So, as of lately, I’ve been experiencing this phenomena at close range: brand dissonance. And what the heck is that you might be asking yourself? Well, it’s when a company brand tells you something but the company does a very different thing.
One of the things I keep telling startups is that they need to be very transparent in what they do. Years ago it would be hard to find fishy things about a company if you didn’t have a whistleblower. Now our days, we live in a world where information flies around at amazing speeds, either we like it or not. That means that, now, more than ever, lies, dishonesty, and unethical behaviors are exposed much faster.
The problem is, many companies just don’t grasp this. They set up shop and start investing in their brand, they go online, build social media personas, talk about transparency, but when you actually go an check what they’re really doing, you’re shocked. The social media accounts haven’t been used in ages, the blog only has 1 post, when you email them, you get no response.
You can’t invest in a brand that tells a message and then do the opposite. The problem with this dissonance is that on the long run you’re nuking your brand value. As I said before, this dissonance will eventually be exposed and the real message consumers will receive will be that of lies and dishonesty.
So please, make sure your startups are aligning their doing with their saying. By the way, this isn’t exclusive of companies, but of personal brands too. How many of you know people that behave in that way? I’m sure that at least a couple.
As many people say (but few do): Eat your own dog food when it comes to branding.