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Home » Authenticity » Authenticity in the market and its relation with ethics

Authenticity in the market and its relation with ethics

Face to face

Carolina Castellanos and Luis Enrique Solórzano discuss the benefits that authentic brands enjoy and how this affects their ethic.


Carolina Castellanos - Executive Director at AmCham

Carolina Castellanos - Executive Director at AmCham

During her years of experience, Carolina Castellanos has developed professionally on Bertel de Centroamérica S.A., Ministry of Culture and Sports, Burson-Marsteller and the American Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala (AmCham), among others.

She has been invited many times as a speaker by several universities, associations and business organizations, on issues like the Free Trade Agreement between Central America and the Dominican Republic, with the United States (DR-CAFTA), globalisation, and intellectual property, among others.

Among her activities as Executive Director of AmCham, one that has been brought up is the constant interviews by the press on issues like DR-CAFTA, foreign investment, economy and trade, among others. This has positioned her as an opinion leader in Guatemala.

In 2009, the magazine “El Economista” named her one of the women leaders of the Central American Region. She has been invited to participate as a speaker in issues like economy, investment and international trade, in different universities. Also, she is constantly interviewed in radio and tv programs, as well as written media, magazines and internet news.

She was certified as a Mediator by the International Center for Mediation, which is part of the Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Guatemala, in 2012. She was invited to be part of the board of directors of the Center, which she has been participating since mid-2013.

I am authentic, so does this makes me ethical?

Or could it be the other way? Which comes first? Can one exist without the other? Let’s review.

The Royal Spanish Academy defines authentic as “honest, loyal to his or her roots and convictions”. “Ethical” is the individual who is “upright, in agreement with morals”.

We all know genuine people. Overall (although this is not a rule), they are passionate individuals, leaders in their fields, convinced about that they preach and, even more so, what they practice and live every day. When it comes to ideology, they embody it and stand by it constantly; if it’s a, let’s say, alternative lifestyle they will express it through attitudes, activities, wardrobe, their acquaintances, etc. An authentic person will generally reflect that he or she will live and feel.

Let’s think of an ethical person. Overnight he will not be a community leader, will be hard just to recognize or talk with him. It’s necessary to know more about his life, decisions, behavior, his way of addressing subordinates (should he have any). It is very likely that he’ll engage with non-ethical individuals and, at a glance, we won’t be able to tell them apart.

However, it’s difficult to say that all genuine persons are ethical. For instance, many individuals who identify as having a left ideology are authentic when it comes to being fully convinced about their viewpoint as the only real and valid one. They preach it, sway others towards it and are pundits concerning their way of thinking. However, their ethics are highly dubious. Do they use others to get ahead? Do they have conflicts of interests in their business practices? Do they abuse their authority and power? Do they follow standard moral codes? We all know the answers to these questions.

On the other hand, can we state that an ethical person is authentic? I think so. It will probably not be evident right from the start but, after a closer look, we will recognize its true nature. She is an honest person, loyal to her convictions, just as the Royal Spanish Academy defines it.


Luis Enrique Solórzano - CEO at The Purpose

Luis Enrique Solórzano - CEO at The Purpose

Curious at Megatrends for a better world.

30+ Yrs.in family businesses environments but corporate demands and goals developed the strengths necessary at the current volatile world. Multicultural and cross-functional operations [Latam-Caribe] at FMCG, and corporate top management in multi-media create sensitivity and communicational empathy at different perspectives: brand-advertiser, media, and consumer.
Developments at PepsiCo from brands and products to market re-launches require not only marketing, but also design and implementation of manufacturing, logistics, and distribution networks, through a set of skills and character to make things happen, and understanding of the importance of an effective communication.
Leading from top management in media complements to the necessity for commercial results, with the responsibility of ethical and visionary communication of activities that affect people and community´s development.
Since 2013 Luis Enrique has focused on sustainable development, and understanding of mega-trends on sustainability, new technologies and its impact in the change of industries, economic activities, organization's management, and the need for cultural change towards more ethical and sustainable practices.

Authenticity in Marketing

If you do not speak well of yourself, then who will do it.

If you fail to communicate who you are, what you do and the reasons to do it, you´ll go unnoticed, you´ll be misinterpreted, or someone else will speak for you.

But beware the one who confuses, oversell, misleads, or deceits, because that communicator will kill the opportunity that open ears and eyes gave to the brand.  Falsehood will suddenly destroy what wrongfully was believed to had been built.

Authenticity is more than just a way for brands to communicate. It is a ruling principle that may or may not be in our set of values and practices; but without authenticity, leading within an organization becomes complicated and full of incongruences towards clients, suppliers, and shareholders. This incongruence finally affects brands in a negative way.

Within all of the above, there is a day to day reality as well as a frame designed to state what we consider as valid for the interaction and communications of our brands.

If brands certainly have to show their best face and serve as identifiers of who we are and what we do, they must also be authentic.  By practicing this principle, trust will be built and, with that, the chances of long term success.  This trust will be the base to improve relations, profitability, longevity and in general the bond between the ones offering and the ones consuming; the essence of the brand.

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