There really isn’t much to rely on any more. For thousands of years people have had faith in kings, gods, priests or shamans.
In the last decade we’ve heard time and again that people have lost faith in religious institutions, government, authority, and the monarchy.
We understand instead that consumers would rather trust the opinion of “someone like me” than any kind of spokesperson, senior management or professional expert. Of course, often, that “someone like me” is found online, and can be a stranger, not just a friend, acquaintance or family.
But headlines now abound that are revealing the huge volume of dissimulation online which can only increase public cynicism even further.
Twitter is full of parody. Facebook has acknowledged 83 million fake accounts. Book reviews are for sale. Even magazines renowned for their fact checking, like the New Yorker, get duped by their own writers.
And if you thought that people out there know that they can trust what the adverts say then think again. They don’t (they don’t accept the “legal, decent, honest and truthful” rule that I am sure I have understood for ever about TV advertising). As readers of my earlier blog on this subject will be aware we have found that there is a massive marketing truth deficit in the UK.
As trust disappears in the wild west of online dialogue and the traditional upholders of truth no longer have authority then people will seek certainty elsewhere.
Step forward brands. There really is an opportunity right now to step change a brand’s image and prospects. By focussing not on becoming famous by being entertaining, or for being cheap or being used by celebrities, or having lots of “likes” but for telling it like it is. There is the opportunity to gain massive competitive advantage.
My book Tell the Truth gives 8 clear techniques for delivering competitive advantage.
High noon is approaching. The time to stand up for something that you believe it. To create the brand that is the truth telling sheriff in the wild west of 21st century fakery.