Event: Brand Authenticity — It’s More Than a Buzzword

MAY 18 @ 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM EDT

In the wake of the Great Recession over a decade ago, millennials — the first generation of digital natives — started coming of age. At the same time, social media activity and access to information flourished. The result? A significant realignment in the consumer/brand relationship.

Younger consumers were paying closer attention and sharing their opinions about whether brands were delivering on their values. Beyond dollars, consumers (soon enough older cohorts as well) began to vote with their social media attention, loyalty and personal connections to brands across industries. A number of organizations acknowledged this shift and brand authenticity — a mutual agreement between brands and consumers to serve a higher purpose for one another — took root.

How do brands clearly communicate who they are and what they stand for? How do they create authentic connections with consumers? How do companies effectively weave brand authenticity into their marketing strategies?

During our panel event, hosted by the Advertising Research Foundation, major industry brands, including The Ritz-Carlton, Pfizer, and Peloton shared their strategies and journeys about creating and nurturing authentic connections with consumers.

HawkPartners kicked off the discussion by sharing findings from their Brand Authenticity Index — engagement with nearly 10,000 consumers to understand the factors most important to creating authenticity and an evaluation of 175 brands across 13 industry categories.


Caroline Mayhew Gardner
Global Lead, Brand Strategy & Guest Experience

The Ritz-Carlton

Maddy Halyard
Senior Manager, Product Marketing


Jesse Epstein


Jillian O’Neill
Senior Director of Business Operations, Emerging Markets