Quite a discussion is taking place on several blogs on the matter of branding and authenticity.
Starting with William Arruda on his excellent Personal Branding blog:
All successful branding is based in authenticity – that is – what’s true and genuine and unique about you. Brands are uncovered, not fabricated. The myth that branding is about spin or packaging and image management needs to be replaced by the truth that “you can’t be someone you are not.”
More on Bobby Lehew in Your Brand – Authenticity rules:
I think the field has been covered well, but to state (again) the obvious: branding is not about conveying something you are not but about revealing who you are.
Last, but not least on ThinkingSparks, excellent point raised by Pepita:
Authenticity isnâ€™t necessarily good. Nor does it mean good. I think of Al Qaeda, IRA, ETA, the mafia, street gangs etc. They would qualify as an authentic brand