Authenticity’s Paradox: If You Flaunt It, You Lose It

Stanford professor Glenn R. Carroll discusses his decades of research into the origins, advantages, perils, and future of “authentic” branding.

Glenn R. Carroll

What strikes me as really interesting is that in advanced economic systems, we’re seeing that more and more products and services — at least, personal products and services — are being chosen on the basis of their perceived authenticity. Among consumers, the appeal of authenticity is stronger than almost any other attribute. I don’t know whether it means that quality has become so good that … [ Read more ]

Glenn R. Carroll

Why are we drawn to authenticity? Part of it is an attempt to individuate ourselves and find something that’s different and more appealing to us than it is to the masses. We all do that. We find satisfaction and gratification in it. And I think that’s fine. There are theories that it has to do with the loss of identity in mass society — that … [ Read more ]