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Newsletter #890: The “Honest, Transparent, and Straightforward” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

Companies with loyal fans and incredible word of mouth get there by being trustworthy — and they build on it every day by being honest, transparent, and straightforward. A few examples of how brands are doing it:

1. Michael Kors keeps it honest
2. Dog walkers keep it transparent
3. Mini keeps it straightforward
4. Check it out: Dear Blank Please Blank

1. Michael Kors keeps it honest

It’s one thing when supermodels make clothes look good. But because most of us aren’t supermodels, it’s tough to judge how they’d really look on us. So the team at fashion label Michael Kors is doing something different: They’re launching a video series to show how their own employees — everyday working women — wear the brand. More than a one-off stunt, they’re creating a series that will focus on different employees each season and will highlight how their personality is represented through the clothes they wear. The idea is to show off the wearability of their clothes in a much more genuine and honest way.

The lesson: Photoshop, runway supermodels, and celebrities can make any brand look good. But in the end, it’s how your stuff works in the real world that matters.

Learn more: Trend Hunter

2. Dog walkers keep it transparent

For service companies, it can be hard for customers to fully understand all the work you do. They miss how the cleaning crew dusted all the top shelves, how the mechanic took the extra minute to properly inflate the tires, or how the plumber took off his shoes before coming in the house. But at New York City’s Swifto dog walking service, they’re trying to add some transparency to what they deliver. Using some simple technology, customers can log in and see exactly where their dog went on his walk. It’s all automated, and it helps Swifto show their customers how much exercise their pups are actually getting.

The lesson: How could you add some simple transparency to better show customers all the great work you do?

Learn more: Springwise

3. Mini keeps it straightforward

Mini doesn’t have a showroom in Paris. Instead of building one, they seized the opportunity to simplify and be more straightforward by bringing a bunch of cars to the city, rigging them with “Mini Store” signage, and taking them directly to customers on the street. Each one is equipped with informational brochures and a salesman, and anyone can simply walk up and test-drive them. It’s creating a bunch of conversations and everyone keeps an eye out for the special cars. It’s also leading to a whole lot more test drives because customers don’t have to make a special trip to a stuffy dealership to do it.

The lesson: Nobody has ever complained about a business being too straightforward. What layers, hoops, and obstacles could you cut today?

Learn more: YouTube

4. Check it out: Dear Blank Please Blank

This site is powered by a simple concept: People type messages in the form of “Dear _____, please ______.” But the results are fascinating, and they offer a glimpse into other people’s lives.

Check it out: Dear Blank Please Blank

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