Honesty Is The Best Marketing

The best way to build trust with your customers is to be candid and honest. When you're upfront about your company's shortcomings, you show that you're willing to be transparent and open about any issues.

Take Avis for example. In 1962, Avis, who was the runner-up in the car rental industry at that time, used slogans such as "When you're only No. 2, you try harder" to convey their superiority over rival Hertz.

Avis's honesty about being second to Hertz made customers trust the company more. As a result, they were more likely to listen when Avis told them about its better products and services.

If Avis had skipped the honesty and went straight into saying they try harder, they wouldn’t have been able to make the claim with any credibility. Customers wouldn't have believed them.

Before trying to change someone's mind, you should acknowledge what that person already believes. If I say I'm the best when there is clearly someone better than me, it’s hard for others to believe my words are true. If  instead I acknowledge that someone else is better than me, it makes my claim more believable.

The same is true for you: If you want to convince people that your product or service is the best, it's important to acknowledge that there are other options. Whether it's a car rental company admitting they're not better than Hertz or an insurance agent admitting they're not the cheapest option, this honesty gives customers the opportunity to trust you more.

When you are honest, it makes your claims more believable. This is because you're showing people that you're not just trying to sell them something—you're trying to help them find what they need.

Tanner Garniss-Marsh takes the guesswork out of branding, helping leaders grow their business with branding they and their customers love.


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