Manley Creative Team

Marketing is Like a Box of Authenticity

November 13, 2023

If you know me, you know Forrest Gump is my favorite movie of all-time. If you don’t know me, now you also know. I love that movie for so many reasons but mostly because Forrest remains true to himself despite the ever- shifting world around him. He is simply Forrest…Forrest Gump.

Forrest navigates through life with a simple yet profound wisdom that stems from authenticity. His genuine nature, free from pretense, resonates with people from all walks of life. While the movie provides a memorable story, it also teaches a valuable lesson about marketing and authenticity – Consumers can spot a fake from a mile away.

Consumers are smart. They’ve developed a radar for authenticity and can detect when a brand is trying to be something it’s not. In addition to that, misinformation is everywhere…like an unruly kid running wild in a playground of information. So, I believe brands must prioritize sincerity and genuineness in their marketing efforts.

This is where core values come into play. Just like Forrest Gump’s commitment to kindness and honesty, a company’s core values form the foundation of its identity. These values reflect what a brand believes in and what it stands for. They are not just empty words on a mission statement but they should be ingrained in every aspect of a company’s operations, including marketing.

1. Building Trust: Authenticity builds trust. When a brand consistently upholds its core values in its marketing communications and actions, consumers are more likely to trust it. Just as Forrest’s sincerity won the trust of those around him, a brand that lives its core values can win the trust of its audience.

2. Connecting with the Audience: Core values provide a platform for connecting with consumers on a deeper level. When a brand’s values align with those of its target audience, it forges a stronger emotional bond. Just as Forrest’s authenticity resonated with people he encountered, a brand’s genuine values can resonate with its customers.

3. Consistency: Authenticity is not a one-time act but a commitment to consistency. Just as Forrest Gump remained true to his values throughout his life, a brand must maintain its core values over time. Consistency in values helps build a solid brand reputation.

4. Differentiation: In a crowded marketplace, authenticity and core values can set a brand apart. Just as Forrest’s unique character made him stand out, a brand with a distinct set of core values can distinguish itself from competitors.

5. Crisis Management: When faced with challenges or crises, a brand rooted in core values has a moral compass to guide its responses. Just as Forrest Gump’s honesty guided him through tough situations, a brand’s core values can steer it through turbulent times.

Our four core values at Manley Creative are Wear Everyone’s Shoes, Ready for the Curve, Make Everything Better, and Be Present. I’m proud to say that everyone in our agency knows these core values and applies them to their daily work lives and personal lives as well. We don’t have them posted anywhere on the walls at the office. We simply refer to them every single day in everything we do. Additionally, our weekly shout outs to each other are always accompanied by at least one of the corresponding core values. For example, “Phoebe stepped in at the last minute to help Jim with a meeting he was unable to attend-Ready for the Curve, Wear Everyone’s Shoes”. Or “Shannon had a great week off in Mexico-Be Present”.

These four core values also tie directly back into how we interact with our clients. Not only that, but we also share our core values with our clients before we even begin working on a project with them. I’m hopeful that gives them peace of mind and the understanding that we take their projects, and our partnership with them, seriously.

Authenticity matters. Consumers can tell when a brand is faking it, and in a world overflowing with marketing messages, authenticity becomes a powerful differentiator. Core values should be the guiding stars in any marketing strategy, ensuring that a brand remains true to itself and resonates with its audience on a profound level. So, in the immortal words of Jenny, “Run, Forrest, run!” In marketing, it’s all about sticking to your values, outpacing the competition, and leaving a memorable footprint in your audience’s heart.

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