Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Brand Transparency

The inmates have taken over the asylum! Hello brand transparency.

Oh my gosh, how did that happen? Brands used to be so, you know, in charge. Anything went wrong and their PR armies could spin things right back under the carpet. Then along came transparency and it all changed.
As with most changes these days, it was the internet whodunit. So now (shock! horror!), your crazy-as-a-loon customers are in charge of your brand’s success. Say goodbye to command-and-control and hello to co-opt-and-cooperate.

The internet has cleared out the neat little hidey-holes which brands could use to stash their bad service, over-priced goods and ethical transgressions. Now, a fully informed public has access to countless stories about your brand, written by people just like themselves as well as professional and impartial review sites.
Gee, what’s a company got to do to maintain its modesty these days?
First off, recognise that the rules really have changed. Reviewing is the new advertising. Accept that customers’ decisions to buy from you or your competitor have largely moved peer-to-peer. Whether its word of mouth, social media, complaint or review sites, people who are not employed by you are either promoting you or panning you. Every industry now depends on virtual goodwill, from consumer electronics to hotel rooms to your neighbourhood doctor.
Remember that complaints only spin out of control if nothing is done about them. So if someone badmouths you on HelloPeter, do something that will change their frown into a smiley face. Voila! Instead of a moaner, you have an ambassador.
Stay price-competitive. With price comparison websites, like pricecheck.co.za, offering potential customers “the internet price”, why would people possibly put up with being ripped off, when they can get the same product for often thousands of rands less?
And when it comes to your ethical behaviour, just remember that the green movement growing every day - and they are using the net to find out if your chickens really are getting massaged every day or whether you’re sewing the fingers off Eastern child labourers.

So remember, the world’s changed: the facts are in plain view – and at the inmates’ fingertips. Make the most of it!

Hilton Alexander Rose
Your Brand Agency | Director


Skype: hilton293