Episode 2 | 30.12.2023

How Embracing Vulnerability Bolsters Brand Authenticity and Presence

In this episode, we’re joined by Charlotte Saunders, Head of Marketing and Communications at Axter. We uncover the power of vulnerability in marketing and its impact on brand authenticity and presence. Charlotte shares her valuable insights and experiences, highlighting how transparency and authenticity are not just ethical imperatives but also strategic advantages in today’s competitive marketplace.

Listen to the full podcast episode on YouTube.

Introduction

In the fast-paced world of marketing, where brands often strive to present a flawless image, the concept of vulnerability is emerging as a powerful tool for building authenticity and trust. The recent episode of ‘The Responsible Edge Podcast’ featuring Charlotte Saunders, Head of Communications at Axter, sheds light on this intriguing aspect.

Owning Up to Mistakes

Charlotte discussed an example of a company that openly admitted its mistakes, a rare occurrence in the corporate world. She mentioned Ace & Tate, a Dutch eyewear brand, which not only achieved B Corporation status but also candidly acknowledged the challenges and missteps along the way. She elaborated,

“And they showcased all of the bad moves that they made… So they just owned up to it and they said, we messed up. This is what we’ve done. We’re really sorry. And we want to make it right.”

This approach not only humanises the brand but also illustrates a commitment to transparency and responsible business practices.

The Challenges Faced by Businesses

Charlotte further touched upon the challenges businesses face in assessing and improving their practices. “It’s really difficult to assess what you’re currently doing and then put in place actions to make things better… there’s no harm in explaining and being very clear and transparent about the difficulties that businesses face”​​. This statement highlights the importance of being honest about the journey towards improvement, not just the end result.

Honesty and Vulnerability as Strength

Perhaps the most compelling insight Charlotte offered was on the impact of honesty and vulnerability in business.

“If we’re just honest about it, showing vulnerability… it’s really hard and we’re finding it really challenging. If they see a personal emotion through a business, it’s going to work both ways. It’s going to make them feel more real and more approachable and appealing. And presumably more trustworthy”​

This reflects a growing understanding that consumers value authenticity and are more likely to engage with brands that show their human side.

Conclusion

These insights from Charlotte provide a valuable perspective for marketers. In a world where consumers are increasingly skeptical of corporate motives, embracing vulnerability can be a key differentiator. It’s not just about admitting faults or challenges, but about showing the human aspect behind the brand, fostering a deeper connection with the audience. This approach could redefine the future of marketing, where authenticity and transparency are not just buzzwords, but integral to a brand’s success.

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