By now, everyone is familiar with the concept of fake news, but another, much older term we are also intimately familiar with is that of false advertising. Like news, advertising has a somewhat delicate role to play. On the one hand, advertisers need to make their products appealing, but on the other hand they also have to be careful not to stray too far into the realm of fantasy. No matter how appealing you want to make your product to the masses, it is vitally important to also maintain authenticity in advertising. Here are three reasons why.

The goal is not simply to sell a product but to gain loyal customers

Like the old saying goes, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. Unrealistic advertising may lead a consumer to try a product once, but if it doesn’t live up to expectations, they are unlikely to become a repeat customer. Considering that a long-time customer is of significantly higher value than a new one, being authentic will take you far further than unrealistic dazzle will.

Disappointed consumers are far more likely to tell others about their experience

Research shows that more than 90% of consumers read online reviews and the clear majority of them actually trust online reviews as much or more than personal recommendations. You can rest assured that if someone has a negative experience with your product or brand, they will be sure and tell others about it. A single bad review certainly won’t tank your business, but a string of them might.

Brand loyalty requires trust and trust requires authenticity

At the end of the day, people don’t like change. When they find something they like they tend to stick with it. The more they like it, the greater their sticking power tends to be. Conversely, however, no matter how great a product may be, if corporate behavior angers consumers badly enough they will go elsewhere. These days, consumers don’t want to just know how great your product is, they also want to know what your company stands for. This, however, is where you want to be excruciatingly careful to be authentic. While consumers may overlook a bit of exaggeration about how great your product is, they will quickly turn on brands that misrepresent who they are.

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