at the intersection of brands, media and culture

Can You Keep A Secret?

In advertising, Branding, Brands, communications, Consumers, market research, marketing, research, strategy, trends on January 22, 2008 at 11:53 am

Secrets Fly

Originally uploaded by BidWiya

Much has been said and written about transparent marketing. In a world where you can no longer hide behind your website because there are a million blogs telling customers the truth, what do you do? Most people suggest that you be honest. That you refocus on customer service and satisfaction. That you remember that “a happy customer tells a few people about their experience but an unhappy one tells anyone they can find.” That you put all the information out there for your customers. And these are all wise suggestions, but what’s missing is a celebration of “positive secrets.”

We all want to know the secret, don’t we? How many of us can remain indifferent after a friend says that they have a secret but they can’t tell? It drives you crazy. You want to know. It’s okay– it’s human nature.

In a world where every piece of information is available, secrets are important to keeping customers engaged and involved with the brand. What is the brand story that you can roll out to customers? How will you tell it? Can you work to create a more interesting backstory? Are there parts of your product experience that can be discovered?

In-N-Out has done an incredible job of this on the West Coast through everything from the John 3:14 printed on the bottom inside of their cups to the secret menu and language only available online. While the plan probably needs an upgrade at this point, there’s something to be said for a company that can keep its secrets.

  1. You might want to check out the latest issue of Ambidextrous (a design magazine) – it’s all about secrets
    http://ambidextrousmag.org/issues/08/

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