February 29, 2012

As I point out in my book, “If your customer reaches the future before you do, they will leave you behind,” … a great quote from futurist Faith Popcorn. To keep on top of trends I spend time online every week reviewing studies and reports. One of the best website is trendwatching.com. Their monthly “tips” newsletter had an interest take on brand marketing this month.

It’s called FLAWSOME. As defined by Trendwatching, FLAWSOME are brands that are still great despite having flaws; “even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. These are brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.” According to Trendwatching this new trend is driven by two factors:

HUMAN BRANDS: Everything from disgust at business to the influence of online culture (with its honesty and immediacy), is driving consumers away from bland, boring brands in favor of brands with some personality.

TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH: Consumers are benefiting from almost total and utter transparency (and thus are finding out about flaws anyway), as a result of the torrent of readily available reviews, leaks and ratings.

Here’s a link to the full briefing. Here’s a question for your marketing meeting: How “human” is your brand in responding to and handling your flaws such as bad reviews on YELP, customer complaints, or reversing bad customer decisions?

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