I drive past a beauty salon near where I live all the time. They have a rather large sign on the side of their building that reads: “STYLISTS YOU CAN TRUST”. Seriously?

Why is this stupid? Let me count the ways:

  1. Is there some underlying issue with untrustworthy hair stylists?
  2. Who is telling you to trust them?
  3. They have a HUGE sign with a lot of traffic and this is the best they can do?

This might seem silly and unusual, but it happens everywhere, every day. Just watch a bit of television or listen to the radio. Businesses are telling you left and right that they have the best stuff on Earth. There is a simple conflict of interests here, no?

Many advertising agencies are VERY good at convincing people to take action. This has been the game for many years. It does work, but the effectiveness of these tactics are decreasing.

Where does a business go next? Where do they reach the potential customers?

First, they have to have a great product or service. Without this, all else fails. This is because what the businesses want is vocal advocates. More and more people are looking not at what a business says about it’s offerings, but rather what their peers have to say about it. For example, look at Comcast’s site and advertising. Both tell a very impressive story. Then look at some public reviews. Then do a search on Yelp for your local Comcast. How are they doing?

You can do the same thing for just about any service or product. Do you? Or do you trust what the businesses tell you about themselves?