Chapter 3 - Brand Identity II: Brand Elements

3.3 Behavioral Identity

An authentic brand - a brand perceived as genuine - is a marker of quality and differentiation; the actions a business takes should be consistent with its brand values. The desire for authenticity is particularly strong in times of uncertainty and change - this statement is highly resonant in the midst of a global pandemic and political turmoil.
Authentic brands motivate consumer behavior by tapping into an emotional connection with their audience and appealing to their self-identification with the brand. Customers don't want to support inauthentic brands as doing so would contradict their own self-perception
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🤭 Brand Hypocrisy
Behaviors that are guided by your values will feel genuine, while actions that clash with them appear hypocritical. Brands can be accused of hypocrisy in many ways, but four common convictions are image, mission, message, and social hypocrisy. Brands are guilty of...
Image hypocrisy if they don't deliver on their promises; or don't put words into action;
📌 An example is grocers claiming to cut down on plastic waste... and then continuing to sell over-packaged goods like bananas and cucumbers wrapped in styrofoam and cellophane packaging.
Mission hypocrisy if they fail to acknowledge any negative impact on society;
📌 The cult-favorite alternative milk brand Oatly, a sustainability poster child, was after the company sold a stake to Blackstone, a private equity firm linked to deforestation in the Amazon (an accusation the firm denies). The consumer jury is still divided on whether this is a case of hypocrisy. On one hand, Oatly's founder argued the deal enabled Oatly to promote their sustainable mission at scale while moving global capital in a sustainable direction. On the other hand, certain consumers aren't convinced this rationale is strong enough for them to overlook the misalignment of values (we'll talk about brand fit and partnerships in Chapter 4).
Message hypocrisy if they convey unrealistic images or make incongruous claims;
📌 McDonald’s was a message hypocrisy repeated offender for sponsoring the Olympics while being linked to the obesity epidemic. The notion that extremely fit athletes sustaining on a diet of fast food is simply unbelievable to most. They withdrew from the sponsorship in 2018, for reasons bad press.
Social hypocrisy if they support social responsibility initiatives insincerely or for a clear ulterior motive;
📌 Many brands, food and otherwise, after posting black squares on social media during the Black Lives Matter movement without a sincere expression of support or failing to combat discriminatory practices within their company. They were accused of social hypocrisy for performatively aligning themselves with a cause they aren't committed to. It's not hard for people to different brands that truly empathized with the injustices black people face and wanted to help versus brands that jumped on the bandwagon to seem "woke."
Anyone can call a brand out for hypocrisy online and spread negative word-of-mouth. When brands are perceived as being hypocritical, their audience will distance themselves to avoid the unpleasantness of undesirable associations. Whether the rejection is temporary or permanent depends on the severity of the transgression. It is, however, important to note that customers are more forgiving towards brands perceived as authentic because brands that reliably uphold their mission and values are more likely to continue doing so in the future.
🎉 Congratulations on making it this far!
The next chapter is about brand expression. First off is

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