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Why for 2012's consumers, brands that behave more humanly, including showing their flaws, will be awesome.

Image courtesy of Russ Frushtick

While many trends are all about the new, it's always worth remembering that success in business in the end is more about being aligned with consumer culture than just being aware of 'new' techniques and technologies.   

While 2011 saw new levels of consumer disgust at too many business' self-serving and often downright immoral (if not criminal) actions, stories of businesses doing good (Patagonia! Ben & Jerry's!) remind consumers that personality and profit can be compatible. In fact, in 2012 consumers won't expect brands to be flawless; they will even embrace brands that are FLAWSOME*, and at large (or at least somewhat) human. Brands that are honest about their flaws, that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor and dare we say it, some character and humanity.  

Now, there are endless powerful and novel strategies that you can use to flaunt your FLAWSOME side, which is why we’ll dedicate an entire Trend Briefing to FLAWSOME and HUMAN BRANDS in March 2012. For now, just one nice FLAWSOME example: 

  • In July 2011, US based fast food retailer Domino's launched a month-long promotional campaign in New York. Hiring out a huge billboard space in Times Square, the brand live-streamed (good and bad) customer feedback given via Twitter onto the digital hoarding.

* Yes, we might have coined our worst trend name ever. Although TRYVERTISING comes close ;-)