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Authentic Brands are Like a Good Relationship

One of the best presentations given at Harry Schuhmacher’s Beer Summit late last month was by Andy Thomas, CEO of the Craft Brewers Alliance. His best point, among many, was this simple reminder: “A brand is like a good relationship. You have to be able to trust it.”  That’s true for beer – and it’s true for every other beverage segment.

Walking the aisles of the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim this weekend I was reminded of Andy’s comment. There are still too many brands that are built on false function claims, and they are the opposite of a good, trustable relationship. It seems to me these brands will be facing a shorter life span than ever before. There are too many other authentic brands that deliver for their consumer, and social media also makes it too easy for the unauthentic to be called out and exposed.

As today’s consumers ask to be truly engaged by small, honest brands, their focus will not be about following the herd or believing in unsubstantiated claims but instead on real brand stories that they can trust and on brand claims that are consistently substantiated.