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Contagious Contributor

5 February 2020

The Truth & Beauty Economy 

Kenneth Parks of Hero Digital shares how brands must put customers at the heart of their businesses to win trust and achieve growth in a Truth & Beauty Economy.

The world is experiencing a trust deficit because institutions and corporations are constantly failing us, said Kenneth Parks, Hero Digital’s CMO, at Most Contagious New York on 29 January.

Parks cited the Ivy-League schools accused of taking entrance bribes and Wells Fargo opening millions of fraudulent accounts in its customer’s names as examples of scandals that fostered mistrust.

He argued that to be successful in business today, brands must prioritise customer experience to gain trust and loyalty from consumers. He described it as bringing moments of ‘Truth & Beauty’ to people’s lives, this being the congruence of the consumer reality (truth) and the brand’s response (beauty).

Businesses with high Net Promoter and satisfaction scores (known as loyalty leaders) generate 2.5 times the revenue of firms with low scores. Simply put, what is good for people, is also good for business.

Parks mentioned several brands that put customer centricity at the heart of their business. 

Make-up brand Sephora’s digital assistance services, for instance, helped the brand grow 16% in the last three quarters of 2019.

Meanwhile Chime, a banking startup targeted at millennials that attracts 300,000 new customers every month, turned a barrage of comments with 79% negative sentiment, into 70% positive in just four days thanks to the CEO’s transparent and honest handling of a service black-out incident.

Parks also praised One Medical, a subscription service enabling patients’ access to any of its doctors in the United States with same day booking. The company provides a transformation solution to the overloaded healthcare sector, resulting in membership growing by 300% in the last five years.

Build an experience the customer will love and share, that provides good value for the money and time they spent

Delta Airlines, a brand that almost went bankrupt 15 years ago, also got a shout-out for reforming its business through redefining hospitality for the modern traveler in the digital age. The brand’s stock price grew 17.5% in 2019, while rival American Airlines declined by 12.5%.

Parks concluded with five approaches a brand can take to place truth and beauty at the centre of their business: 

First, make the customer feel they are being heard in a hyper-personalized connected experience (intimate). Second, create a transparent, honest, and clear experience for the consumer (open). Third, be sure the exchange between the brand and customer is responsive and instant, with a single point of contact (immediate). Fourth, confirm the experience feels authentic to the brand’s personality and distinct from the rest of the market (unique). Finally, build an experience the customer will love and share, that provides good value for the money and time they spent (worth it).