Over at the website Opensource.com, Chris Grams has an interview with Jim Gilmore, co-author of Authenticity: What Consumers Really Want. I get name checked in the discussion, which is pretty cool, since it was the Gilmore/Pine book that convinced me that I was on to something, anyway, with the Authenticity Hoax.
The conversation is interesting throughout, though I especially liked this part, about the "paradox of authenticity":
- If you are authentic, you don’t have to say you’re authentic.
- If you say you’re authentic, then you’d better be authentic.
- It’s easier to be authentic, if you don’t say you’re authentic.
A few things. First, this is remarkably similar to Gladwell's three laws of cool, first articulated in his famous essay, the cool hunt. Second, it is close to the point I make in chapter four of AH, when I point out that authenticity is like charisma: if you have to say you have it, then you don't. That is why marketing authenticity is so difficult -- the minute you make it an explicit selling point, the audience is on to you, and they'll likely flee.