Commercials and content are rife with expert endorsements. Dentists recommend a toothpaste, dermatologists recommend a face cream, and chefs recommend cookware. The idea is that these people are experts in their field and they know what they’re talking about. We believe experts and trust their judgment. Just ask the four out of five blog readers who recommend this article.
When it comes to making decisions, there are a lot of ways in which people are influenced. Language can be a factor, as can the use of experts. One survey by Best Company showed that we look to experts for decisions considered high-investment. These are things that will cost us considerable time, money, or energy; decisions with lengthy consequences; and areas in which we have little knowledge. Examples would be real estate, insurance, vehicle purchase, and financial advice. The same survey also indicated that industries representing these decisions would benefit from providing expert endorsements for their products.
Picking a Rep for an Expert Endorsement
If you’re going to have someone speak on behalf of your business or product, choose that person carefully. And remember that even experts can be wrong.
- Select someone who can speak with authority. The expert extolling the virtues of your product should really be able to sell the greatness. They don’t have to be over-the-top, but they do need to be confident.
- Pick someone who can be the face of your product. Or at least someone you want customers to relate to your product. Do they exemplify your brand?
- Choose someone who most closely aligns with your product or service. If your product is made for orthodontics, use an orthodontist and not a dentist to promote it. This increases believability and trust.
An endorsement is what an expert gives when they speak about the benefits of your product or service. The type of expert used is typically a professional in their field, a celebrity, or a combination of the two. A professional is trusted because of their training or experience—think doctor or specialist. Then there are influencers and celebrities.
Influencers are a mash-up of expert and celebrity. For example, a successful make-up tutorial YouTuber could endorse a make-up line. This influencer is recognizable, a trusted make-up expert, and their endorsement gives you access to their followers. Using someone with real knowledge of your product and real knowledge of the industry gives your product credibility.
Using a celebrity to endorse your make-up can also be effective, but for a different reason. This person is bringing attention to your product or service because they’re famous. Obviously, they need to say great things about the make-up and be shown using the product but in the end, it’s their fame that’s the influencer. That’s why basketball players endorse banking services, actors promote booze, and everyone sells cars. Does anybody else think it’s weird to see an athlete in uniform away from their sport?
Rules & Regulations
When it comes to advertising in Canada, there are rules and regulations. The Canadian Code of Advertising Standards was created by the ad industry in 1963. This code is administered by Advertising Standards Canada and holds advertisers to consumer and societal expectations. Their motto is Truth, Fairness, Accuracy. The fourteen provisions in the code cover material like substantiating claims. For example, the dentist you see recommending a toothpaste may be an actor. However, what that actor is saying must be based on truth.
Of course, these rules don’t affect an expert endorsement that’s simply someone saying your product is wonderful. But it is a reminder that it’s not only ethical to honestly represent your business, but it’s also a smart practice. Exaggerating what your product or service can deliver will only lead to disappointed customers and bad reviews. Find someone who can talk about the strengths of your product with authority and then let the business speak for itself.
Ready for Your Close-Up
An expert endorsement can benefit your business. People are ready and willing to trust professionals and listen to their advice. If you have an expert to endorse your product, we can put them on camera. Call us today for a free quote.