Believable brands, do they exist? If so what makes them believable? At one time or another we’ve all loved specific brands. Brands that ingrain themselves in the hearts and minds of consumers’. Brands that evoke an emotional reaction from consumers on a deep, personable level. Does loving a brand, or caring for a brand also automatically make it believable?

What are believable brands? Or more importantly, what makes for believable brands? I believe that in today’s world, consumers expect brands to care by providing them with information or education without having to purchase anything from them. Why is that? Well Gen Y and now Gen Z have grown up in a world where information, music, movies and books are shareable – and mostly for free! The digital world has provided so many with the ability to bootleg much of what Gen X and the Baby Boomers had to pay for. The new consumer isn’t really conscious of propriety rights, nor do they care. Nothing is contained. Nothing is owned. But the expectation of “receiving” information, advice or knowledge for free is definitely there.

Brands need to step up to the plate and not only talk the talk but walk the walk, in order to become believable brands.

Why? Because the consumers of today have come to expect a relationship with the brands they purchase. The theory of cognitive dissonance has evolved encompassing a longer time frame – perhaps even a continuous time flow. In order for brands to a keep top of mind position with consumers in today’s crowded space, they must maintain their stance consistently, socially talking with their consumers.

To resonate with today’s emerging consumer, brands need to provide information, helpful hints, advice as well as engage in authentic, thought provoking dialogue. It isn’t about selling, it’s about leveraging and owning the category. This is the only way to establish believability.

The social media space has allowed for the constant questioning and assessment of a brand. How can a brand maintain its believability? The customer journey allows for so many touch points which on a whole create the essence of the brand’s believability. These are 1) brand voice 2) brand tone 3) brand promise  4) brand premise. What is equally important for brands to achieve the pinnacle of believability is to maintain consistent exposure through traditional and social media in order to encourage dialogue and to continuously increase reach.

What do you think? What makes for a believable brand?