Smelling a Fake: Building a Brand with Honesty and Trust

Variety hosted its Massive Entertainment Marketing Summit this past Friday, April 10 at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons where industry leaders discussed data mining, viral campaigns, and brand trust. In discussing the challenges faced with digital marketing, experts agreed that a younger consumer audience is inclined to authenticity. In an article posted on, it points out the five the insights the marketing pros discussed at the Massive Summit, including: kids can smell fake; focus on the content, not the demographic; help consumers discover what they want without being intrusive; embrace fan-generated content; and fail, fail fast and move on.

Scott Birnbaum, senior VP of Marketing and E-Commerce at Aeropostale, brought about the mantra of how kids can smell fake with a story about a clothing line launch with YouTube star Bethany Mota. Photos were released as part of the clothing line campaign launch that were extremely “photoshopped,” which caused outrage by many of the YouTube star’s fans. Birbaum’s own daughter called him asking him, “What did you do to Bethany?” Mota, also a panelist at the summit, said she relies on honest and brand trust. An earlier survey by suggests that U.S. teens view YouTube stars as 90% more authentic than regular celebrities, 17x more engaging, and 11x more extraordinary. It seems that the backlash Aerpostale received for trying to break that engagement of honesty between Mota and her fans proves these statistics true. Mota also talked about how she would “never talk about something or promote something that I don’t care about because with the relationship being so strong between the creators and the viewers, they can see when you don’t truly like something. As long as you’re honest and truthful, then that’s what builds that relationship.” I completely agree with Mota’s philosophy and believe it is essential to have that sense of honest and trustworthiness to create a brand that everyday people can connect with. If people – in this case, kids – aren’t being engaged they will move onto something else. I find that I do the same thing. If I’m trying to find a good product review on YouTube, the one I believe is the one I feel is most honest, trustworthy, and engaging which is the basis for building a brand that goes far and that lasts.


Article Source: