Building Brand Credibility Through the 3 Layers of Product Content

August 23, 2016

Brands Chris Williams By Chris Williams


In a previous post, I highlighted the need in today’s world for brand marketers to have a definitive strategy when it comes to increasing brand credibility in the mind and emotions of today’s consumers. Without credibility in the marketplace, a consumer brand will struggle to build (let alone maintain) any significant amount of market share.

Let’s now turn to another topic central to the conversation of brand credibility: product content.

My wife and I recently celebrated our anniversary. (What does this have to do with product content you ask? Just stay with me.) We went to one of the best restaurants in our city, where we ate incredible food and drank wine that made me wish I was a sommelier. We laughed, we talked and we remembered all the pieces of our story that had brought us to that moment. It was an evening we didn’t want to end.

Now, I want to point out three layers that were needed in the previous paragraph for me to communicate the story clearly to you:

  1. Objective. Some of the statements above are simply facts. We went to a restaurant, we ate food, we drank wine, etc. If I removed all of these objective statements from my story, you probably wouldn’t understand what we actually did and would probably be less interested in reading the rest of this post.
  2. Subjective. Part of my description of the night includes statements that reflect my unique perspective, and I would argue that it was my unique perspective that connected with you the most. Maybe you remembered a time when you ate incredible food or enjoyed an evening that you didn’t want to end.
  3. Response. This layer includes the response that was described (we didn’t want the evening to end) as well as your response as the audience. This could be either an intrinsic or extrinsic response.

When it comes to product content and brand credibility, it’s vitally important to understand that your consumers interact with your content on all three of these layers. Choosing to only focus on one layer could alienate your consumers, which in turn could significantly decrease their trust in both your product and brand.

One of the best examples of creative content that addresses all three of these layers is Dove, a Unilever brand. Take a look at its Dove Beauty Bar product page and see if you can identify the objective, subjective and response layers among its content (description, images, interactive features, articles, etc.).

From industrial to food and beverage to automotive, incorporating the three layers is always possible. No matter what vertical your brand falls into, you and your team can create this kind of content that builds credibility for your brand in the marketplace.

The Final Step

Now, once you create and deliver this content to your channel partners, your job isn’t over. Far from it. Building credibility in the market through your optimized content won’t happen if your channel partners aren’t also implementing the same content. Yes, you’re thinking: “thank you, Captain Obvious.” But actually regulating this content has become a big problem in e-commerce for many major brands.

I speak to far too many brands that tell me, “We manually monitor our channel partners’ content every so often. We just don’t have the time or people to do it as much as we would like.”You, your team and maybe some contracted professionals have spent time, energy and resources to communicate the value of your products using all three of these layers.

Bottom line, if your channel partners aren’t utilizing this content, then it doesn’t matter how well you use the three layers to connect with consumers.

The key is to establish communication between yourself and the retailer. Find a product intelligence tool that allows you to monitor your product content and determines if there’s a gap between your message and what they’re putting online. A good product intelligence tool will give you constantly updated data, a quick turnaround time for communication, better relationships with your channel partners and, most of all, better product content.

Blog post by Chris Williams, enterprise sales executive, Brands at ChannelAdvisor