Authenticity is a new catch-phrase doing the rounds in marketing circles. For good reason, because consumers are more awake to marketing guile and are less easily taken in by poor advertising.
Retailers, in particular, need to start making real commitments to the consumer and need to stop telling them they ‘care’. Everyone knows this is lip service of the worst possible kind and as a promise it no longer carries any kind of credibility whatsoever.
The remedy to this is gaining a clear picture of customers and their needs, which can only be done through proper market research.
We’re seeing some signs of this happening in pockets with promotions like: ‘If you can get a better price we’ll refund the difference’, and so on. This is a small but tentative step in the right direction.
The next step in consumer-led marketing will be for retailers to stick out their necks and promise visible and serious action if phones aren’t answered promptly, complaints dealt with efficiently and so forth.
The retailer who can give the consumer a firm promise of precisely what will happen if things aren’t up to expectation will be the retailer that pulls in the crowds.