Lubriderm Is Boring, The People Who Use It Aren't

Mar 14, 2016


This great Lubriderm campaign creates authority by admitting to a negative, and florists might be able to learn something from it.


If a product makes too many claims they generally cease being credible. If for example a skin cream claimed to be the best, the cheapest, most exotic, readily available, good for all types of skin, etc. none of those claims would be very credible. Some would be mutually exclusive (for example we rarely believe that the best is also the cheapest) and create a kind of cognitive dissonance, and the sheer volume makes all of the claims seem less likely. We sense that they are reaching, trying to be everything to everyone.

The people that make and sell products often make this mistake. They don't want to cede any segment of any market so, hoping to sell to everyone, they often make far-reaching claims. Hopefully advertising and marketing experts are there to reign them in, and explain that a big chunk of a smaller market segment is often better than a tiny little chunk of an entire market.

Dr. Robert Cialdini talks about going one step farther and admitting a negative as a way of establishing authority. Authority makes your claims more credible, and revealing the weakness in your position can help establish that authority.


Before you present your strongest argument, mention a weakness or drawback. This establishes you are knowledgeable and trustworthy.

Dr. Robert Cialdini


The Lubriderm campaign shown above uses this very effectively. It starts by admitting a weakness: Lubriderm is boring. It's been around forever, and is readily available from mundane sources. It doesn't claim magical effects or boast rare and exotic ingredients like some other moisturizers might.

So the campaign owns this. And, right away, it establishes authority and any subsequent claims become more credible.


Lessons For Retail Floral?

It seems like the retail flower business might learn something from this. It seems like too often we make too many claims (flowers are the best possible gift for every occasion!) and refuse to admit any negatives. If someone says that flowers are expensive (a relative judgement, one that can't be wrong) we insist they are not. If someone says flowers don't last we tell them they're wrong, insisting they last longer than people have any right to expect. If someone points out that flowers from drop-shippers are cheaper we call drop shippers evil and disparage their product.

What if there was a different approach? What if retail floral owned some of the commonly held complaints, and admitted to them so as to establish authority before making our strongest claims?


It True – They Don't Last Forever

But nothing this beautiful ever does.


By admitting to what people already know to be true (flowers don't last) we establish a position of authority as we launch into our strongest argument (that they are incredibly beautiful). Instead of wasting time trying to change a belief about longevity (a time-consuming effort that is absolutely bound to fail) we use it to make a better case for the true value of flowers.

Category: Floral Industry

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