World’s Leading Companies Failing Authenticity Test

September 12, 2017

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Nearly 300 companies all show a clear Authenticity Gap as consumers demand great corporate citizenship and a new definition of value

There is a long list of worries and choices that keep senior executives awake at night. Most of them involve balancing business risks with the relentless pursuit of growth and high performance.

Leaders who guide their organizations through this uncertain business and social environment are doing so by better connecting their company’s purpose with the rapidly changing expectations of consumers.

But too often companies are failing to make this connection in ways that are authentic. In a recent global survey by FleishmanHillard, Authenticity in an Uncertain World, we learned there is a sizable disconnect between what consumers expect from nearly 300 of the world’s most prominent brands and what they actually experience. Too often, in other words, there’s an authenticity gap.

A big reason for this gap comes from companies’ inability to translate how the rapidly developing political and societal issues impact their company. Now more than ever, companies must better define and reinforce their relevance to society in ways that are authentic to their values. A news release  out today explores a few ways consumers’ expectations are changing what brands can focus on to close the authenticity gap or risk becoming irrelevant, including going beyond the minimum regulations, more visibly and directly connecting the public actions of the CEO with the company’s values, and securing consumers information and transactions, to name a few.

The companies people chose to support – or work for – are increasingly an extension of a person’s personal values. Today’s most influential executives will not only be captains of their enterprise, but also senior statesmen in society. Lasting impact will come from leaders who can authentically create more value and purpose by demonstrating a wider concern for those who work for, with and around them. As senior communicators we can help them understand why reaching for that greater purpose is worth the risk – for them, their business and society.