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Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want

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9781591391456: Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want
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Contrived. Disingenuous. Phony. Inauthentic. Do your customers use any of these words to describe what you sell—or how you sell it? If so, welcome to the club. Inundated by fakes and sophisticated counterfeits, people increasingly see the world in terms of real or fake. They would rather buy something real from someone genuine rather than something fake from some phony. When deciding to buy, consumers judge an offering's (and a company's) authenticity as much as—if not more than—price, quality, and availability. In Authenticity, James H. Gilmore and B. Joseph Pine II argue that to trounce rivals companies must grasp, manage, and excel at rendering authenticity. Through examples from a wide array of industries as well as government, nonprofit, education, and religious sectors, the authors show how to manage customers' perception of authenticity by: recognizing how businesses "fake it;" appealing to the five different genres of authenticity; charting how to be "true to self" and what you say you are; and crafting and implementing business strategies for rendering authenticity. The first to explore what authenticity really means for businesses and how companies can approach it both thoughtfully and thoroughly, this book is a must-read for any organization seeking to fulfill consumers' intensifying demand for the real deal.

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Review:

With some practical suggestions, along with style, wit and passing references to Heidegger, Shakespeare and theoretical physics...an interesting read.
-- Financial Times, October 25, 2007

Synopsis:

In 1998, Pine and Gilmore identified "experiences" as economic offerings distinct from commodities, products, and services. In so doing, they launched an entire field of consulting in "experiential marketing" and "experience management." Since then, they have been studying how consumers determine the value of their paid-for experiences. One trait has risen to prominence: authenticity. How authentic is the experience? Is it what they expected? Why or why not? The authors introduce the concept of perceived authenticity, or how a consumer experiences a product, service, environment, communication, or person. Therefore, businesses must understand what it means to "render authenticity" in their consumer offerings and outreach, and they must learn to manage the process of, and excel at, rendering authenticity and behaving authentically. This book is arguably the first to provide some practical business advice and talking points for managers and marketers.

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