Advertised Products Versus Perception from a South African Perspective
by: Andrew Smit
A South African publication revealed that South Africa's top 100 advertisers spent in excess of $930 million on building their brands in 2005. Some individual companies spent upwards of $28 million on advertising to drive their brands home.
What's being advertised and what's being delivered are two totally opposite things. Customers have been left by the way side reeling at the fact they have just been coned in many instances.
"If the brand experience does not measure up to the advertised expectation, Mr Joe Public is guaranteed to walk away. This is one of the great tragedies of brand communication efforts."- Terry Behan
Why is there a major flaw in advertised products versus the delivery thereof, simple, the average business spends six times more to attract new customers than it does to keep old ones. Service quality in South Africa needs huge attention, this is not only our problem it is also a global problem. One of the single greatest keys to longterm success can be summed up in three simple words: quality customer service.
Major brand suppliers have no idea about these simple words, they could care less because they have no competition in their field. Consumers have no choice but to purchase from these suppliers and hope nothing goes wrong with the product, God forbid they have a problem and have to ask for help.
Painting pretty pictures for the consumer is what sell products, delivering on the fine print can either make or break a brand or Buy Krugerrands company for that matter. All companies have one thing in common, they sell commodities and the strange thing about that statement is consumers do not buy commodities.
Despite all of the untold millions of products and services available for sale in today's market place, customers will exchange their hard earned cash for only two things: Good Feelings and Solutions to problems. Don't sell me clothes. Sell me a sharp appearence, style and attractiveness. Don't sell me insurance. Sell me peace of mind and a great future for my family and me.
Many customers are being left in the lurch because of promises made to them by companies. They are not delivering on what is advertised nor are they taking responsibility for after sales help. In my opinion they actually have no idea about what customers actually want and need.
The customers perception is everything, overpromising and building unrealistic expectations by companies and their side kicks the marketing divisions are killing the consumers trust.