Beyond the lofty promises and brand attitudes your customers know everything there is to know about your real product and service delivery. Investors are continually informed about real share value and dividends. If you are serious about it, there are even ways to get a grip on risks and opportunities further down the road. And, make no mistake, nobody knows as much about your behaviour and performance as your own employees.
They already know, so what does that mean for your marcom, PR, investor relations and employer branding?
First and foremost, it’s rather obvious that you shouldn’t even try to mismanage the truth. Because even if your potential customers, shareholders and employees don’t know yet, soon enough they will. And when they catch you with a lie, they may never trust you again.
Secondly, you don’t change people’s mind that easily. If you are lucky (or clever) you may help them to put established perceptions into a coherent, consistent and favourable context, but it usually takes a lot more to erase established impressions or preferences. And, as for coherence and consistency, there is no way you can achieve that by denying or corrupting your real self.
Thirdly, and most importantly: If and when you do find your authentic core, you have got a firm and shared self, a clear sense of direction and a formidable source of energy for all your development, communications and relations-building ahead.