10 February 2012
As I stepped onto my tube platform this morning on the
way to work I was greeted by the polite lady on the tannoy
announcing that there was a good service on all lines. Good news!
Five packed tube trains later and I was still on the platform
trying to start my journey to work and the polite lady on the
tannoy was still trying to convince me that there was a 'good
service on all lines'. My levels of annoyance, frustration and
disappointment were mounting and 'miss irritating voice' had not
helped with her false promise.
This got me thinking about brand promises, consumer expectations
and avoiding disappointment. If the tannoy announcement had said
something along the lines of "Really sorry folks, we've got some
problems today, it's going to be tough but we will get you there
eventually" I think I'd have had a resigned smile on my face and
kicked back and relaxed...or got the bus.
There's no doubt that we are now in an age of brand transparency.
Communications professionals have been banging the 'transparency
and honesty' drum for some time and many brands and companies are
doing this well. However, this hasn't reduced the desire for brands
to have the most compelling selling lines and claims they can.
Nowhere is this more evident than for functional foods (I'm
thinking Activia and Actimel) and beauty products with their pseudo
science of ceramides and peptides.
Here's the 'but'. Will the ever-more cynical Generation Y and
after them Z still respond to these types of claims? Maybe, if the
products truly deliver but a disappointed consumer can be a
consumer lost for life. Personally I'd like to see a bit more
realism in product claims, avoid disappointment and consumers will
Eat Special K for breakfast and lunch, you'll be starving but by
eating less, exercising more you will lose
Everyone grows old and gets crow's feet. Use L'Oreal Revitalift
every day and your wrinkles will not disappear but they'll look a
little less prominent.
Pampers absorb a lot of baby wee and are
designed to prevent even the messiest number two's from spilling
out the sides. Making parents lives a tiny little bit easier.
I for one would find this approach totally refreshing. It might
also mean that marketeers could spend less time worrying about the
articulation of a strapline and more time making sure their
consumer insight is right, their product is good and their
customers are happy.
marketing, branding, Brand promises, consumers | Leave comment
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