...goes a long way, especially when I'm thinking about brands, brand management and the power of brands to build successful organizations and careers.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

In the absence of truth is disappointment.

When a brand isn't truthful, it leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the audience. After all, a brand is a promise or an expectation. I've also used the word reputation to describe a brand.

And what happens when a person, for example, isn't truthful? Others are hurt, distrustful and disappointed.

Example: Years ago, I saw a big white moving truck with a roughly scribbled label "Two Men And A Truck” and I instantly thought “There’s a local company that is probably a low-cost alternative to the national brands. Good for them.” Then, a few years later, I saw something that disappointed me: I saw two “Two Men and A Truck” trucks right next to each other. Before I realized that it was a chain operation, I was really disappointed. I wanted to see two men and one truck, not two trucks. That lead to all kinds of questions? Where there two men and two trucks? Four men and two trucks? Or were there other men and other trucks? And where were the women?

The brand name was cute, but it wasn’t truthful. Even at the local level, shouldn’t they make every effort to hide the second, third and fourth truck?

That’s an obviously mild case of a brand without truth. Can you think of other brands that aren’t truthful?

2 Comments:

Anonymous StevenP said...

I have always felt that Radio Shack's brand was misleading. "You've got questions, we've got answers" seems an attempt to reassure the customer that no matter what the problem is, Radio Shack has the "answer" to that problem. It only took me two visits to the store to realize just how untrue that really was.

1:47 PM

 
Blogger Mark true said...

Your right, in your case, because the performance fell short of the rather high mark. I think there's also a problem because there's no specific relevance...what questions? Questions about electronics? About cell phone? About that blinking light on my VCR?

Good brands are different, interesting AND relevant and truthful.

And when it's not truthful, audiences are sooooooo disappointed. And they tell others.

2:24 PM

 

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