In their predictions for 2012, Trendwatching introduced us to a new word; flawsome. It describes brands that show their human side, admit their flaws and in doing so, are awesome!
Trendwatching say the two key drivers behind the Flawsome trend are that consumers are tired of vapid, faceless, corporate brands and are now starting to see almost full transparency of brands (through online consumer reviews and leaks) and therefore finding about about their flaws.
So let’s elaborate a little on these drivers and talk about what we can do to make ourselves all fresh and Flawsome? Before we were all hooked up to the web and we were still living in caves listening to Ultravox, communication between the brand and the consumer was a one way street. The consumer’s role was merely to ingest, the technology of the day made it so and the success of a brand was really down to how effective the adverts were. Even if you did have an issue with a product how would you have made the wider public aware anyway?
The internet changed the game and put the power in the hands of the consumer, giving them a platform to say what they wanted about a product or a service. Social Media, has tipped the balance further in favour of the consumer. People are talking to each other about brands, their products and their services, the good things and the bad things.
The voice of the consumer dominates and if a brand continues to hide behind a corporate banner and not engage with consumers in the immediate and raw environment of the web, they will be perceived as out of touch and worse still of having something to hide.
The smaller brands that do engage with the consumer online, in a friendly more human manner, have the opportunity to grow here. To gain the necessary exposure and become the smart choice for the majority, leaving the impersonal corporate dinosaurs in yesterday’s dust.
Ok, so that addresses the matter of personality but, what about transparency? Trendwatching say that Flawlessness is an illusion. A brand should embrace and acknowledge its flaws instead of trying to hide them, as chances are they’ll be dug up by someone else. It’s much better to own up to something than be found out. It might be difficult but, ultimately you’ll gain more respect.
Trendwatching has some interesting statistics on this. Apparently consumers are more likely to convert if there is a mix of positive and negative reviews rather than a ‘clean sheet’, as this is perceived suspect and an indication of censorship by 30% of consumers, according to a Reevo survey. Another statistic is that the consumers who go to the lengths of trawling through the reviews, for the bad write ups, are actually more likely to convert and by a huge 67%.
So, If you don’t publish customer reviews now might be the time to start. One of our clients is Feefo, who provide a third party customer review and feedback service for ecommerce sites. The fact that the reviews are obtained by a third party shows openness and builds trust with consumers. On our recommendation the conservatory furniture and home furnishing specialists HomeLife, has now signed up with Feefo. I’d recommend visiting their site to see how feedback can be successfully integrated.
Embrace and act on the feedback too, and respond to criticisms and complaints in a constructive manner. The fact is, a customer who has had issues but also had them dealt with, is more likely to be an advocate of your brand than a customer whose journey has been ‘passive’.
Through their site, Feefo give you the opportunity to respond to negative client feedback in a visible and transparent way. Which if handled well, will not only make an advocate out of the disgruntled customer but also win over potential customers, checking for negative reviews. Remember the ones, I mentioned them earlier, the ones that are 67% more likely to convert!
Head spinning yet? Then let’s summarise the basics to making your brand Flawsome; start by adding a dash of personality to the brand (not that you haven’t got that already); engage with the consumer online, either through your own website or through social media; publish reviews and feedback on your website; and respond to negative feedback positively to create advocates!
However, if you still feel don’t feel Flawsome, get in touch. Our Team has a wide spectrum of expertise, so whether you just want to develop your website to incorporate feedback or you want to completely rethink your brand identity; we can make that happen!