Can advertisements really coerce you to buy a Coke or a pair of Nike?

Thanks to the Internet, an information overload has been choking our senses. It’s become a breeding ground of multiple realities, manipulating our choices.

But, can people blindly fall for the hoopla and keep shelling out forever?

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Do you think if Coca Cola hadn’t been a refreshing drink or if Nike wasn’t about quality and innovation, they would’ve seen success for the longest time?

It’s hard to say, but it does strengthen the idea that brands trading in empty rhetoric will have their days numbered. Here we take an elaborate look at why honesty pays in building a brand.

1) World is craving for ‘honest brands’ more than ever!

From the time when advertising told us doctors’ prefer camel ciggerette, to the rugged, brooding cowboy—Marlboro man, created by Leo Burnett to the present day gory pictures on cigarette packs (to deter smokers), consumers have been blatantly manipulated by Cigarette companies.

And it’s not just cigarettes, hordes of brands do it.

Sure, nobody expects a brand to be totally transparent, they’re there to sell. But bringing some honesty in their approach can serve them well in the long haul.

Could there be a bigger irony that the 5th Marlboro man died of lung disease in January 2014, even as the iconic Marlboro ad still lives on?

Intelligent brands of today are learning from this climate change. They don’t want to be unmasked in the future and stop existing.

2) Honesty amounts to perfection, is a misconception!

A single misconception across brands is that every consumer seeks a perfect solution. On the contrary, there’s just one thing every customer wants from a product or brand.

To not be cheated!

Consumers don’t live in a bubble anymore, while some companies still continue to.

Ideal products that sell a dream solution are no longer fancied by customers. A case in point could be beauty and skin care products, where promises of the brands go through the roof.

Long lasting brands keep revamping their image in their audiences’ minds, which is impossible without being transparent.

Being honest is not about inventing a perfect brand, it’s about not telling a lie. 

3) From ‘Push to Pull’ marketing—make them trust you first

All brands at the end of the day are businesses that need to take care of their bottom-line, diversification, expansion and increase in market share, for which they have to constantly exploit all the channels of marketing.

Some argue that push strategies, including traditional modes of marketing like ads, PR, corporate communication and branding are fading away. Even Social media seem to be slipping away from marketers’ grasp, thanks to shoving marketing messages down the audiences’ throat all the time.

While some marketers still feel that mindless persuasion would drive up their sales, consumers are increasingly drifting towards word of mouth and first hand reviews.

They want to assess a brand’s sincerity, by asking people they could trust.

On the other hand, there are brands that became big without advertizing, just by building a reputation. Could they do it without appearing trustworthy? No.

4) Sincerety & Transparency are at the core of a successful brand

Building a brand promise isn’t any different from a promise made in real life; whenever it’s broken, trust plummets. Amazon wouldn’t have seen a meteoric rise if it hadn’t remained reliable to its buyers.

Have you ever tried to reach out to the customer care at Amazon? It’s quite a tedious process. Yet, its customer service is unmatched; in fact, it’s one of the prime reasons behind its success.

Like other brands, Amazon has also seen bad days, but has always come out tops due to its strong connection with its customers.

There are other brands that have scaled heights by being sincere; all of them knew dishonesty could be a cause of their destruction.

Closing Thoughts

Brands aren’t heartless, mindless, soulless, brick and mortar stores. They are built by people. And no customer wants to associate with brands that comprise of unscrupulous, unreliable people.

Honesty is always number one on buyers’ desirability index.

Whenever customers find their universe getting infiltrated by untrustworthy brands, they don’t think twice before withdrawing all associations.

Trust not only makes a brand more preferable but keeps them fresh in the memories of customers. Nobody wants to remember a brand that lies.