More Lies, Misleading Truths and Marketing – Don’t forget to read the small print

How do you rate a price guarantee such as one offering to pay you back the difference or more if you can find the product or service cheaper elsewhere?  

It may be an attractive proposition, but is it good marketing.  Let me explain.

A recent such offer I came across gave such a price guarantee.  However, on reading the small print there were so many conditions it undermined the whole value of the guarantee.   So this company was willing to proclaim wonders to get your interest and if you did not read the small print would risk leaving you very disgruntled if the guarantee was not honoured due to one of these conditions. 

In fact this business is putting itself at a much greater risk of damaging its image and brand.  Why?  Because negative news travels much more quickly and widely than positive. Think about it.  If you had ‘suffered’ as a result of the small print would you recommend the business to another, or are you more likely to tell your nearest and dearest how you had been misled?

So beware, there may be a very fine line between a marketing promise, a misleading truth or just a plain lie. 

There is nothing wrong with guarantees as a marketing initiative, and probably best suited to giving peace of mind by taking some of the risk from a purchasing decision rather than means of offering a pricing advantage. If you really believe in your product or service a guarantee should not be high risk to you.  So theoretically, you can be bold on your guarantee without small print conditions!

So when thinking about a product or service guarantees:

  • Understand the reason you are offering them
  • Ensure they are credible and of value to the buyer
  • Make them genuine – cut the small print

This way you may avoid becoming just too smart for your own good!