3 incredible claims from DJs, MYER and WOOLWORTHS

Positioning statements if authentic can contribute much in the branding of a business.

I would argue however that an inauthentic statement of any kind will more often than not detract from the branding of a business’s by bringing into question the credibility of the claims made by that business.

Consider the following examples:

  • David Jones – EXTRAORDINARY

I quite like David Jones as a store, but it is anything but EXTRAORDINARY. Good – yes, but extraordinary – no.

Indeed, I would argue that if you expect it to be extraordinary you will be very disappointed, particularly when it comes to speed of service.

Woolworths may have once set the standard in FRESH FOOD, but I would argue that this is not the case today. Again, good – maybe, but setting the standard – not at all.

I would argue that fresh food markets own the FRESH FOOD positioning and Coles is on much safer ground credibility-wise when the focus on price.

As for Myer, I can only say as I have said many times in the past – the destruction of the Myer brand is all but complete. Tolerable the Myer experience can on occasion be, WONDERFUL it never is.

What is more would argue that very few customers who might consider visiting Myer would find anything wonderful about it. What is wonderful about slow service, poorly trained staff, a limited product range and boring displays?

In all three of these examples, I would argue that it is a case of overpromising and under delivering.

Compare these incredible straplines with those of three great brands:


Not only are these statements more credible, but they are also more interesting, embracing promise and inspiration.

In an increasingly sceptical world, populated by increasingly informed consumers credibility is everything.

In a world where branding is all about expectations, credibility is everything.

In a world in which promises are everywhere credibility and authenticity are everything.

I would argue that in making promises, businesses can use clever straplines and make bold statements – but it is essential to back them up and demonstrate that there is substance behind all claims. It is also better to under promise and over deliver.

Further, I would argue that the days of making a statement and hoping to bring the organisation and its staff with you, as Woolworths did, when it launched the concept of the Fresh Food People are long gone. Social media has seen to this. Messages regarding incredibility and inauthenticity spread faster today than they ever did.

Messages about how businesses exceed expectations also travel faster today courtesy of social media, and I know what types of messages I would like to spread quickly.

Ask yourself – exactly WHAT is extraordinary about David Jones? Good – yes, extraordinary – hardly.


  1. Straplines can be useful in developing a branding.
  2. Credibility and authenticity are more important than ever.
  3. Build the brand internally before you communicate it externally.

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