I am truly fascinated by the desire of consumers for authenticity. In a quickly evolving sector in which technologies and digital trends succeed each other at a rapid pace, a real story remains at the base. Authenticity is a condition, not a trend. (Eva van Riet)
As a brand, you’ll prefer to come across as believable. But when you try too hard, you will often create the opposite effect. You’re better off avoiding the so-called grandstanding because nobody believes in boastfulness.
By contrast Brandstanding rests on deep-rooted values that a brand shares with the consumer. It is essential to demonstrate daring and to publicise the values that you are proud to convey. Don’t hesitate to take a position, even when it’s about a social issue. Research has shown that consumers identify more with a brand that chooses a side in a sensitive discussion than one that carefully stays clear of it.
“If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you, and nobody for you.” – William Bernbach
That’s why AirBnB has frequently spoken openly against Donald Trump. Closer to home, Hema organised the #hemahuwelijk during Pride Amsterdam for European LGB couples who want to marry in their own country. As a brand, look for goals that you find important and that also engage your target group. The socio-political discussions are moving at an ever-increasing pace and consumers expect their favourite brands to take a stand. So you already have a New Year’s resolution for 2020: get up, stand up and become an activist with your brand!