To Be, or not to be Flawsome

so this week as i prepare for my electronic marketing assignment on Training Day Health Club, i’ve done some research into what kind of information it is that consumers are really interested in when they go online to check out a company or brand.

And its quite safe to say that the brands that perform best are those that actually produce some quality and genuine content.
Consumers don’t want to read about marketers wishy washy claims that ‘Our product is the best at…’ or ‘100% guaranteed to…’, which usually end up being false and lead to heartbreak and misery.

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And when claims don’t live up to their promise, consumers are upset from the poor brand experience which ultimately may lead to distrust and an overall negative brand perception.

This is why consumers trust other consumers more than they do the marketers behind the brand. Blogs and product reviews from consumers provide a two sided opinion weighing up the benefits and disadvantages of products and services. After all, in most cases its not like these people are being paid to say good things about the brand.

So as i often read The Age, i came across an interesting article in which it highlighted brand’s that marketed their business’s weaknesses rather than its strengths. Brands have begun to be ‘Flawsome‘, deliberatley trying to appeal to consumers through authenticity and transparency by stating the brand’s weaknesses. Flawsome is a conjunction of flawed and awesome.

The idea behind being flawsome essentially puts the marketer in the shoes of the consumer reviewer. It creates the notion of a two-sided story and legitimises the brand providing the honesty that consumers desire and respect.

And brands which have chosen to go the ‘flawsome’ road and acknowledge their weaknesses, have actually been relatively successful.

for example….

Marmite’s love it or hate it campaign. Some people really do love it…

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iinet launched a ‘get real’ campaign in which they openly acknowledged that they weren’t the best DSL broadband provider in Australia but they were indeed the second best.

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The Red cross in America also almost stumbled into an unplanned flaw when this tweet was sent out from their account.
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But rather than immediately delete the post and pretend it never happend- Which undoubtedly would have caused some kind of uproar and commotion, the Red cross quickly and wittingly responded with this.

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and even Moro in New Zealand cleverly launched this ad promoting itself as being the fourth favourite chocolate bar amongst New Zealanders.

so why flaunt your flaws?

well in our digital society it is easy for anybody to gain insight of a brand and quickly identify fact from fiction. There’s no point in hiding because thanks to the power of the Internet, its all very transparent and we’re eventually going to find out

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But ultimately we appreciate honesty and by showing us your flaws from the get go, you’ll only build your brands credibility and trustworthiness.

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8 thoughts on “To Be, or not to be Flawsome

  1. Really good point, these days when we’re so much less trusting of branded advertising, coming out and admitting you’re not the best can be a really good thing. It also works well with our culture – Aussies are pretty well known for being able to have a bit of a joke at their own expense, and admitting that you’re not everyone’s favourite actually is a great way to get people to trust your brand. I love the Red Cross example too, their response was a bit funny and not trying to hide anything either 🙂

  2. I feel most companies need to adopt this approach. It makes the brand appear credible and trustworthy when they point out their faults. We can see the good and bad and this saves us from just jumping on the internet to find out the bad! nice post

  3. OMG what a coincidence i was watching America’s next top model earlier and their photo shoot was called ‘Flawsome’
    but i totally agree when you said that brand honesty can lead to brand credibility and trustworthiness for consumers.
    But then i feel that if every single brand does that, would it make it just another thing that brands do to gain attention

    • haha briliant! so im guessing the models shoot was about showing their flaws???

      I do have to disagree with you though that every brand is honest. Just off the top of my head i think about some breakfast cereals and spreads like nutella. they claim healthy benefits like ‘low gi’, ‘whole grain’, ‘fat free’, and ‘healthy’ but quite often the product is still loaded with sugar and rather not ‘healthy’ and contain heaps of additives and preservatives. and i can almost guarantee you that you will never find a product that states ‘loaded with sugar and preservatives!’

      Another example would be apple or nike. both these companies had issues with production in third world countries or sweat shops where workers were poorly treated. these were never openly shared with the general public, but when they were found out there was quite a bit of outrage. but then again, seeing as these are two very successful companies they were able to bounce back.

      So not all companies are entirely honest and transparent

  4. This is such a great idea. With social media consumers can find out anything they want to about a product or brand. The importance of transparency is vital today and highlighting your flaws, as we can see here, is actually becoming quite beneficial for companies.

  5. I think the Flawsom concept is fantastic – it makes brands seem more genuine and as a consumer it makes me want to buy them so that I can be apart of their growing success. Its a little like supporting grassroots businesses…flawsome is the same – you want to get behind them to and see them grow.

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