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Honesty is the Best Branding Policy
By: Cindy Wendland
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We are some of the lucky ones. Our tobacco-addicted father is still alive. Our father smoked for over 25 years. He quit for five years, then started smoking again. He finally quit after his third heart attack, when a nurse told him he had better stop or she would be seeing him again in 30 days, and she, herself, was a smoker. Our father quit smoking cold turkey. Now he uses chewing tobacco, which is another story, but he doesn’t smoke cigarettes, and he doesn’t affect us with secondhand smoke.

It seems the tobacco companies are still fighting in the courts about corrective statements relating to warnings about smoking. Tobacco companies did not make factual statements about the dangers of smoking in the past. Recently, as we left the Mexico airport, they were selling cigarettes from the duty-free shop. Emblazoned on the packaging was the phrase “Smoking kills.” Today, the statements are much more factual. It has cost the tobacco companies billions of dollars with all the legal settlements and fines, although they made so much money beforehand, perhaps they are still ahead?! 

With brands on the marketplace today, honesty is the best policy. Customers are skeptical. They are informed. They have access to Google, for goodness sakes! If consumers want to check up on a product or item or ingredient, it is fast and easy to do. Years ago, smokers did not have the opportunity to find out what cigarettes could do to their health. Today, it is incomprehensible to see young adults smoking or using e-cigarettes when there is so much information readily available about how harmful the products can be.

Time will tell, they say. For cigarette manufacturers, time has told the story. Tell the truth and be honest with your product. It will save you time, money and attorney fees, and your reputation. Have a quality product and be truthful with your customers. That will be a lifelong relationship.

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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