Trust has always been a valuable commodity, but in today’s world of 24/7 information overload and the overwhelming cacophony of marketing messages, trust has been diminished. Case in point, the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer revealed a three-point decline in the general population’s trust in four institutions: business, media, government and non-governmental organizations (NGO). What does this all mean? “Trust is in crisis,” according to Edelman’s barometer.
A noisy marketplace
The world is filled with millions of brands, each with its unique value proposition, carefully crafted to psychologically differentiate from its competitors. But, in a marketplace filled with a barrage of choice, claims of superiority and performance are often indistinguishable and unreliable.
Take Amazon; as of January 4, 2017, Amazon.com listed 398,040,250 products on its retail website, an eight percent increase over the previous month. Once the place to go for books, Amazon has evolved into the e-space for electronics (91.80 million products), digital music (67.38 million), and home and kitchen items (60.94 million). Each of those products is associated with multiple competing marketing claims.
Even the number of goods sold by your local supermarket has grown exponentially, offering up to 60,000 stock keeping units (SKU) over a market’s average 42,800 square feet of retail space. Additionally, with close to six million business firms recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau (2014), plus five million in the U.K and over one million Canadian companies, one can extrapolate the total number of products, services and processes offered by organizations around the world.
Whether shopping aisle by aisle or scrutinizing review upon review, the choices are numerous and potentially overwhelming, making it difficult to differentiate one marketing claim from another. Which one should we believe?
Cutting through the noise
Third-party confirmation can be a powerful tool to demonstrate to the marketplace that the claims you are making are accurate, truthful and credible. By emphasizing a benefit or positive aspect of a product or service, you can help to reassure skeptical or first-time buyers considering a purchase. For example:
“Our mascara lengthens lashes 3.5 times more than previous formulations.”
“Our software records, monitors and reconciles accounts and transactions in real-time.”
“Our additive protects a car’s undercarriage for two years.”
“We ship orders in less than 2 hours.”
UL helps cut through the clutter by making independent, objective and scientifically-based assessments of marketing claims for your product, system, process or facility. Verification of a marketing claim supplies distinctive and credible proof, simplifying the decision-making process for the B2B or B2C customer or user, enabling your supply chain to run more smoothly and efficiently and setting your brand apart from the competition.
Once a marketing claim has been verified, the specially designed UL Verified Mark can be used in packaging and marketing materials to differentiate your organization from competitors who simply self-declare their marketing claims or who fail to offer tangible proof of benefits.
The UL Verification process starts with a marketing claim discussion, followed by the development of the testing protocol and testing/evaluation of the claim. Once testing is complete and the claim has been verified, the brand will be provided with its own unique UL Verified Mark that can be used to promote the Verification.
The UL Verified Mark, which features a unique identifier and a description of the marketing claim, was deliberately designed to be distinct from the UL Certification Mark, with the most prominent element of the Mark being the marketing claim itself. According to Tammi Burke, UL Marketing Director, “in creating the Mark, the composition of the design was very purposeful and is intended to pull a buyer’s eye to the claim language.”
Marks are customized for each claim, with the ability to test and verify either off-the-shelf claims for an industry or unique claims for a specific customer.
All Verified marketing claims are included in the publicly available UL Verify Database, a tool searchable by buyers using manufacturer name, product name and unique identifier. With 91 percent of consumers personally verifying brand packaging claims by checking labels and searching for information on third-party sites, undergoing a marketing claim verification is a good business decision.
“UL’s third-party Verification is about helping buyers know they are getting what they paid for,” says Burke. Adding this “ingredient” does not alter anything physically or make a process work better. “It simply adds trust to the equation, to make it easier to buy and easier to advance through the supply chain.”
Learn more about the benefits of UL Verification and find out how to get started today.
If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.