My six year old can be a trickster. He sneaks a cookie and then hides it, smirks at me and delightfully enjoys it behind my bad. He thinks he's pulled a fast one in me, but the truth is, I know what he's up to. His sneakiness is a pattern and I may decide to play along and let him get away with it.
I recently signed up for a free wrinkle cream online. It's free, except they require my credit card to charge me for the shipping. The very fine, hardly readable print, which I neglected to read, says that I will now be charged monthly, at full price, on my credit card for refills of the wrinkle cream.
It feels like the company is trying to pull a fast one on me, not clearly outlining what the terms are. Truth is, most people know there is a catch, because nothing is free. Yet, some suckers, like myself, decide to go along with it, just to see what we get.
It's become the norm for marketers to use sneaky tricks to get people's attention and get them to take initial action. Everything from sponsored ads to email distributions, free trials and more -are ways to bring consumers along for the ride and be a part of their deceptive campaigns.
However, skirting the offer and not being above board is not the way to engender trust and long term loyalty. Even if a product lives up to it's claims, I would still have a hard time giving the brand long term loyalty. Why do marketers use these deceptive practices? Because they work, they get away with it. Consumers buy the products, and that is what they want, your money.
In a crowded marketplace, brands must compete and will look for any possible way to get a sale. Yet, I think they are trading long term customer loyalty for short term sales and the potential for a lot of conflict.
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