The Role of Authenticity in Corporate Branding

Partners Make More Happen - MSInspire 2018While walking around the expo hall at the Microsoft Inspire partner conference held in Las Vegas last month, I ran into Rachel Braunstein (@rkbraunstein), a Partner Marketing Manager and brand strategy expert at Microsoft, discussing her role in bringing a partner art installation to the event. That discussion was top of mind when I reached out to Rachel to invite her to participate in an episode of the Digital Sack Lunch vlog series this month, and share some of her thoughts on the partner event, the role of an organization’s core identity is establishing a company’s culture, and the importance of authenticity in building a corporate brand. You can watch my interview with Rachel below.

The topic of authenticity is something I often discuss with clients and the community. In fact, in my digital marketing workshop yesterday here at the Digital Workplace Conference in Melbourne, Australia, authenticity was a theme I brought up repeatedly in my content and guidance to organizations trying to build out their brands and develop content marketing strategies. One common mistake that I see organizations make is thinking that smartly written content, usually outsourced to marketers who do not understand the industry or unique voice and tone of your company, can drive effective marketing campaigns. In my experience, people see through this kind of marketing “fluff,” and as a result, the associated campaigns fail to deliver the expected returns.

Organizations that are authentic tend to be those who are actively engaged within their communities. That engagement is often reflected through the content they generate, and measured by the energy and enthusiasm (i.e. passion) shown by their employees. It can be difficult to articulate authenticity, but people recognize when it is absent. In the video, I mention three books that I highly recommend: Purple Cow and All Marketers Are Liars by Seth Godin, and First Break All the Rules by Harter and Buckingham. All three are must-reads, and have strong themes of personal (and corporate) authenticity.

Rachel shares some great insights and advice from her years of working within Microsoft’s partner organization, and it’s always fun connecting with her. If you have 30 minutes, grab your lunch and watch the conversation:

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.