Risk Free

Brands have realized that with confusion over labels and consumer education, it is safer to shift the focus of trust to the brand and away from the product.–Culturewaves Q32015 Report

Realizing some consumers may not fully understand product labeling or specifics, companies are now trying to shift the focus of trust from the product to the brand to create a sense of security and openness.

When Urban Outfitters acquired the Pizzeria Vetri chain, it accepted full responsibility for any liabilities or mishaps that may occur, but it also gave people who purchase the product a sense of comfort. After all, if a trusted brand trusts this company, perhaps we should too. Granted, Pizzeria Vetri has great reviews on websites such as Yelp, but without the Urban Outfitters connection, many consumers might not have known the restaurants existed. This pizza chain can now leverage another company’s already acquired brand trust to propel its own image.

We will see a big change in the way companies market their products as brands begin to say, “You may not know about this product, but you know and trust us, and you know we would never give you anything that isn’t up to our high standards.”

Even corporate giants like Pepsi are taking advantage of this trend. Pepsi has promoted its new drink, 1893, but that is about all it has done for the emerging soda. There are no details about what it will taste like, what is in it, or what even makes it different from a standard cola. The only thing consumers can tell from looking at the product is that it is a nod to the soft drink’s past (1893 is the year Pepsi emerged, then under a different name).

Nevertheless, that is all the information needed. Millennials love nostalgia. The generation craves a sense of comfort and “throwback” in products. Pepsi knows that Millennials, and hopefully other generations as well, will buy a carefully marketed product because it is produced by Pepsi, a brand consumers love and trust, even if the company doesn’t divulge key information.

This isn’t necessarily a negative development. Companies are not trying to sneak past consumers to cheat them in any way. The shift in focus can actually promote clarity and openness. Focusing on the brands may even give consumers peace of mind. It takes time and effort to build a reliable reputation, and these companies presumably would not put themselves on the line for products that won’t uphold tradition and excellence.

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