No one has ever looked back fondly on someone saying “they used to tell the sweetest lies, swindle me with such charm and play such thoughtful hoax’s”.
It’s no fun. It brings no happiness, no betterment, and no lifestyle improvement. No one actively follows or seeks interactions with people or brands that are dishonest and unapologetic about it.
Those are the brands that people give 1 out of 5 stars for on Yelp, GlassDoor and Google Reviews, giving sincerely negative feedback hoping to inspire others to avoid such establishments/products/brands.
What brings brands and people together is honesty and quality.
Brands-like people-have flaws. And like people- not all brands are good at everything. As a brand, knowing that, knowing what you ARE good at, and communicating that in a positive and authentic way is how to connect. Not to sell a product but to make a valuable connection and find a place in your consumer’s life. Think of Buckley’s “It tastes awful and it works” branding. Consumers know exactly what they’re getting, it’s a different approach for a brand, and the product ultimately satisfies their need.
It’s like a gas station celebrating their hot dogs with messaging like “Best Hot Dogs you’ll have all day”, or “Juicy and mind-blowing Hot Dogs”.
Are they really? You’re a gas station- shouldn’t you have the best gas first and foremost? No one is going to the gas station looking for hot dogs. That isn’t going to happen.
As an alternative, it would be interesting to see messaging that’s more like: “Our gas is the best. Our hot dogs aren’t that bad either”.
You can’t do everything well. That’s just being realistic. And brands that aren’t realistic, honest and can’t learn to have a little fun, risk the trust of their customers and a chance at innovation.
Know what you’re good at, own it, and don’t be what you aren’t. That goes for brands and people alike. At the end of the day its really all the same because one moves the other.