Last weekend I wandered across the Utrechtsestraat in Amsterdam. Unfortunately the street is broken up by road works, but nevertheless the street has something peaceful. At this street you will find no branches of the large chains, but only small and self-employed stores.
The stores vary from travel shop to mini market (really, the last time I saw such a shop was is Marrakech, where they sell groceries from garage boxes). It is striking how much supply of organic, fair-trade and second-hand there are these days.
For years there is research in the coherence between economy and individuality. It appears that people in times of recession, unlike popular belief, generally are not at all unhappy. They are looking for more meaning and there’s more feeling of togetherness.
People have less money to spend and they are much more critical in where to spend it. Consumers are more aware of the fact that the world is not endless and that they are responsible themselves for their preservation.
Precisely for these reasons entrepreneurs and brands that offer more than just a product (or service) have a right to exist. Consumers are hardly more touched by screaming advertisement, low prices and bulk packaging.
More and more people are looking for honest and sincere products. Products that are not only fun and tasty, yet also add something to the society. Brands like Innocent, Dove and Apple are examples of brands that do well in today’s society. They are sincere and heartfelt brands have relational benefits such as warmth, family orientation and tradition.
Social media ensures that there is more transparency than ever and consumers are no longer impressionable of trick with fine promises that are not met. If you want your trademark to survive the crisis it’s time to work on your sincerity.
You really do not have to focus to a charity, only use ingredients from your own garden or convert to Buddhism. But however look for your added value for consumers. Tell them who you are, dare to be different and above all that: be real.
All current media channels are focused on the society and mouth-to-mouth advertising. Make sure that your consumers embrace you and your (on-line) marketing goes without saying.
The trend of honest and sincere products is here to stay. Fortunately. It brings out the best in people and companies.
So how do you see the sincerity of your brand or company? What brand is honest and sincere in your opinion?
Dimphy van Heusden is founder and strategist at HEUS?! Marketing.