Have you been following the detritus in the wake of Dan Lyons’ book, Disrupted: My Misandventure in the Start-Up Bubble? Lyons, an established journalist and author, worked at Hubspot, a digital marketing software company headquartered in Boston, for a couple years; and then he wrote a book about it. Dharmesh Shah, Hubspot’s founder, responded to content in the book yesterday on LinkedIn.
I’m not taking sides here. What I’m interested in is how a dynamic brand can stumble. Hubspot just got a dose of self-awareness in front of a world-wide audience. Nope, they aren’t as transparent as they positioned. Nope, they aren’t one big happy family. There are problems in paradise.
Hubspot has consistently and confidently showcased its expertise, exuberance and team spirit up to this point. I’ve used the product and read plenty of their content: I like what they do and how they do it. Be that as it may, not everyone does or will. Mr. Shah writes that they are aware of their issues and are working on them. Well, they’re certainly aware now — and in front of a large audience.
How the company represents itself and how it’s currently being showcased do not mesh. That’s brand discord. When discord happens, people question brands. Disrupted is one person’s perspective; however, now that it’s out there, it can’t be ignored. Seeds of doubt have been sown in even the biggest fans’ minds.
The simple formula for brand success: Authenticity + Awareness = Strong Brand. Hubspot has the opportunity now to morph their PR version of authenticity into self-aware authenticity. The result will be a stronger brand.