It’s why, over the last couple of years, supermarket brands like Tesco have come in for some serious flak regarding finest sausages from farms which don’t exist and burgers reared by figments of marketers’ imaginations.
The Bradford-based retailer, Morrisons has had its fair share of criticism too, over its Hemsley brand, which despite sounding like it came from up the road in the glorious Yorkshire Dales farming heartland, included meat reared overseas.
That particular brand was canned last year. But the retailer has taken another step further, presumably in its continued mission to promote brand truth and, as a Leeds-based Integrated Marketing Agency, it made our collective ears prick up.
After previously admitting the supermarket may have fooled some of its customers into thinking much of its produce was grown or reared locally, Morissons has promised to ban fake farm brands from its stores.
Which has to be good news for the customers and better news for the UK’s farmers as customers seek more and more authentically-produced meat and veg.
But surely, it has to be good news for the retail and marketing industries, too. After all, once the rabbit’s out of the hat about you making stuff up about the stuff you sell, how can you possibly believe in any of the other goods on the shelves?
As Mark Ritson points out in this Marketing Week article, fake brands not only position you as a devious vendor, but from a brand strategy point of view, it’s confusing at best and brand-damaging at worst.
It’s an interesting one. We work with a retailer which is currently promoting ‘brand reality’ through every touchpoint. From a creative marketing agency point of view, it can be a challenge to get the perfect shot and marry that up to the killer copy line.
From a customer point of view, it’s not only commendable and honourable, but it’s a great way to build and reinforce that customer-retailer trust. Some might say, it’s the only way in this age of transparency–and of course, social scrutiny.
What about you–as a consumer? Do you want to know where your food comes from? Are you bothered as long as it tastes good and won’t kill you?