Why truth is the most important ingredient in brand experiences

A brand experience must be authentic and transparent so that consumers actively want to be part of it. Alistair Niven, Account Strategist at BD Network believes that if brands are truthful, trust will follow.

Alistair Niven, BD Network

Account Strategist


Over the past decade we have firmly established ourselves in a digital world, with the ability for people to stay connected with one another, and with brands, 24/7. However, we've developed faster than we could collectively learn, and issues have arisen, issues of trust.

Despite starting a new decade, we’re in an ongoing battle of political and economic uncertainty, along with the rise of deep fakes and fake news. In this climate, according to the current and former CEOs of Blackrock, Starbucks and Unilever respectively, people are looking to companies and brands to go beyond making and selling products, but also to contribute positively to societal challenges.  

As perception does equal reality, a brand experience must be authentic and transparent so that consumers actively want to be part of it. In 2020, consumers are more open to being immersed; to touch, to taste and to feel a product and to understand first-hand what it could mean to them. And a truthful brand experience will also always pay back, if delivered well and supported by exceptional, well briefed brand ambassadors that truly reflect the brand.

Be truthful and trust will follow

Brands must ensure that they consider each part of the journey, from the information that their audience receives pre the event, to their first and then their lasting impression. An authentic, truthful consumer experience will deliver a positive effect; however, overselling the experience will have the opposite. Social feeds can quickly spread negative experiences resulting in costly failure.  Brands must always be ambitious and aim to go beyond expectation, but not at the expense of consumer experience.

By ensuring that the brand story being told is truthful, brands make bigger connections and deliver stronger ROI. Shared, social experiences become earned advertising, creating deeper engagement, and delivering wider reach and a measurable return on budget. Participants, therefore consumers, become the brand truth tellers.

Delivering honest brand experiences with confidence can combat brand distrust, remove brand myths and counter fake news surrounding brands. Being true to your brand and your products will make people true to them in return. Be truthful in how you talk about and deliver your experiences and trust will follow.

Guest Author

Alistair Niven, BD Network

Account Strategist,


Alistair has been with BD for five years and is an Account Strategist, working across all client accounts. He is responsible for insight generation, audience profiling and identifying consumer behaviour in order to achieve greater resonance and success in campaign execution. He’s worked across multiple, global brands, including Unilever, Arla Foods, Mondelez, Nintendo, Campari Group and Cereal Partners Worldwide, developing promotional, shopper and experiential strategy.

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Experience Trust