Life is more fun when you stop caring what other people think. – Blake Mycoskie
Have you ever sat back and wondered why the world goes so crazy for things like Kid President? I’m certain it’s because of one simple characteristic, that isn’t so simple anymore: authenticity. Kid President videos are obviously well-produced and of high quality, but we, as viewers, believe that is genuinely who that child is. We know that all of the words are not his, but we believe the authenticity piece is undoubtedly there.
If you look at the things that “go viral” and first remove the cruel, the disastrous or the fools doing crazy things, the things that go viral are so intimately authentic that the story draws the whole world in. The recent story of the terminally ill woman who decided to end her own life absolutely broke my heart. I don’t know why it was so profound for me, but the bravery of making her story public and creating a public dialogue around a horribly difficult issue really captured people – whether you agreed with the decision or not.
We live in a world of artificial sweeteners and foods we can’t pronounce with no connectivity to anything local. I think the reason that Kid President goes viral is the same reason that farmers markets are so popular today. It’s the same reason that locally produced beers are so popular. We are hungry for an authentic story that connects us to enlightenment, that connects us to something that feels real.
The messenger is just as important as the message. The ability for brands to establish relationships creates value beyond the value of the product or service itself. That’s why the world falls in love with brands like Charity: Water. It has exploded because they don’t sell you only on a global problem, they sell you on a local solution. People crave authenticity and impact. People want to be a part of something that is true and real and genuine. Only by embracing these qualities, will anything you do catch fire or go viral.
Question: Is authenticity part of your corporate brand, and more importantly, your personal brand?