Image: Courtesy of 25.media.tumblr

It’s tragic but true: Seduction is never easy when you’re seducing someone you actually like. When we fall in love with someone, we see them in the light of perfection. When we seduce a person we don’t really like, we put on the seduction mask, and desire to elicit a sense of inferiority.

Over the decades, most companies have shown all of us that they really don’t like people. They try to push them away with phone trees, form letters, and bureaucracy. People perceived to be inferior and felt the need to lie or take on a different persona to deal with companies. A soft-spoken person can turn into a raging tyrant after 20 minutes on hold.

With the advent of social technologies, people feel they regained some of their power back and that makes it harder for brands to seduce. Resulting in an emerging demand for transparency. People want to understand what companies are standing for, they want to share values. Ultimately, they want companies to love them and see them as equals. Not as inferior targets.

Too many brands are still using the seduction formula. Since seduction is a form of acting, brands need to have a concept of the audience’s expectations, understand what people will want to hear. The age-old problem with seduction aka advertising is that brands often don’t know what the audience will actually be touched by. More often than not, we guess why people fall in love with us. And brands are as clueless. It might be time for brands to put away the seduction masks and use the ultimate trick: be yourself.