Brand experts tout authenticity, great story telling and the importance of staying true to your brand’s promise. How do we accomplish being authentic in a commercial environment that is crowded with conflicting promises and ephemeral truths? Manufacturers all promise impeccable quality, politicians promise lofty attainments, and food companies promise gratification. But all of our tastes are different and we’re all moved by different cultural symbols, style and media. We all have our own truths when it comes to our emotions, and emotions drive brands.
Brand strategists and marketers address this issue by focusing on well-defined market segments. To a marketer, “the truth” is defined by the tastes and values of your customers. A brand should be a cultural leader, and for the first time brands are hearing from their community 24 hours a day, everyday. The best brands create a kind of Jobsian “reality distortion field” that sets the tone for a culture formed by the tastes of your community. Each brand creates an argument for their own existence, and if they can get a buy-in from their community, the whole formula works.
Objective truth is a fleeting butterfly influenced by a point of view, state of mind and predisposition. The truths of branding are consensual, collaborative and community-based. In highly competitive or exclusive markets, brand leaders need to clearly communicate their value, while working with their customers to define the relative truths of the marketplace.