With the routine use of eCommerce and the ease in which we now communicate internationally,…
The Best Marketing Article in the Multiverse!
Marketing campaigns are not just about selling products. They are primarily about building your brand.
A good marketing campaign locks your brand into the minds of potential clients, even when they don’t make a purchase. A bad campaign will also make you memorable, but for all the wrong reasons. Whether you already advertise or have a marketing campaign on the drawing board, use the following checklist to make sure you aren’t about to damage your brand.
The difference between ‘puff’ and ‘deception’.
‘Puff’ is something that no one would consider to be true; like the title of this article. No one clicking through would reasonably believe it to live up to its claims. It might grab some attention or appeal to someone’s sense of humour, but no one would rely on it as fact. If, however, I referred to this piece as ‘an award-winning article,’ it sounds believable. And if it’s not true, it would be deceptive advertising.
These are important distinctions to make when you consider your wording. If you can’t back up your claims, you could find yourself facing action from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission for false, misleading or deceptive statements.
Another example of false and misleading conduct that’s worth a mention of on its own is what I like to call the ‘Claytons’ sale. This is the sale you have when you’re not having a sale. The signs say ‘sale’; the spruiker out the front is saying ‘sale’, but in actual fact, the prices are no different to last weeks.
Another common no-no is to constantly advertise prices as being reduced, slashed or on sale when they are never in fact off sale. Marketing practices like that are sure to attract the wrong sort of attention.
This is when businesses advertise a product at a ridiculously low price to entice shoppers to enter their store. While there’s nothing implicitly wrong with this, it becomes unlawful when it’s clear the product isn’t available. Advertising along those lines should state if there are limited numbers, or if the sale item is only available at specific stores.
If you market by email in Australia, you must have the recipients’ consent and always include a simple and functional method for recipients to unsubscribe. And if they do, don’t keep sending emails.
Make sure the images and content you use in your marketing don’t infringe someone else’s rights. Creating them yourself is always the safest option, but if you’ve purchased or licenced them, you must read the terms to know what they can be used for. Even a creative commons licence will require you to acknowledge the author of the work and limit the use you can make of it. Ignorance is no excuse in these matters, so take the time to check.
Trade mark infringement.
One of the main reasons we have laws that register and protect brands and trade marks, is so consumers know exactly who they are dealing with. If your name, logo or packaging is deceptively similar to that of another well-known brand, you’ll find yourself in breach of consumer laws and possibly on the receiving end of a solicitor’s letter.
Protect your brand.
The flip side of copying someone else’s brand is when it happens to you. All your marketing efforts and brand development can be undone overnight if you haven’t taken the legal steps to protect your brand. Trade marks might seem like an optional extra, but they aren’t. Put simply, your business name, product name, key phrase or logo can all be used by someone else if you haven’t had them trade marked. More importantly, if someone else trade marks them before you do; you’ll be breaching their rights.
There’s no gentle way to put this. If your brand is something you’ve worked hard to build, then it holds value. In many cases, ‘no brand’ means ‘no business’. Do your homework; make enquiries if you’re not sure, and protect your brand.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
SHARE THIS ARTICLE WITH LIKE MINDED SMALL BUSINESS PEOPLE