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Most great brands are based on true stories.
Let’s start the discussion with values and principles. Because, if the entrepreneur or business owner doesn’t value the truth themselves, consuming this piece of literature is futile. We believe in truth strongly and assume that just like a human relationship between two individuals, the consumer and business relationship also demands honesty to survive.
The concept of advertising, marketing, and branding came about after the market became capitalist and competitive. People need to be heard to be able to sell. Not just that, they have to now position themselves as separate from other competitors to get to the right audience and that somehow led to exaggeration, bending truths, and white lies in order to sell. Those are easy ways to get the initial attention of the consumer.
Philosophers have argued and concluded that truth is not universal. Some say death is the only truth. With a mind of our own, we put it to use and started questioning things, God, morality, what is life. The way of living a contentful life was not out of a religious book anymore. People had opinions, perspectives, and their own world view. Liars were seen as anti-social elements and were outcast. Now, a little bit of lying has become a social norm. Social media made it a phenomenon. It became so easy to lie and not face repercussions for it. To maintain a certain image of themselves, people indulge in bending truth, hiding a part of it, exaggerating or understating the fact.
Brands created with hearts often have a strong vision, a purpose that is beyond balance sheets. Marketers and brand builders today often forget that they make a promise when they communicate. The audience does not expect more than what you promised them, their purchase is an act of trust in what you do.
Which brings us to one of the theories of marketing taught in B schools. The 4 moments of truth:
As soon as someone comes in contact with any of your brand communication, or the product itself, they consume the stimulus often designed and strategically put to make you feel close to what they intend to. An honest brand just communicates its provision and leaves the decision to the consumer. Some might try and convince you but the capitalistic market aims at creating a need, rather than solving a problem.
This moment starts with an interpersonal communication that the prospect has with themselves, realizing the need for the product. Further, they gather information about the product, where to source it, and which brand to invest in. With truth, builds trust and the buyer becomes a regular consumer, omitting this step altogether the next time they need the product.
They come in contact with the product, traditionally on the shelf, and now, maybe on an e-commerce portal. The information on the product creates a moment of communication between the business and the consumer. A first purchase doesn’t determine if they trust your product yet, it is a moment of automatic trust based on the information available, and the knowledge that business regulations won’t let the owners lie on the packaging.
This is where the experience of using the product comes in. They determine if it has the result needed, expected, and promised by the business. It will determine if you are worth their investment next time.
This is the fandom moment. If found trustworthy, the consumer not only becomes a loyal customer, but also goes on to promote it to their acquaintances by the word of mouth, or even a social media post reviewing the product.
White lies, bending the truth, decision making at the level of organizers, all of this boils down to become the essence of your brand, making it or breaking it. The concept of white lies is in itself flawed because it derives from the binary of black and white.
King or not, the consumer deserves the truth.
As a writer at Slangbusters, my job revolves roughly around finding the truth. When we build brands at Slangbusters Studio, the visioning process is mostly soul searching, and the quest for truth. Let’s look for yours?
— by Manas, Content Strategist, Slangbusters Studio