IS TRANSPARENCY THE NEW CURRENCY IN THE AGE OF UNRELENTING BULLSHIT?
Even my deodorant is lying to me.
It does the job it’s supposed to, don’t get me wrong. At least I haven’t had too many complaints from the people around me, but I know it’s lying to me every morning. Maybe misdirects is a better way of putting it, but its intent to mislead is definitely a thing.
I use a stick, and the amount of actual deodorant inside the package takes up about a quarter of the perceived volume of the plastic package that houses it. As it is consumed, I turn the little wheel at its base and I am grateful for more of its Cool Fresh® wonderousness; grateful, because I know it will run out sooner than I expect. That’s because the package has been crafted to give me the illusion that it has more up its sleeve. Sure, the weight of the actual product being supplied is printed on the outside, but the truth is the company that created it has deliberately tried to fool me into thinking I’m getting more than I am, by making the package taller than necessary.
But it may represent an opportunity.
We’re living in a time where Alternate Facts and Fake News have become part of the accepted daily noise we endure. It seems to me that transparency (or honesty, or authenticity, or whatever you want to call it) is a point of difference that could resonate with an increasingly jaded population.
We’re surrounded by deception and lies. Some may seem innocuous (like what triggered my deodorant rant) while others are more bigly (like The New Administration).
The issue I see, is that if organizations were to begin adopting “transparency” as a key driver in their brand story and it’s not organic or germain to who they truly are to begin with, it either won’t ring true, or in short order they’ll be exposed. Social media has seen to that.
Still, the opportunity is there for certain organizations to make transparency a raison d’etre.
- Packaged goods companies opted not to dodge the intent of the nutritional information they are mandated to provide, and instead of trying to confuse things by underplaying the portion sizes, stated them more realistically?
- Oprah’s new weightloss ads talked about the honest-to-goodness day-to-day struggle their customers deal with, rather than promising “pizza and tacos” and life as usual?
- Anyone who STILL uses the old .99 trick to try and make us feel that the house cost seven hundred thousand dollars, instead of the actual eight hundred grand we ended up paying, would once and for all just knock it off? For the love of God it’s 2017 and we don’t even use pennies in Canada anymore.
I think that people would take note and appreciate not being treated like the big dopes they seem to think we are. I also submit that folks are fast approaching their limit in terms of being spun. Expert pundits pushing their agenda while telling us we didn’t actually see what we just saw are wearing out their welcome.
Perhaps the improbable arrival of a P.T. Barnum-esque caricature as The Leader Of The Free World represents the far end of the pendulum swing – his fact-denying rhetoric so preposterous that it will stir us out of our sleepy acceptance of the smaller untruths we let slide.