After what feels like decades where ‘spin’ was the order of the sales and marketing day suddenly a new horizon has come into view – and on it is ‘Brand Honesty’.
What do we mean by ‘Brand Honesty’? It’s a simple as it sounds; companies are starting to tell the truth about their businesses – warts and all.
Many of us will recall a couple of years ago well known supermarket chains having a problem with horse meat in their frozen meals, and how for weeks there was denial, accusation, and spin resulting in a widespread and wholly understandable loss of consumer confidence in their products – before they finally admitted the truth.
Many of us will also recall the tragedy of young children dying on holiday and how the holiday company in question tried to distance themselves from the failure of their property agents; no real openness about what had happened and what they were going to do to prevent it happening in the future – brand and reputational damage and consumer confidence negatively impacted as a consequence.
And of course, just breaking right now are the issues with VW (and potentially others) about allegedly rigging the figures to show low emission rates on their vehicles. For me, the issue is actually not so important, it is about admitting what they have done which is the key point and being open, honest, and truthful….and being so right now.
We do not live in a world where everything is perfect, people understand that. But for years businesses have wanted to ‘spin’ their way out of trouble – it has almost become an art form.
For us as a business which specialises in encouraging customers to actively seek the opinions of their customers we often come across negative publicity, and we always recommend the same thing – publish it, respond to it and be honest. The results are outstanding; people respect the integrity and the sincerity and give more credit to the company than if everything was somehow perfect – this is true brand honesty.
This ‘brand honesty’ brings brand credibility which in turn brings more sales, more profitability, and a sustainable business model. Businesses cannot continue to try to deceive their customers.
The future very much belongs to those businesses which are prepared to show openness and which are prepared to trust their customers with the truth…..this future is starting to come into view.
Chris Globe is Director of The Independent Ratings Company specialists in reviews, ratings, testimonials and customer satisfaction surveys.
T 0161 327 2623 W www.theindependentratingscompany.co.uk @TheIndRatingsCo