ADVICE: Go Ahead, Share Generously — Even Your Flaws Are Beautiful

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Trendwatching.com’s April 2012 Trend Briefing covered the consumer trend of transparency or companies being “flawsome.” Flawsome is the name for brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws. Even being flawed can be awesome. Therefore, flawsome.

Everything from disgust at business practices to the influence of online culture is driving consumers away from boring brands in favor of brands with some personality. And consumers are benefitting from increased brand transparency.

This isn’t a new theme. Back in 2008, Shel Israel coined the phrase “Lethal Generosity” — the idea that companies that are more generous with information are more credible and influential and as such, can devastate their competition in the marketplace. Lethal generosity results in rising to the top not just in followers and engagement, but in search results as well. Sharing information freely means sharing the flaws along with the good stuff – usually counterintuitive to corporate lawyers.

Let’s be real: things go wrong all the time. Brands that open their kimono, admit fault and work to fix the problem will engender good will and trust among consumers. Why? Human nature dictates that people have a hard time genuinely connecting with, being close to, or really trusting other humans who appear to have no weaknesses, flaws or mistakes – and the same holds for brands.

Letting the Goodness Shine Through

Those brands that work at sharing information and giving back to their communities – even if they have a flaw or two – are most likely to succeed in earning the trust of consumers. Take TangoTab, a Dallas-based startup that enables consumers to find and redeem specials, events, and exclusive offers at their favorite restaurants.

Now available in 12 U.S. markets, TangoTab shares deals through its website, mobile alerts (iPhone, iPad and Android platforms), Facebook, Twitter and email. Offers are available in real time. For example, if a restaurant recognizes that Tuesday is a slow night, they can create a limited time offer that morning for a free appetizer between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., controlling the offer, quantity and when they can expect the traffic. Just imagine walking down the street and getting a mobile alert for a deal nearby –- reserving and redeeming it immediately.

According to Andre Angel, CEO, TangoTab has encountered a few issues with redeeming of online offers, software glitches and other ‘flaws.’ However, the fact that his company has a very visible social conscience keeps people flocking to the site and restaurants signing up.

“The best part is that by redeeming these free offers through TangoTab, you are joining in the fight against hunger,” said Angel. “Each time an offer is redeemed, TangoTab donates a meal to local food banks and hunger-related charities. When you eat, they eat.”

Angel is committing a full 20 percent of TangoTab’s gross revenue to help attack the hunger problem in the U.S. No flaw there. Just awesome.

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About the author

Scott Baradell
Scott, president of Idea Grove, oversees one of the fastest-growing and most forward-looking public relations and inbound marketing agencies in the southwestern United States. Idea Grove focuses on helping technology companies reach media and buyers; and its clients range from venture-backed startups to Fortune 200 companies. Scott launched Idea Grove in 2005 along with his groundbreaking blog, Media Orchard. He has been a consistent innovator in the public relations and marketing space. Scott was among the first to understand the role of blogging in audience building. He was quick to recognize the vital importance of content quality and the power of social sharing. Most significantly, he developed a system that integrates public relations, content creation, social and search marketing, and conversion rate optimization into a program that produces hard-dollar results for clients.

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