The one-sentence summary
In an age of information overload, the most effective way for a brand to stand out is to tell the truth.
- In an age of information overload, the most effective way for a brand to stand out is to tell the truth. Marketing with honesty is the only strategy that truly works, because customers stay more loyal.
- Equally, the absence of truth could be the death of a brand.
- With regard to content, brands need to:
- Acknowledge reality (there are 5 ways to do this: forceful, functional, funny, fair, forecasted)
- Deliver real change to services and company structure (any claimed truth must be matched in reality)
- Take consumers on the brand truth journey with you (allow them to participate and create communities)
- Enlist third-party advocates (identify and nurture your natural fans and those you can win round: look at employees, cynics, advocates, critics, and agnostics)
- With regard to context, brands should:
- Be close (tailor all communications to be locally relevant: propinquity is nearness in place or time)
- Find a Truth Turning Point (identify and orchestrate surprise moments when telling the truth would make a real difference: this can include ignoring the script, breaking the format, exceeding the platform, expanding the brief, ‘being’ the quote, or interrupting a journey)
- Use point-of-action media (communicate when the consumer is most open to hearing from you)
- Leverage routine (what are your customers’ regular routines and where does the brand fit in it?)
WHAT’S GOOD ABOUT IT
- Make your brand a relentless source of factual data, let people disagree, and actively encourage debate. That means communicating clearly, creatively, and collaboratively.
- Tell stories with punch lines, have a single use, do one thing well, offer a clear improvement, fix something, and say it simply.
- The content is the message, depending on the context.
- Locality can be as diverse as physical, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, or experiential.
- All of us live in ‘an endless narrative of moments’.
- The Guardian defines the truth as engagement with purpose, vetting of facts, and qualified participation.
- Amusingly, the top British traits are talking about the weather, queuing and sarcasm.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO WATCH
- The research quoted is probably valid but no particular methodology is explained to back it up – a biography of sources would have helped here.