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    Don’t Try to be Genuine

    Posted by Luis Serpa on March 9, 2009 - 9:15 PM
     

     In a recent post,  The “ART” of Being Genuine,  Kathryn Jennex (aka @northernchick) generated a very passionate discussion about what it is to be “genuine.”

    It is a great post and I recommend reading it with all its comments but, apart from the insight on human relationships and perception, the post really got me thinking about how the urge to be genuine can affect some companies and their brands.

    Like any individuals, companies and brands also fail sometimes at trying too hard to be original or genuine without actually trying to understand WHOM they are trying to reach.  They usually forget that being “genuine” has nothing to do with how you want to project yourself and everything to do with other people’s expectation of how you ought to be.  Our perceptions (and choices) are distorted by so many unconscious inferences and feelings that it is impossible to ascertain one’s true aspect behind all these irrational filters.

    So, what should a company do to become genuine? I’d say NOTHING.  You either ARE or ARE NOT genuine already in your niche.  Trying to be genuine beats the purpose of being genuine.  By trying to be something different than what you are now you get farther away from your true self and thus become less “genuine.” Also, the attempt to change (at least in that context) is just a lame attempt to reach outside your own niche.  If that’s not what your company is really about, all you will achieve is to disengage your loyal customers and look fake to your prospects.

    The only real way to reach outside your current niche is to EVOLVE beyond what your company may represent to them today. By listening to your current customers and addressing new needs, your company can improve on its core and become more than it was before, WITHOUT losing its originality.  If that happens, you will be genuine to both current and prospect customers, even when each group is seeing a different aspect of your brand.

    The customers are the ones judging how genuine we really are.  In the end, it is all about the Customer Experience.

    See original post at Vox Inc – Customerspective Blog
    Follow Luis on Twitter at www.twitter.com/luiserpa



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    2 Responses to “Don’t Try to be Genuine”

    1. Kathryn says:

      First of all thanks for the comments and I’m glad my post and the discussion, (wasn’t that wonderful?!), helped to generate this post. I appreciate your use of the concept of evolve and agree you are or you aren’t genuine.
      Thanks Luis. A thought provoking look at marketing for your business.

    2. Luis Serpa says:

      You know, in the end Company/Customers relationships are not that different from normal people relationships. It is all about perceptions and expectations.

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