3 problems and 3 solutions

Scanning today’s media and indeed any day’s media, one cannot help but notice the claims made by businesses about themselves, their products and their services, in both advertising and media reports

The superior, the biggest, the fastest, the best value, the only national, the most successful…etc, etc; are all common claims along with many others

The questions I would ask in relation to many, if not most of these claims are:

  • Does the audience believe them?
  • What impact do they have on credibility?
  • Are they really necessary?

My answers in the main are:

  • No
  • Negative
  • No

I would argue that many organisations damage their credibility of that of their products and or services by using:

  • unnecessary hyperbole
  • damaging platitudes
  • incredible overstatement

I would further argue that the organisations with the greatest credibility are those that:

  • Under state
  • Illustrate
  • Over deliver

There is a growing response to moderate promises that are credible and relevant, points of difference that are relevant and substantiated and delivery on all promises made

Anyone can use hyperbole, platitudes and overstatement and just about everyone has used them. As a result all three now tend to damage rather than enhance credibility

I would argue that this effect is exacerbated by:

  • Growing use of and reliance on social media
  • Growing consciousness of CSR and ethical practise
  • Growing prevalence of critical traditional media

Research shows that the opinions of others, often communicated through social media are more potent in terms of impacting on brand image than marketing

Research has highlighted the growing concern for corporate social responsibility, ethics and authenticity. There is a growing expectation that businesses will say it as it is

There is also a growing impact from television programmes like THE CHECKOUT and publications like CHOICE that highlight the merits and demerits of claims made in marketing

The fact is consumers are becoming:

  • More informed
  • More cynical
  • More demanding

A more accurate, truthful and authentic approach to communication is becoming increasingly important. Businesses need to:

  • Be accurate
  • Be relevant
  • Demonstrate claims made

Be accurate in claims made, make sure those claims are relevant to the audience and demonstrate claims ahead of making big statements

What is more, this is not hard to do. It just required a different mindset and a step into the 21st century by lazy copywriters

What do you think?

This issue will be discussed in more detail on THE D. JOHN CARLSON NETWORK –

  1. John Carlson is a behavioural scientist, strategic planner and lateral thinker focusing on branding, marketing and communication. Visit his blog –
No tags 0

No Comments Yet.

What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *