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.