Integrity in business seems to be a catch-phrase in recent times, with companies making claims of having a high level of integrity as a way of convincing people that they do! It works for some, but mostly, consumers are savvier and they seek evidence of this integrity, primarily through the facts that back up the claims of the company which it makes around their product, services and results.
In order for long term success, I implore you to consider the importance of genuine integrity, not just in the delivery of your services and the approach to customer services, but also in your advertising. Your advertising should be honest, based on facts; what can be actually delivered, and appeal to the emotions of your customers. If this is your approach to advertising, then you are 90% of the way to knowing that your customers will be satisfied with their purchase and feel that they got their money’s worth. If your advertising claims are based on conjecture, then what you’re doing is luring your customers in on a gamble, where you have nothing concrete to back up the quality or experience they will receive by investing in your product or service.
We’ve all seen extreme, baseless claims in advertising… and there was a time when this was a fairly new concept and a few companies knew how to hook clients in this way. Businesses made crazy claims which enticed a certain category of customers to buy whatever they were selling. These claims were usually focused to appeal to those in vulnerable positions, or who were so desperate for a solution or resolution that they would be willing to invest in something, just in the hope that it would work for them. When appealing to the masses, this may be effective to some degree in securing sales from a certain demographic, but it isn’t honest, and definitely not strategic. Competition in the consumer market is incredibly fierce, and exaggerations may be a route to customers in the short-term, but the damage to a company’s reputation when claims are not upheld, does nothing for its success in the long-term.
To succeed in sales- which is the point of your advertising, start with having a product or service you can be proud of… this should always be your first step. Then move on to planning your marketing strategy and advertising. When planning your advertising, it’s only natural that you will focus on the numerous marketing avenues, as well as design, and of course content. When devising your strategy, if your focus is on true value to customers and ongoing sales, then it’s imperative that you should also focus on authenticity and honesty in your advertising- this will lead to sustained sales, and ultimately business success. What you include in your advertising is reflective of your product, business, its values and culture. What’s imperative is that you recognise that a good reputation is priceless in the business world, and makes the ultimate difference between whether you achieve longevity of business success or not.