Adam Ferrier


Adam Ferrier

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 13:12

Does it really matter if a Subway sandwich is a 'foot-long'?

Subway’s ‘foot-long’ sandwich claim got caned recently in the media.


Does this kind of detail matter, or should I be pushing claims like this in my product naming and marketing?


If Subway was a smaller brand negative PR like this would be crippling. It goes to the heart of their business. They are in effect lying about the size of their product (saying it’s 12 inches when it's 11) and then lying about the lie (saying it’s a trademark and not meant to be a real descriptor of the product’s length). Very, very naughty.


However, as the brand is so big, and so well established, it will be able to see off this dose of negative publicity without a scratch.


Your start-up, on the other hand, has to be squeaky clean. Try not to lie about your product. Make your claims true. Instead of trying to exaggerate the truth (saying it’s longer, better, faster or some other 'er' word), think about how you can talk about your product in a completely fresh and differentiated way.

Adam Ferrier is a consumer psychologist and founding partner of Naked Communications Australia.  He began his career as a forensic psychologist. Adam then had a stint at Saatchi & Saatchi before starting Naked Communications in 2004. He was also State under-12 Chess Champion in WA. Follow him on Twitter.


Ask Adam or any other StartupSmart mentor a question here.

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