Thanks to the openness of social platforms, the old freedoms which enabled some brands to hide a different internal reality to their projected public persona have been stripped away; leaving some businesses uncomfortably exposed and marketing left to pick up the pieces.
“As consumers we now get a much truer picture about what a brand is really like”, says Brook Calverley, Managing Partner at People Made, “Transparency means that what’s happening behind the wall is just as important as what’s happening in front of the wall.”
Social media platforms allow the world to look inside
Social media platforms are now enabling consumers to look inside brands, giving them access to the inner workings of a company’s culture, as well as a broader view of how the business is performing in the eyes of their peers.
This shift means that a brand is no longer just about the product, but also about the wider business’ internal cultures and process, all of which are affecting customer perception.
No longer the crafter and controller of brand
If the marketers, the traditional guardians of the brand, are to retain influence over the customer they have to shape what the brand does not just what it says. “The role is shifting from a controller and crafter of a brand to an influencer”, says Calverley, “Where they can influence most is those people who shape and create the brand from the inside. Brand experiences are made by many.”
And this may mean forcing fundamental change within your business, but if your brand’s persona isn’t a true reflection of what’s happening under its skin, customers are now in a position to call you on it. It’s time to get your house in order because in today’s social and transparent world the word of marketing is no longer enough.