Ask the questions, even if you may not enjoy the answers

Financial TimesThe confluence of the sale of the FT to Japanese company Nikkei and how it will remain independent, the Government’s sustained attacks on the BBC and Gawker’s decision to pull a story are neatly covered in a piece by The Guardian’s Jane Martinson.

We seem to be at a time when ever more companies/institutions are struggling with a growing desire from the public/its customers to be transparent/independent, but an equal battle to maintain revenue to satisfy owners/shareholders.

On the same day, Kevin Rawlinson from The Guardian (again) reports on the increasing number of football clubs who are banning journalists from press conferences, in favour of an in-house (and clearly biassed) reporter carrying out interviews.
Continue reading “Ask the questions, even if you may not enjoy the answers”

Do all brands have to be human in their communications?

My mate Rob tweeted a spectacularly cold and impersonal text message from his insurance company the other day, asking quite understandably where the ‘humanity’ was in this particular brand.

One of the replies we got (after my retweet) was as follows

As a believer in companies having a strong tone and voice, Oliver’s reply made me stop and think. Obviously, insurance isn’t a sexy or even particularly personal industry, but does that absolve those sorts of companies from being ‘human’ in their communications? Continue reading “Do all brands have to be human in their communications?”

When will brands start putting ‘trust’ over ‘short-term profit’?

CC image courtesy of purplejavatroll on Flickr
Money may – as Liza Minnelli once sang – make the world go round, but for many of us moral issues are more important – like trust, for instance.

It may be unfashionable to praise a bank in 2014, but it appears that Natwest deserves a round of applause.

Its latest campaign promises a fairer deal for existing customers, rather than always offering the best rates to new ones.

This sort of policy is music to my ears, but really it should be standard for all brands, rather than a unique selling point.

The fact that it isn’t standard speaks volumes. In Natwest’s case, it’s possibly a result of losing customers to other banks, lured by an eye-catching cashback offer if they switch (known as ‘churn’ in the trade).

However, at least they’re trying to do right by current customers and inspire loyalty, rather than always going after the bright shiny new customer across the street. Continue reading “When will brands start putting ‘trust’ over ‘short-term profit’?”