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Posts Tagged ‘advertising’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve all heard the phrase “cutting through the noise” in reference to advertising, and unless you live under a rock, it’s impossible to avoid the daily barrage from advertisers. EnSpired Thought recently looked at the large number of FTC cases involving deceptive advertising and the potentially dangerous outcomes. If there is a complete lack of trust from consumers, are the advertiser’s messages being completely shut out?

But playing it straight with consumers isn’t enough to move the needle. It’s merely the bare minimum. The Rep Man blog recently reported findings from an interesting study: a survey of 7,000 consumers revealed that only 23 percent felt they had a relationship with a brand. That means that after we gain consumer trust, we still have a long way to go in terms of making a lasting impression with target audiences.

Here are a few questions to ask about your brand to build a strong foundation and move toward stronger relationships with consumers.

  1. Does your brand have a clearly defined message and objectives? Does it align with the organization’s overall goals?
  2. Have you done the research to clearly identify a target audience? Who are you currently reaching? Is it ultimately the right group of people for your brand?
  3. Do you know how your target audience has responded to your brand and current outreach? Do consumers perceive the brand the way you intended?
  4. Are you consistent with brand messaging? Could a consumer quickly recognize your brand identity?
  5. What have you done to encourage brand ambassadors? Do you currently have consumers that are willing to represent your brand in a positive way?

If the questions above identified a few holes, it’s time to get back to the basics. Plan for a brand refresh and make sure essentials like messaging, audiences and consistency are solid before branching out to the more ambitious (and fun) aspects of branding.

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The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has been kept busy recently with a bevy of high-profile cases concerning false and deceptive advertising. While we have the FTC to police these types of issues, deceptive behavior toward consumers erodes trust and ultimately harms not only the advertiser but also the advertising, and by extension, public relations industries as a whole.

While many feel that a reasonable person should be able to understand that tennis shoes will not give you a fit body or that a hazelnut spread is a delicious but in no way nutritious addition to your child’s breakfast, these types of outlandish claims foster consumer skepticism and weaken the level of trust and belief consumers have in the advertisements they are exposed to every day.

Furthermore, not all of these cases are so overtly deceptive. In 2010, the FTC cracked down on statements from Kellogg Company about two different cereals. According to an FTC press release, the company claimed that Frosted Mini-Wheats cereal was “clinically shown to improve kids’ attentiveness by nearly 20%” and Rice Krispies cereal “now helps support your child’s immunity,” with “25 percent daily value of antioxidants and nutrients – vitamins A, B, C, and E.” The cereal packaging also claimed that “Kellogg’s Rice Krispies has been improved to include antioxidants and nutrients that your family needs to help them stay healthy.”

Phrases like “clinically proven” alongside quantifiable statistics masquerading as scientific data make it difficult for the savviest of customers to discern fact from fiction.

If businesses, its advertisers and public relations teams do not take it upon themselves to increase the level of honesty and transparency in all communications, we risk falling into the treacherous category of the snake oil salesman.

In addition to ethical considerations, consumers are inundated with advertisements on a daily basis. Cutting through the noise and getting noticed is hard enough – let’s not add “accepted as truthful” to the obstacles.

 

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