In today’s world, 96% of users don’t trust ads. User trust is constantly abused, from a number of data and privacy scandals like Cambridge Analytica. Subway’s “$5 foot-long” was actually $6 in 2014 and $7 in 2017.

When most consumers aren’t trusting advertisers and marketers, that means they’re buying from the few sources they trust. One source of authenticity and genuity is word-of-mouth (WOM), and around 2.1 billion word-of-mouth recommendations are made daily.

You probably envision word-of-mouth as something that’s up to chance, and not something you can control, especially in the digital world. However, companies like WOM Protocol aim to change that, by connecting content creators, authenticators, and social platforms like YEAY. This enables brands and users to get paid for content, and also create a social platform based on genuity instead of the traditional paid ads model.

The statistics back the importance of recommendations users can trust, as users see recommendations as far more authentic than ads across the board. In fact, “72% of customers won’t take action before they read some reviews.” What this means is that most consumers need a recommendation in order to make a purchase decision. It’s not a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

In order for your project or business to succeed, a unique-selling-advantage (or USA) is needed to stand out from your competitors. Authenticity and genuity can be that USA for your business, which you can capitalize upon by being WOM-driven. Even if you’re not running your own business, having authenticity and genuity in your personal brand will set you apart from all the others just trying to sell instead of adding value.

If we take it further, authenticity is an important value to bring to the world, outside of business and branding entirely. Indeed, studies show that being honest actually makes you happier.