Lack of Authenticity: one strike and you're out!

There was this joke about a fitness video advertisement on TV.

Here is a revolutionary fitness idea. Spend only seven minutes everyday and make a huge difference in your lives. Call in the next 30 minutes and we will send you two more minutes of video for FREE!

There is no extra points for being authentic but lack of authenticity has a big price associated with it. When people observe that there is lack of authenticity, they run away. It will never turn into a customer service issue. They just won’t become your customers.

I was looking at shopping cart softwares. As you can imagine there are thousands of options. One of the popular ones out there is making an offer to give away $250 worth of goods FREE if you sign up NOW. Here’s what they claim to be the goods that are valued at $250.

Going through each one of them, you will see that they are either features of the shopping cart software or they are services (like customer support during support hours) that any customer should be entitled too. Authentic? I don’t think so. Now, I don’t have any incentive to go and tell them this because the choices are far too many. They are in a commodity business and not being authentic is VERY costly for them. There are so many people who will walk away from their offers that it’s not even funny.

So the point is..

How about in your business? Do you think your offers are authentic? One way to check it is to assume that you are your own customer and look at your offers and claims as an outsider. If you were a true customer of your own company, what would be your reactions to the claims that are being made?