Look Good, But Not *Too* Good — Making Promises on Your Company WebsiteJason Smith
Marketing is a crucial element of all success in business and, as the saying goes, branding is everything. It is therefore unsurprising that it is tempting to fill your company website with rhetoric and promises that make your product and your company look like the best thing since sliced bread. Somewhat counter intuitively, this approach can actually weaken your company’s brand.
The self-promotional nature of a company’s website can mean that readers find promises the company makes insincere. Modern consumers are incredibly suspicious of companies’ advertising, and can you really blame them? Many companies exaggerate the truth in order to make their product irresistible. While this may work for some, grandiose statements are going to end up more suspect that convincing. While promoting your company is important, it is also important to do it in a manner that does not seem conceited or self-indulgent.
Guarantees are a highly common form of promise that companies like to put on their website or in commercials to get a potential customer’s attention and drive sales. While they do provide valuable assurance to your customers, they can also pose a serious liability to your business. Guarantees are the form of promise most open to exploitation given their often subjective nature. And satisfaction guarantees in particularly are most at risk for exploitation. So if you make a guarantee, be ready to stand by it in case you get called out.
Taking guarantees one step further, another hazard of making promises on your company website is making statements or promises that would not hold up in a court of law. If you or your product does not follow through on the promises made to your customers via your site, you can open yourself up to all kinds of business litigation. Therefore all claims and promises made on your company’s website should hold up under legal scrutiny or not make a claim capable of being challenged in a court of law — getting advice from a legal professional can be helpful here. Any court case that results from a claim on your company’s website is an unnecessary and easily preventable expense of time and money, even if you do win.
The purpose of promises made on your company’s website is to promote the company’s brand and reputation. Have you heard the maxim, “understate and over-perform?” A reputation for excellence does much more good than all the advertising and self-promotion in the world.