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The Primordial Scoop

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Hello <<First Name>>,


Welcome to The Primordial Scoop.

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.

W.B. Yeats

Have you read the latest Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report? You may have missed it, being busy living and working and trying not to go under.

Edelman is a global communications firm that also invests in annual research into ‘trust’, taking a reading on where markets and consumers are with the whole ethics and integrity thing.

Why?

Lasting trust is the strongest insurance against competitive disruption, the antidote to consumer indifference, and the best path to continued growth. Without trust, credibility is lost and reputation can be threatened.’

Quite.

I like it a lot.

This year they have produced a special report, The Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report: Brand Trust in 2020 and let me tell you; it’s a doozy.

Some highlights:
 
  • 53 percent of respondents say ‘whether you trust the company that owns the brand or brand that makes the product’ is the second most important factor when purchasing from a new brand. Trust is second only to price (64 percent). This is really important. Price, yeah we know. Trust? Wow.
  • 70 percent say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past – a shared belief among age groups, gender and income. Hm.
  • 81 percent say personal vulnerability (around health, financial stability, and privacy) is a reason why brand trust has become more important. We’re literally dying. Small wonder.
  • 74 percent say a brand’s impact on society is a reason why brand trust has become more important. Hold up.

A brand’s impact on society? 

There’s more too; 85 percent want brands to ‘solve my problems’ while 80 percent want brands to ‘solve society’s problems’. 

Did our grandmothers demand trust from their soap brands? I doubt it. They had the church. The moral guidance of their families and communities. You can see the problems here too, but if we’re asking commercial enterprises to affect important social change, I fear we’re really in trouble.

I’m kind of torn by this stuff.

On the one hand, I deduce that consumers are seeing through marketing that exploits everything that moves us. We’re pushing back. Avoiding advertising altogether. Punishing tone-deaf brands for their weak takes on diversity, racism, inequality. Demanding that they do more than just take our money. 

On the other hand, I’m afraid of a future where I’m looking to whoever sells me toilet cleaner or biscuits to make moral judgements for me, or to make the world better for my children.

The appetite for trust is there. We want to trust. Connection is in our DNA, but this research suggests our institutions are failing us. Our churches, our media, our educators. We don’t trust them but we want to trust someone.

I’m encouraged we aren’t hardened enough not to want to.

Brands can play a part, I guess. And if they take our money AND do something powerful, that’s good. But the need to turn a profit will always be their main driver and we should never lose sight of that. I’m in the game; I know. 

Brands can reframe their marketing, change their language and get different people to front their campaigns in the name of ‘building trust’, but it will only drive the manipulation deeper. 

Seek trust elsewhere. Seek trust in people, in human hearts. That’s where change is born. 

Buy from your brands, don’t worship them.

Quick Clicks


The Atlantic - The perfect antidote to distract from the state of things on Earth right now. 'What Earth Owes to Black Holes.'

The Creative Independent - Writer Anelise Chen schools us all on the poisonous dichotomy of winners versus losers. As if there's any such thing. 'Finding a Balance.'

Minter Dial - A really lovely piece of writing about rebuilding the art of conversation, at home and at work. Minter also sends a very charming newsletter. You should sign up. 'The (Lost) Art of Conversation.'

Raconteur - What do people miss when WFH? Interoffice sex and chit-chat, apparently. 'Six things we will (and won't) miss about the office.'
🍁A Beginning, Not a Decline 🍁

French writer and bad-ass, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette (1873-1954), writes about autumn:
"Even as I write, it is approaching once again, the season that a schoolgirl celebrated long ago because, precociously, she loved it. It comes back decked in gold, so as to inspire wisdom, or its opposite, so that the chestnut tree may flower a second time, so that the cat, which weaned its last litter in June, may feel the need for further adventures, so that the swallow may be misled and start another nest, so that a ripened woman may glow with sunlight and sigh: “I’m sure there’ll never be another winter…”
Read on Brain Pickings
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Do chara,
Ciara
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