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Authenticity, according to the Hartman Group, is a double-edged sword. “The big companies that have the resources to communicate authenticity rarely have it, and the small companies that have it don't have the resources to communicate it.” Besides, “authenticity is intrinsically elusive, hard to create and, like seafood, is only good when it's fresh.

“Small entrepreneurial companies are naturally authentic because the owner/founder/key manager is their brand. They live it, breathe it, and are passionately committed to it. And it shows, in all their messy, sometimes confusing, but always authentic meanderings.”

The key, no matter what size a company happens to be, is “not in what you say but who you are. That is, who you really are.”
KC's View:
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While the folks at the Hartman Group are more focused on retailers and manufacturers who are authentic on the wellness issue, the question of authenticity (or at least a convincing facsimile) is one that needs to be examined by a wide number of retailers in a broad range of areas.

It makes us think of the John Mellencamp song that goes, “You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything…”