Truth in advertising is considered by some skeptics to be
an oxymoron. Advertising practitioners are only slightly more trusted than
members of congress (now that really hurts!). Well, this advertising
practitioner is here to talk about the importance of truth in branding and
about a deeply held belief among my colleagues at Inprint that to be successful
a brand image and a brand strategy must be built upon a foundation of truth. We
feel so passionately about this subject that it is included as a core
philosophy in our recently redesigned website.

The strength of a brand resides in its relationship with
its customers and potential customers. That relationship must be respected and
protected. By pretending to be something it's not, a brand risks betraying a newly developed trust. Once a customer buys a product based on misleading messaging and is
disappointed, the relationship is forever damaged. It won't take long for word
to spread.

Unscrupulous brands that purposely mislead customers with
phony positioning are few and far between and that's not my main reason for
writing about this subject. A more common mistake is letting aspirations cloud
good judgment. Everyone would like to think that their product, service or
destination is the "Cadillac" in a crowded field of inferior
competitors. Simply proclaiming superiority doesn't make it so. Recognize your
brand’s own strengths (and weaknesses) and work with a creative firm to turn
those strengths into powerful differentiators. Some experts say the key to
success is to under-promise and over-deliver. That may be great advice in
certain industries. From a branding standpoint, our advice is simple: don’t


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