Perhaps you’ve heard the name Kim Kardashian. I’m not a Kardashian follower myself, but naturally I’ve heard of Kim. Who hasn’t, am I right? Celebrity branding expert, Jeetendr Sehdev, recently wrote a new book titled
The Kim Kardashian Principle. In it, he explains why transparency leads to authenticity, an intimate experience that audiences want to have with their favorite brands according to the AMA. Sehdev argues that overexposure, limited editing and flaws are actually good things, despite their sometimes negative connotations. Read the full article about Sehdev’s new book here.
Let’s go back to the point that transparency leads to authenticity. Transparency is a scary word. By definition it means fine or sheer enough to be seen through. If we’re being perfectly honest with ourselves, being transparent as a business is probably one of the furthest things from our minds. It’s not because we’re trying to be deceitful to our customers. On the contrary, we’re trying to give them the best customer service experience possible. Surely that means shielding them from the circus happening behind the curtain, right?
Here’s the thing: building a relationship with our customers happens when everyone puts their cards on the table–not when everyone has their poker face on pointe. Of course our customers want to see us at our best–they want to know that they are putting their money toward something worthwhile. However, this doesn’t mean they aren’t tough enough to see us at our low points, too. With the dawn of the internet, we’ve been given the tools to lay it all bare. With the help of blogging, live video, and social media we’re able to air both the good and the bad. As long as this is done tactfully, there’s no reason we shouldn’t allow our customers to see small cracks in our armor on occasion. It makes us more human and less business-like.
For this reason, Sehdey is spot-on when he says transparency leads to authenticity. By not only appearing in front of our customer frequently, but doing so with our flaws exposed we make the journey of our customer that much more authentic. Customers want to get to know us, they want to understand who they are buying from, and they want to know why they should care. The age of the big box stores is coming to a close while the age of personalized business is in full swing. The best way to get personal is to share yourself, flaws and all, with the people you do business for.