than we could. Today, I changed out of shorts into a suit to visit a client who was … wearing shorts.

There's makeup too. Who would argue against us being ourselves, but better?

Like It Is

Please don't tell me about authenticity. Brands and personas are made, not born, and we use them because they work. — Seth Godin
Some people will “tell it like it is”. They think this honesty is admirable and don't seem to care who gets offended. This blunt “take it or leave it” approach limits their success. They may be authentic but they're hurting themselves. What good is that?

Is Coke still authentic after corn syrup replaced the sugar? Some changes may be better for shareholders than customers and lead to cynicism when discovered.

Who Are You?

If you catch yourself making a promise that's been made before, stop. Don't spend a lot of time and effort building credibility with this sort of promising, because it doesn't pay off. — Seth Godin
If we're inauthentic, how does anyone know who we really are? They'll have trouble seeing through our facade because our behaviour often changes with the situation. I’m back in shorts.

Clues help. That's where your digital tapestry makes a difference. It's difficult to maintain a facade over time. Consistent persistent generosity shines through. People have innate ways to sense what's genuine.
Showing our better selves can make us better as we work to match our image. That's virtuous.


PS How authentic are you?


  1. Just catching up tonight on Marketing Actuary and wanted to let you know that I liked this particular post especially.


  2. Thanks Christina. I'll take your comment as authentic :)