The Single Biggest Road Block for Your Company
May 03.2013
Archived under: Marketing 


The Single Biggest Road Block for Your Company

In an article penned by Jack Welch, Founder and Professor at the Jack Welch Management Institute at Strayer University, the “biggest dirty little secret in business” is revealed.

And it’s not what you might think.

According to Welch, the absence of candor is the one thing that holds companies back the most.

Candor, or the quality of being honest, open and frank, can be a huge benefit to your brand or marketing campaign. And if you’re lacking it, it can have big ramifications to your personnel, bottom line and the way your brand is perceived.

Consumers value integrity, and crave honesty in every aspect of dealing with businesses and retailers, from advertising standards to customer service, and today they are able to know much more about your company than ever before. The development of social media has allowed a direct path of access to consumers, allowing for transparency about everything from where and how products are made to what is in their packaging. Between a brand campaign that’s riddled with corporate double-speak, or a brand that candidly provides consumers with the facts to make a purchasing decision, the numbers show the honesty is in fact the best policy.

An article on the Harvard Business Review entitled, “What do consumers really want? Simplicity”, reveals that advertising campaigns that are candidly honest have a better chance of reaching the consumer:

“What do you do if your product is not the iPhone 4? Well, the fact that these changing purchase behaviors are a reaction to cognitive overload suggests a smart response. Because marketers have some control over the customer's purchase experience, they can appeal to consumers by, simply, making it simple for them. In fact, we found that the single biggest driver of "stickiness" — customers' likelihood of following through on a purchase, buying the product again, and recommending it — was, by far, "decision simplicity," the ease with which consumers can gather trustworthy information about a product and confidently and efficiently navigate their purchase options. “

The key works there are “trustworthy information”. While creating an image is vital, if it’s a false image, consumers will find out. Advertisements like the Olympus camera commercial shot using the actual product is one way a brand can integrate honesty into a campaign. Remember, to earn consumer loyalty and engagement, you must first earn their trust.