Openness and authenticity are the things that drive brands

One of the great things about being a busines blogger is that you have the opportunity to exchange thoughts and views with interesting and successful business people. People you would never get to known in life but then meet them for a drink, for dinner or -which I really appreciate- for lunch. Sometimes you are the initiator and sometimes it is them who do the first step to invest time in networking and in exchanging “brand and business philosophy”.

In the end, it is all about conversation, and conversation is key for building trust.

Last week, I had one of these comfortable meetings when Aedhmar Hynes, CEO at the PR agency Text 100, spent two hours of her busy time with two her nice colleagues and me in Germany in the restaurant lounge Schweiger2. Apart from enjoying a wonderful menue (should have written the review in English), we exchanged our views on the latest development concerning the challenges for brands on the social web in the future.

In order to share some of her valuable and deep knowledge, Aedhmar summarized her view of the impact of social media on brands for us.

The funny thing is that the restaurant definitely won two “fans” for their delicious showroom cooking, received a positive review and it would be interesting to track the offline word-of-mouth buzz the restaurant gets from us. One of the reasons why I asked her later on, what she things about the power of the brand-vangelists (or brand-advocates) and how to leverage those for business.

Just before I recorded these statements, she said “Openness and authenticity are the things that drive brands”, and I could not agree more. Nevertheless, I think brands still have a lot to learn to make this real from a customers point of view.

Would you agree?