Authenticity, Marketing, and Photography


Everyone seems to want authenticity. We want it in other people. Some of us look for it in music. Brands and products often present themselves as authentic. But what is it? From a marketing theory perspective, authenticity is subjective. So much so that many believe we can’t agree on what is authentic.  On the other hand, we can study what leads people to perceive things (and people) as being authentic.

But how do we perceive authenticity? Not to get too nerdy, but one thing that determines how we perceive authenticity is familiarity. We know through research these things are related. Whether or not someone is already familiar with something dictates the way they judge whether or not it is authentic. For example, a musician or a product’s brand authenticity we are familiar with is judged through sincerity. However, when we are unfamiliar with them, we try to assess their expertise or quality. Even when we are not experts.

The Marketing Piece

How do organizations communicate with their market? It’s not just advertising. There are many channels of communication working together. Furthermore, in today’s socially networked world, messages are transformed. When a brand or a company tells its consumers something, the content gets passed along. But it also gets added to. And commented about. Everyone adds their own take on the information. Furthermore, marketers have to connect information communicated to the target market of interest. Successful marketers will seed information with this in mind.

Now let’s combine what we know about authenticity and seeding. When we want to communicate with a target market familiar with our product we should emphasize sincerity. Reaching consumers unfamiliar with us means focusing on quality.

Now the Photography Piece

The benefit of combining marketing and photography is a deep understanding of seeding the right information. Some of your messages are intended to reach existing customers. They are familiar with your brand. Some communication channels are designed to reach prospects. They may not know as much about you. There can even be some places, like your website, where both exist – familiar and unfamiliar users. Some pages may be for existing customers; some for potential prospects.

Photographic techniques will produce what is effective for the type of message you are sending. PBnJPhoto works with clients to develop photos that convey what is needed. For example, in-person content would be designed for familiar customers. They are already in your location. On the other hand, photos for digital paid ads will be developed to attract unfamiliar users.

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