Sitting in my seat in the lecture hall, I could hardly believe what I was hearing. It was a talk at the Royal College of Physicians about Naturals in Cosmetics. The speaker was talking about certain cosmetic ingredients and how “Consumer Perception (in this area) has to be treated as fact.”
What the what? Did they mean that because someone has read or heard something by someone with no scientific qualifications, evidence or data, it is to be treated as fact? So if I asked my postman advice on a complex legal issue, I can then use this information as a reliable source when entering into a contract. ”Well Chris told me, so it must be true”
It is absurd. Fear and mis-information is a tactic that has been used for decades to push and cajole consumers in all areas of business. However, when I am told that a scientific perception is to be treated as scientific fact, regardless of the evidence, it’s time to call it a day.
Just because I don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean whatever I am told is the truth.
We are free to make our own decisions, just make sure they are informed ones.
I’ve just read that Selfridges have changed their invoice settlement Terms and Conditions (Article) Via smarta
Retailers need brands and brands need retailers. However, with Tesco successfully implementing a ‘super brand’ strategy (eg Chokablok) is the market moving away from innovation in new products. Retailers wanting to make more money by creating their own brands, I’m not sure how much integrity there is in products developed solely for profit.
Using the Internet as a route to market can minimise the risk when it comes to retailers’ money saving tactics but sales will struggle to reach the lofty heights achievable through a national retailer.
Retailers want to offer their customers what they want, something new and exciting is always a hit. These types of products are invariably created by people motivated by passion instead of profit.
One of my favourite moments was when Will Chase took his products out of Tesco (read here) This is the exception to the rule but it shows that if you build a following, your business doesn’t have to deal with these dubious tactics.
Will there be any questions on amount sprayed, how often, exact timings, duration and pressure applied during application or will they just say, fine, have some money. Do you then get free deodorant for life because each can lasts one less spray than the last?
What if I use a tiny amount once a week from the large can and then use all of the new can in one spray fest.
I do find it fascinating how, as individuals, we see straight through these marketing tricks but as a consumer group the thought pattern links to trust; ‘they said we get our money back so there is no risk, it’s free, almost, I think…what?’.
Having focussed on creating my products and bringing them to market, I’ve been ignoring the inevitable question. Who cares?
It doesn’t matter what the research told me, it’s not until I hold my hand up and say, ‘look I’ve made this’, does reality kick in. Those young adults who filled in the questionnaires, two years ago, have moved on. Attitudes change and the industry moves quickly, have I missed my opportunity, has someone beaten me to it? Does anybody give a damn?
Challenging the disparity that exists between marketers and scientists within the personal care industry (that’s shampoo, deodorant etc) on the one hand and the stereotypical messages aimed at the young, on the other, is not exactly a fun and exciting message. However, the young are sophisticated, egalitarian and don’t want to smell like an explosion in a perfume factory. Their parents aren’t massively keen on the sexist stereotyping and gender segregation either, so at least I’ve dealt with these issues.
I now realise that making something is all well and good, convincing someone to buy it is where the real challenge and fun begins…
I really enjoy reading Marketing and PR publications but the most interesting thing is the difference of opinion within the industry.
I know who is buying my product, and can make marketing decisions quickly. Editorial seems to be the most beneficial way of attracting attention without a budget however, it’s a tricky area as the louder someone shouts, the more likely they’ll get ignored.
Anyhoo, the most important thing is to actually do something so I’d better kick on…
Out for dinner last night and there was a chap who ran a small marketing company asking me what my new brand was called. When I told him it was my name, his eyes widened and eyebrows lifted.
Here’s why I did it.
The products were created out of my frustration, exasperation and determination to provide an alternative. I felt as though if I called it something else it wouldn’t mean anything. Also, if the large companies don’t try and ruin you the retailer’s will. They’ll simply copy you, make it cheaper and de-list your product. So the products are an extension of me, my personal phone number is available to everyone.
It would be fantastic if someone thought the products were worthy of copying, I wonder what they’d call it?
Am I the only one who doesn’t get it? Tens of millions of Dollars change hands for web sites that are, basically, selling advertising.
Sites like You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc are great fun and easy to use but as a business, they receive income through advertising, that’s it. Information is valuable but THAT valuable? Most of these sites won’t be around in ten years time if they rely on this business model, advertising is a dying means of communication. If you don’t provide a solid service or product with a strong identity or belief, there is nothing to fall back on. I have no loyalty for advertising sites, I’ll go where my friends are.
I’m in a business in that is being basterdised and manipulated by marketing departments. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter what is claimed on the products (no matter how ludicrous) they have some success.
Shine a light on the reality, share the factual information in an engaging way and consistently challenge. It’s a competitive area of business but not an unintelligent one.
Tesco budget beef burgers have been found to contain horsemeat.
BMW X5 and X6 cars are being stolen due to inadequate security software
So here’s the thing. Tesco come out with a full, unreserved apology shared across multi platform channels. The day after the story breaks their representative appears on BBC TV to apologise and answer questions. Product cost £2.00
BMW release a statement saying that all customers have been informed of the issue and a security upgrade is available at BMW dealerships. This turns out not to be the case with dozens of owners stating they have never heard from BMW. The upgrade involves cost and considerable inconvenience to the owners, getting their vehicles to a dealership in the working day. Product cost £50, 000.00 ++
Tesco hold their hands up and move on. BMW pull the shutters down and convey an arrogant ‘couldn’t give a shit’ attitude blaming the criminal gangs. So a few blokes with a laptop and a bit of software are more sophisticated than a multi Billion pound global company at the forefront of technological innovation.
BMW, you have failed on so many levels and, as a previous owner, I will never buy from you again.