Wednesday, 29 February 2012

How to be Flawsome

A new trend in marketing this month, as highlighted by, is the concept of Flawsome.  The definition, provided by trendwatching, is:
Consumers don't expect brands to be flawless. In fact, consumers will embrace brands that are FLAWSOME: brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws; even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. Brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.
The idea is that, since it's only human to have flaws, brands that push the image of flawlessness are often mistrusted.  If a brand is honest and open with its customers, especially about the negative aspects to the company it represents, more trust with those customers is created.

Marmite take advantage of the hate for their product some have.
There are some great examples of brands using negativity to enhance their customers' experience or to rebuild their reputation, including Lynx's apologetic video, Marmite's encouragement for people to hate their product and Four Season Hotel in New York's use of reviews and comments, good and bad, on their website.

However, my favourite flawsomeness is from the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin Texas.  Their strict policy of no mobile phones used during screenings caused one customer to be thrown out who, obviously disgruntled by their treatment, complained via voicemail.  The cinema could have hidden away the complaint but flawsomely used it to their advantage, promoting their policy of guaranteed mobile-free cinema showings.  Have a look (beware, it contains very angry, abusive and possibly offensive language from said customer):

  • Does being flawsome like this increase your trust in brands?
  • Do you know any more examples of flawsomeness?