TRUTH, IS IT IN DECAY?
The term truth decay has joined the post truth vocabulary that includes such now familiar phrases as fake news and alternative facts. Patrick Moynihan’s well known observation that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts” is more timely than ever.
Donald Trump, the 45th President of the United States lies so prolifically that the Washington Post calculated he’d made 2,140 false or misleading claims during his first year in office.
In the UK, the former leader of the Liberal Democrats informed the nation that if every MP who lied had to leave politics, the Commons would be empty.
In truth politicians have always peddled lies; it’s in their DNA.
Authenticity as a brand is nothing new but until now was only one of a number of approaches used by advertising agencies. The other option was to ignore the truth altogether, or at the very least use ‘Creative License’. This was fine as long as the broadcasting voice to the consumer was advertising led and therefore controllable.
This is no longer the case; a brand’s image is not a result of a carefully crafted advertising message.
Empowered by social media consumers can choose to skewer, ridicule and ignore our messages. The familiar world of the broadcast era in which the anointed few could purchase attention is rapidly approaching its death.
Of course consumers care about the truth; we all do so the best way to promote your brand is to tell the truth. Half a century ago David Ogilvy said “The consumer isn’t a moron she’s your wife”.
For Brands founded in higher level values, a powerful storytelling strategy begins by simply recognising and naming these values.
And if you can form a relationship with your customers based on shared values it will become the strongest possible bond you can form.
Remember; tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.