Comments by Stuart Redfern, Founder and Creative Director
‘Seductive public image’ seems to have a poor rating. Now, I represent part of the ‘seductive public image’ industry - otherwise known as Branding. Am I worried? No, I’m not.
Many companies use the branding industry to improve their company’s ‘image’. Quite often companies call upon seduction to enhance, improve, explain or express particular qualities of their people, products or services. But, at the end of the day, even a brand that uses ‘seduction’ has to deliver the truth - whether that truth is tangible or intangible.
Consumers are much smarter and more sceptical about what they are told these days, so brands that rely too much on ‘seduction’ find it hard to differentiate themselves from their competition because we suspect the things they deliver to be homogenous, below standard or simply irrelevant and unappealing.
There is an expectation in some companies that branding will make them great. No. It may make them greater, but it will always be hollow boast unless it tells the truth. No more so than in a tangible industry like metals. Seduction is for perfume or cruise holidays in the Caribbean.
Great companies do great things. It is as simple as that. They DO great thinking, they DO great stuff, they DO great delivery. If a company has a great reputation for product performance, then the role of brand is never to seduce, but simply to engage the audience with proof. Branding helps to communicate, reinforce and differentiate greatness, not deliver it
Looking back at the poll, I see Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has particularly low rating. I think this is because implementing CSR successfully is no longer a reputation-building bonus, but something a company must do – CSR programmes are becoming benchmark behaviour for many companies around the world. One day CSR will be as integral and necessary to a business as having an accountant. CSR does not make you great, but it makes you good – good for everyone.
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