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Spinning out of control.

Once a brand realizes its imperfections are what make it truly special, it can turn a customer into an evangelist.

We’ve been spun to death.

Everything is spin. Political spin. Corporate spin. Personal spin. We all want everyone to see the best side, the best angle, the best story. The more spin we are exposed to, the more we become completely numb to what is actually real and authentic. Because nothing truly is.

That is why we’re so amazed when we actually hear someone say the truth. When a politician says, “we blew it.” When an athlete breaks away from his/her list of clichés. Or when someone posts something on Facebook that lets you actually see pain. It’s jarring. But it makes us actually feel, well, something. Anything.

The result of all this is a monotonous white noise that no one believes, and after a while, no one even pays attention. Judging by Facebook, for instance, all of my friends are rich, happy, vacation a lot, eat only at extravagant places, and never have any issues at all. Ever. Problem is, I actually know most of these people in real life. The real life version isn’t as polished but is way more interesting, fun, and enjoyable to be around.

Brands are no different in this regard – and are maybe the worst offenders. But the same thing holds true; the more perfection we show the world, the less believable, the less HUMAN we become. We gain a certain bulletproof quality but we lose approachability. We lose all sense of interaction. We lose the vulnerability necessary to make an actual, legitimate connection. And therefore, it blends into the background noise.

How can we pull this off? By letting our guard down. By realizing that our imperfections are what make us truly special. That’s why people are attracted to brands that let people loose. That show self-deprecation. That tear the wall down. This is a proven way to turn a customer into an evangelist.

When we work with clients, we insist on understanding the internal culture. The good. The bad. The different. These are the pieces we cultivate to build a brand personality and communications strategy. We don’t shy away from the things that make you different, we lean into them. That way, your brand is inherently your truth. And you are approachable by virtue of being yourself.

The bigger the company and the larger the brand, the harder this is. Legal gets their hands on it, and personality tends to get scrubbed. But fight the fight. It is worth it in the end. Our results have shown it time and time again.

The truth shall set you free to be successful.

Photo of Jim Hume.
Jim Hume

As the principal and founder of Phire Group, Jim works closely with clients to build brands that match an organization’s reason for being with their desire for solutions. Jim started the agency in 2004 with the philosophy of engaging a brand’s community to help shape and recognize its full potential. With more than 20 years in the industry, he’s worked with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups in consumer goods, healthcare, technology, education, business-to-business, the arts, and more.