Today the conceit of being “authentic” has become an indispensable and ubiquitous selling point. Restaurants employ it most frequently, but so do the makers of common consumer goods such as shoes and furniture—and even such unlikely products as cosmetics and vacation tours.
Glenn R. Carroll, professor of organizations at Stanford Graduate School of Business, studies authenticity both as a tangible attribute and as a social construct. Here he discusses how authenticity is created, how it’s defined, and why consumers are increasingly drawn to it.
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