Are your core values linked with your branding or business strategy?

My values are to Live, Learn and Contribute.

I believe we are all meant to have a happier existence and live a fulfiling life.

For that to happen, we need to learn from ours and other people's mistakes.

This can be through modelling the success of others or reading about them.

When we have learnt all the lessons we then send the elevator down.

We contribute to others so that they too can be, do and have a happier existence.

All of these are intertwined in my work and daily life.

If you’re thinking of building a business that is profitable and enjoyable or developing a brand, being open and credible can help you to lay a solid foundation and build for lasting success.

You need to start by knowing who you are and in the process, define your values and mission.

Authentic brands are able to secure a loyal following -- a tribe if you will.

Satisfied customers will share their experiences with friends and family, and if the company stays true to its message and continues to provide products that are in line with the customers’ expectations, it’ll be on the way toward developing a brand that will be able to stand the test of time.

First off, decide what your authenticity lies in.

You’ll need to choose which values you are ready to commit to unwaveringly.

Is it your commitment to supporting a specific cause?

Is it your dedication to building products that will change people’s lives?

Whatever it is, it’s important to own it, so choose something that you’re passionate about.

Warning: Don’t half-heartedly commit to a set of values that you’re not fully ready to embrace.

This is the best way to kill a brand.

Your customers will see through the ruse and it will only damage your reputation.

Is your personality and your brand’s personality aligned?

You are the face of your business, and it’s important to make sure your branding is compatible with who you are.

Once you have come to terms with that, determine how and where you will showcase your authenticity.

Whether it’s online with social media or your blog, or in behind-the-scenes interactions with others, get to know your audience and allow them to know you too.

Keep your messages consistent.

The messages that you’re sending out through marketing, promotions and social media should be in line with the in-person experience that you provide to customers.

In the end, embracing your business's authentic self is about being true to your values and following through on your promises to customers.

However, I also need to mention that embracing authenticity isn’t for everyone, but those who choose to use this as the basis for establishing a business or a brand will find that building a business on a solid foundation provides tremendous, lasting stability -- no matter what changes may be ahead.

How do you demonstrate authenticity in your branding?