Diverse. Inclusive. Sustainable. Authentic. These are the current magical words to describe any brand willing to be well viewed by consumers. Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong about wanting to be all those things, the problem is that very few companies can actually be what they preach.
In today’s cancel culture, every little misstep can be a PR nightmare, so brands are trying to play it safe and blend in to please. However, that’s exactly where problems arise. First of all, remember that you can’t be all things to everyone, so stop trying to cater a universal message because you will probably end up in a void. Bear in mind that for startups or SMEs having a wide range of sizes can be highly expensive, so it might be better to opt to work with plus-sizes only or be clear about plans to scale it up as the business grows. The same applies to sustainability. We all know the most sustainable practice is to not buy new things, which is the great paradox in our capitalist society, so try to be transparent about your supply chain, material sourcing and social responsibility without sending misleading messages.
At the end of the day, we are trying to be perfect, which leads to the final issue. If you want to be perceived as an authentic brand, you cannot be perfect. Authenticity implies flaws, implies personality traces that maybe are not welcome by everyone. It implies emotions in order to be real, approachable and relatable.
Being true to yourself amid all this pressure to perform a pristine image is challenging. Nevertheless, it’s the only way to engage and have a meaningful connection with your audience.