Do you think your customers know everything there is to know about your business? Chances are, they don’t. The truth is that companies often hide information from their customers about the products or services offered, with some organizations going so far as to engage in deceptive marketing practices in order to make more of a profit. But what are these practices, and why should businesses be aware of them? In this blog post, Jay Holstine will discuss the different types of hidden information that companies may be withholding from their customers and discuss how avoiding these pitfalls can help build trust and loyalty while preserving your brand image.
What Are You Hiding From Your Customers? By Jay Holstine
Businesses have an obligation to be transparent with their customers, says Jay Holstine. However, there are some things they often hide or fail to disclose in the interest of protecting their bottom line or avoiding consumers’ scrutiny. Here are five common things companies may not tell you:
1. False Advertising: Companies sometimes advertise products as having certain health benefits or containing ingredients that aren’t actually in the product. They may also use deceptive language to mislead customers about prices and discounts. This can be especially dangerous when it comes to food and cosmetics products, which could pose a risk to public health if the customer is unaware of all the contents of the item they purchased. According to research from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), false advertising affects more than 93 million US consumers annually.
An example of false advertising is when a company advertises that a product contains natural ingredients but actually uses artificial preservatives or other hidden chemicals. Consumers should be aware of this kind of deception so they can make sure they are buying the products they think they are getting.
2. Unsafe Manufacturing Practices: Companies may not disclose the methods used to manufacture their products, which could be dangerous for consumers if certain substances are present in them at levels that exceed safety standards. A company might also not disclose if any hazardous materials were used in production, such as lead or asbestos, and leave customers unaware of potential health risks associated with using the product. This lack of transparency makes it difficult for consumers to know if they can trust a product.
An example of unsafe manufacturing practices comes from the 2017 recall of Johnson & Johnson Baby Powder. The company failed to disclose the presence of asbestos in its talcum powder, which can have serious health effects if inhaled or ingested. This lack of disclosure put consumers at risk and had devastating consequences for those who were exposed to the talc.
3. Unfair Pricing: Companies may not always be upfront about pricing, including hidden fees and other charges that can add up quickly without customers being aware. According to Jay Holstine, companies may also use deceptive language around discounts and sale prices, making it difficult for customers to understand how much they are actually paying for a product or service. According to research from Consumer Reports, nearly 70% of consumers have been overcharged for something at least once.
An example of unfair pricing is when a company advertises a product as being on sale, but the original price is actually higher than what the item would normally cost. Companies may also charge customers additional fees that are not made clear until after they’ve already bought the product.
Jay Holstine’s Concluding Thoughts
At the end of the day, it’s up to companies to ensure that they are not hiding anything from their customers, says Jay Holstine. By being truthful and providing full disclosure, companies can build trust and customer satisfaction, which is essential for long-term success. Consumers should also be aware of common practices so they can better protect themselves from potential dangers and receive the value they deserve.