I’m reading a book by Daniel Lubetzky, the social entrepreneur who started Kind Healthy Snacks. There is no arguing with his story, his business strategy (to create businesses that unite politically disparate people), or products. Therefore, there should be no arguing with is book. His ten principles for success are just fine. One principle Mr. Lubetzky writes about, however, is “Transparency and Authenticity.” I spend a good deal of time railing against these two words in this blog because for me they are the price of admission in branding. If you have to use them, you are playing defense not offense.
Then this morning I was reading a NYT piece about Donald Trump’s approach to deal making. Now I get all the fuss about “T and A.” To be transparent and authentic one must basically tell the truth. There should be no omission, no mis-direction. Just overt truths. Mr. Trump, who had built a global brand of some repute, does not practice transparency or authenticity. His mish mash of unstable declarations, retractions, air horn bullying and effusive staff “good doggies” makes it awfully hard to understand the man and his logic.
So I’ve come around on “T and A.” The words are important in politics but not in branding, where these tenets are expected. Let’s just spend our time and money supporting truths and nothing but the truths.