If you had the good fortune to hear Bert Jacobs the CEO of Life is Good deliver his keynote at NRF, you have a good sense of what authenticity means. Here is a guy (and his brother) who have taken their values and extended them throughout their company, their brand and their relationships with their customers.
My family had another experience recently with one of our favorite brands, JackThreads. On January 26th, my son was shopping on their site for a new back pack. On the evening of January 27th, he received the email (shown on the left) from JackThreads.
The company, whose #1 customer is young, male and what might be called “hipster” did a bunch of things right. First, they looked at what my son was shopping for, and noted his context. Second, they got back to him, digitally, after an appropriate amount of time. Any sooner than a day, and it would have felt like stalking. But 24 hours after the unproductive shopping trip and it felt like a personal shopper following up on a need. Third, they filled the email with recommendations that were still relevant to the shopping context. Finally, they added their own personality to the subject line, the copy and the follow up.
Here again was the authenticity that can make or break effective ecommerce personalization and eventually your brand. Everything about this interaction said, “I understand what you are looking for and I have solutions to your needs”. And the message was delivered in a way that you (in this case the hipster, young, American male) understand.