Strap in, folks. We’re not at a ranting stage yet, just a slightly hot-headed, good ole fashioned vent.
People’s, and therefore the world’s, businesses, are fake as he\\. And honestly, we can’t totally figure it out. When standards raise, as they ought to in consumers’ minds and in the age of information, some people will of course get nervous. The fakers, the cheaters, the ones who don’t actually stand behind their offerings, no matter the industry.
But you’d think enough people would be encouraged by this––knowing that their passion and values are being valued by the buying power (we call this sweat equity). This means the people with the best intentions will get a better shot in the market, right?
Well, apparently, standards being raised and consumers expecting more was a cue to businesses and brands to across the board standardize their attitude, vanillafy their personality, and make sure they never disagree with anyone by never saying anything of substance.
Too many brands are boring. Too many brands wonder why their customer experience and loyalty isn’t better when they’re “so clearly likeable.” No PR mistakes. Evenly witty Instagram captions. Real people responding to their comments on product photos (even if it is a copy/paste message). What could go wrong?
We’re running out of steam on this topic as a top naming firm, because it’s filed under “DUH” by now. But you need to be real––with your customers and with your employees. Customer experience feeds loyalty and profitability, and that experience is fed by your company culture, and your company culture relies on everyone knowing why they come to work every day (For what product? For what purpose? For what promise?). People don’t want to be flattered or coddled, they want to know without a doubt that they aren’t being lied to (even white-lied).
If you’re not perfect in the eyes of the collective, there is a niche that will build loyalty to you.
As an integrated marketing and design firm in Austin (and best in Texas and the world, at that), we know not everyone likes us for how we run things. But the clients we work with? They were effortlessly attracted by how we walk the talk, how we are unfiltered, and how we even put realness above corporate professionalism. And they love it that way. They call it refreshing or, our favorite, “the shit.”
If you are appealing to the larger collective, only raw realness and personality can differentiate you from the rest. Otherwise, on either side, you’ll simply be stuck on a “treadmill of innovation” as Gallup put it– constantly either coming up with something new and better or trying to imitate whoever did it first. Meanwhile, customer loyalty will be building for the brand who is clearly real– on all mediums and in all encounters.
Whatever you are doing, do it unapologetically. Brand consistency converts for those who keep it real.