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Don’t Be Like That: Brand Habits Consumers Hate

annoyingRelationships can’t always be about you – some brands learn that the hard way. Advertising and press release writing reflects on the company. Being a selfish brand generates a backlash that can end the beautiful relationship that exists between your client and their adoring public. Consider a few things that brands do that consumers hate.

Poor Social Media Habits

Bloomberg View points out that poor etiquette in the social media arena is a relationship killer. Consumers don’t go on Facebook to see advertising, so don’t make a nuisance of yourself.

Problem: Social media is about making a personal connection, anything short of that is annoying.

Solution: Don’t abuse those likes with a lot of self-promotion. Talk about things that interest followers beyond the brand.

Body Image Bullying

Those Photoshopped images of models and celebrities really only do one thing – piss people off. Body image is all the rage right now. Using beautiful pictures to inspire consumers to buy beauty products or improve their style is one thing, overdoing them in a way that shames people and insults their intelligence is another.

Problem: Reinforcing unrealistic body images

Solution: Smart brands are focusing on health and feeling better, not fulfilling some unreachable ideal.


Is that ad following you? Retargeting online ads so a user sees it everywhere they go is creepy. A study conducted by InSkin Media and RAPP found that most consumers like certain ads until they start following them around from website to website.

The flip side of that is the consumer who researches something. Let’s say a user searches Walmart for dressers and finds one they like but don’t buy. When they go on Facebook and that same dresser appears in an ad, they are reminded of why they liked it, reinforcing the temptation to purchase. Even that has its limitations, though, too much in a short time feels intrusive.

Problem: Stalking people with ads

Solution: Use retargeting wisely


Ever binge watch videos on YouTube and see the same ad over and over? That repetition is enough to make you swear off the brand forever. Ads with babies and puppies and kittens are all cute the first time you see them, but it wears off by the time you’ve seen it for the tenth time. This problem goes beyond Internet ad campaigns, too. The same redressed blog topic over and over will cost you.

Problem: More overuse of the same ad

Solution: Create multiple ads for one campaign and vary distribution channels

The Questionable Promise

How many people think chocolate milk is really a healthy drink? When the ad shows a guy drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a workout it brings the honesty of the brand into question. If the ad makes claims that consumers will doubt, bolster the brand reputation by providing details that support them. As it turns out, chocolate milk isn’t a bad choice for a recovery drink. Who knew?

Problem: Making claims consumers will question

Solution: Clearly back up your facts

Marketing is about building a relationship that lasts and that means not being a selfish brand.

darla fDarla F is a full time freelance writer published internationally and an award-winning author.

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Freelancer Darla F

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