In a world where a single ad can reach millions of people within a day of its release, reactions come in fast and strong, think of the recent boycotting of H&M in South Africa and the infamous Kendall Jenner and Pepsi ad. In our last newsletter, we explored whether brands with unethical values are rejected by consumers and today we question the sincerity of those with the most outwardly wholesome values…
They’re money-making machines, and as long as they can get away with it, I don’t believe most brands can ever have pure intentions…
What are pure intentions? Being transparent, trustworthy, honest? In that case, I believe that brands are increasingly striving to be pure and have pure intentions toward their customer, but whether that is ever going to be attained is very unclear in this day and age. But then, my realist side kicks in: How can we know for sure what they are preaching is true?
Brands are the dominant in an unequal relationship between themselves, all-knowing, and an easily-deceived customer. They’re money-making machines, and as long as they can get away with it, I don’t believe most brands can ever have pure intentions, nor that most will even strive for having pure intentions toward their customers.
It’s only when brands stop being able to pull it off, to get away with it, that we’ll see a move toward a more trustworthy system. More and more brands recently have been called out for lying or deceiving, from Volkswagen and “dieselgate” to Chipotle and the E.Coli outbreak, despite an initial slowdown, brands get back on their feet as if nothing had happened, and another cycle starts until the next scandal.
But it’s important to point out that some are trying their best to make up for any dishonesty and deception they cause. After their E.Coli outburst, Chipotle admitted and worked to repair the damage. They took steps to close some problematic locations, they set up new food safety rules and measures, and they communicated every step of the process to the public, openly — a small step toward purer intentions.
I think the consumer is also more aware of the identity of a brand because people can see more and more via social media channels.
On the other hand. I think there are, especially these days, a lot of brands who spend a great deal of social media content to show their loyalty to their consumers. There are some brands like LUSH, Filling Pieces and Ace & Tate, whom I, as a consumer, believe have purer intentions towards their consumers than big brands like Zara and H&M.
I think the consumer is also more aware of the identity of a brand because people can see more and more via social media channels. In the past scandals like Zara not paying their employees would not have made the news so quickly. The fact that the world already knows what the news of tomorrow will be, makes it easier for consumers to discover true intentions of big brands and not months or years later.
I do have to say that I’m very pleased that consumers are starting to be more and more aware of where their clothing comes from, who makes them and what fabric was being used.
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