Authenticity. Every brand strives for it, and that’s the problem. Trying to be authentic is like trying to be cool: the moment you think about, you’re toast.

Even the concept itself is difficult for brands to wrap their arms around…but not for lack of trying (you know what I’m talking about: the “real people, not actors” ads, the (over)use of emojis in an attempt to appear current,…).

Of late, it feels as though latching on to a cause is the “authentic” silver bullet-du-jour.  But consumers — young people, in particular — are becoming increasingly skeptical of cause marketing efforts.

Here's how to connect with what young people are demanding without turning it into a marketing ploy. And see how ModCloth is nailing it!