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Mark Lewis from Planning from the outside is writing about an interesting subject he originally found here at Fast Company. He is calls it authenticity vs. sincerity. There is a difficult contradiction for a company between being a nice and credible “friend” and running a profitable business. Is it at all possible to combine the two? Mark says that people really want brands to be more human and behave according to interpersonal standards. And that is true. For a company it is all about interesting the consumers in an honest way, to involve them and stimulate their engagement. The consumer of today doesn’t care if it is a person or a company. They demand respect in both cases. Just take your own experiences. Personally I have had interaction with companies that have put them in my heart for ever. But the opposite has happened many times as well. And I will never buy or use any services from them never again. It is as simple as that.

So, to be popular among the consumers as a company or brand, talk to them as if they were your family or best friends. Be personal and credible. Don’t screw them. Because they are everything you have. Your complete brand depends on your loyal customers. Al & Laura Ries puts it “a brand is a perception in the prospect’s mind”. And if we hold this as true, would you dare to not being best friend with your customers?

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