Nobody is perfect. Neither is any brand. In fact, brands who embrace their “flawsomeness” in this day and age tend to be ahead of the game. The truth is that many consumers don’t really expect their brands to be #flawless and perfect in every possible way. Instead, consumers embrace brands that are #flawsome, that are brilliant despite their flaws.
Flawsome brands are open and honest about their mistakes. They show empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity and humor. They have character and a sense of humanity. Flawsome brands are human brands. Bland, boring brands are the way of the past. Today’s consumers favor brands that have a personality. They have an opinion and are not afraid to share it with the world.
Flawsome brands value transparency. They are transparent about their business practices, their mistakes and their goals. They share the things that they aren’t doing so great, but are working hard to fix. They accept criticism with a sense of respect, humility and a times a bit of comedy.
Transparency is one of the most important keys to a successful business. In a world where consumers are starting to care more about the environment, equity and social justice, we are requiring our businesses to do the same. With the emergence of movements like, Who Made Your Clothes which encourages more transparency in the fashion industry, we are demanding more from our brands.
We are preparing for a world in which everything (attitudes, prices, quality and behavior) will be completely accessible and potentially outed as ‘flawed’. So, with consumers likely to find out about your products, services and activities anyway, you have no option but to fully embrace them, flaws and all.
Flawlessness is an illusion, and a harmful one. An isolated negative review doesn’t necessarily break you as a brand, but consumers do want to see that you are taking the steps to rectify the issue. In fact, it makes people trust the positive reviews more. 68 percent of consumers trust reviews more when they see both good and bad scores. Consumers aren’t stupid. They know that not everyone will be happy with every product all the time. But, they do want to see that their opinion is heard and valued.
Human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with or really trusting other humans who (pretend to) have no weaknesses, flaws, or mistakes. The same goes for brands. Things will go wrong. The magic is in how the brand responds to them.
Most consumers are completely disillusioned with bad corporate behavior. As a result, any brand that can show business in a new light are welcomed with open arms. Nearly 85 percent of consumers worldwide expect companies to become actively involved in promoting individual and collective wellbeing. And yet only 28 percent of people think that companies are working hard to solve the big social and environmental challenges.
Consumers are more and more aware that personality and profit can be compatible. That is why brands like Patagonia, Tom’s, and Ben & Jerry’s are so successful, The businesses that are succeeding are reasonable, helpful, fun and even somewhat ‘human’, They are also open and transparent about their purpose, their progress and their flaws.
Online culture is the culture. Inflexible, bland, boring, corporate facades deter consumers from supporting them with their hard earned cash. Instead, they value those brands who are able to engage in immediate, open and honest communication online. As more people broadcast and share their lives online – flaws and all, the more we expect our brands to do the same.
In short no brand is perfect and should not pretend to be. Being #Flawsome is about opening up to your consumers. It’s about introducing beta, not-yet-perfect products and services and relying on your target demographic for feedback and advice. It’s about learning from your mistakes and taking actions to do better.
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