Tag Archives: marketing insight

November 26th, 2012

Honesty is Hard. It’s Also Mandatory.

We’ve been accused of taking too long to get to the point. ⬆ This is the point. ⬆ Read the post anyway.

So we’ve spoken before about brands and Radical Honesty. We’re going to speak about it again, as this is a lot for marketers to get used to. Remember, we’re the same people who used to go home and sleep like babies after a hard day of telling the world about Camels satisfying your T-zone. But so many nice folks sent us links to this Daniel Baylis article in Fast Company, that we figured we’d better pipe up once again.

It’s a good little article with a couple important takeaways. Like this one:

“The biggest misconception is that brand perfection is necessary before honesty is a valid brand strategy.”

That’s nice, right there. It reminds us that people, for the most part, want to like you. They’re not only looking for a reason to buy, they’ll even help you make your case. “But baby, we need that 75,000 BTU grill! For the children! Won’t you think of the children!?

This one, too:

“In a recent report on transparency in corporate reporting among the 105 largest publicly listed multinational companies, it’s surprising to see that oil companies such as BP and ExxonMobil (also far from perfect) rank much higher in transparency than popular tech companies such as Google and Apple. And in terms of integrity, public perception of Google and Apple continue to fluctuate. If I were a PR executive at these tech companies, my palms would be sweaty.”

Excellent point. Say what you want about BP and ExxonMobil – they’re evil, but they’re reasonably on the up-and-up about it. Meanwhile, Google and Apple, two brands that once possessed halos as bright as supernovaas, now battle it out to see who can embrace the dark side of the Force more quickly.

Our point? We go on and on about Conversation Marketing because we believe your brand is part of a conversation. Moreover, we think you ought to be a good conversationalist. You already have impeccable etiquette – we’ve seen your posture and your Latin declination – don’t forget to use it. Be honest about yourself – customers have highly-developed bullshit radar systems. Have a sense of humor about yourself – better to beat the world to the punch. In general, be someone you wouldn’t mind being stuck in the corner at a party with.

The big finish? This – Mr. Baylis spent a whole lot of column-inches full of words telling you the following: Be honest. Be nice.

Thanks for reading.