It seems like we are seeing more headlines claiming the best or worst in all of history:
- “John Oliver delivers a perfect takedown of Donald Trump”
- “The Cat-And-Baby Video To End All Cat-And-Baby Videos” (via Huffington Post)
- Verizon and AT&T air commercials claim that each have the best service
You get my point. Let’s face it. Every company cannot be the best and every competitor is not the worst. Companies need to establish a sense of credibility if they want the public to believe that what’s communicated to them is credible. Here are some tips to keep things more even.
- If you’re the best, prove it! There’s a way to be modest, yet show your successes. Having a third party validate your claim is one easy way to do this. For example, Fortune announces the best places to work annually; these places don’t have to independently claim they are the best on their own.
- Be honest. By being transparent about your company’s efforts, successes, as well as your struggles to make your organization’s communications more reliable. This establishes a sense of trust between your organization, the client and the general public. (Giving kudos to your organization when it’s not actually the best cheapens the intrinsic motivation to continue to succeed.) For example Mattel is revamping some of its brands, such as Barbie, to make the organization more relevant to today’s society. Offering Barbie dolls with different body types shows that Mattel is willing to break free from tradition and move forward with modern trends.
- Own your mistakes. When your organization makes a mistake, admit to this, address how you’re going to correct the issue immediately and then proceed to correcting it promptly. Again, this maintains trust with all your company’s audiences. This also makes room for reevaluation/ways to improve and create motivation to become the best. Victoria’s Secret communicated its mistake after they faced backlash over its “Perfect Body” campaign in late 2014 by changing the campaign to “A Body for Every Body.”
Success is its own reward because it shows what your brand stands for and makes you appreciate all of the hard work you had to put in to get to that position. Don’t let your eagerness to get to the front of the line take away from your authenticity as an organization.