Red Flags that a brand doesn't deserve your money.

(originally posted to our Instagram account)

I believe this is legit good advice for finding a life partner, accepting a job offer, and other human interactions! Yay!

Flag #1

The brand uses fear mongering as their primary marketing strategy. This can come in many forms and can be blatant or subtle, so read between the lines. Trust your gut with how a brand makes you feel, because it could signal their INTENT. Is their intent not to harm if fear is the driving force behind the brand's motives? Something to question.

Flag #2

They are pedantic sesquipedalians by utilizing convoluted industry jargon and abstruse scientific terminology. Kidding. The brand uses overly complex language as a flex. If they sound smart, they must know their stuff, right? So if you understand, then you're part of the cool club. And if you don't? You feel just a tad more clever for buying it (an easy in! Hooray for acceptance!) They are just stroking your ego before making a sale/giving you a seat at the table.

 

Flag #3

The brand attacks "the other side" and uses violent language, even name-calling. This isn't war, it's skincare, and in a climate where extremism is creeping into every facet of life, does it need to also be part of our beauty rituals? Saying everything else is toxic garbage doesn't make THEIR particular garbage any sweeter. Show us who you are, instead of screaming about what you aren't. And if marketing is HARD because it isn't about barfing insults? They might just need a whole new angle.

 

Flag #4

Lies! Lies! Lies! And lying's little friends: emotional manipulation and gaslighting.

From false claims, exaggerated results, non-stop 24/7 hyperbole is killing us (see what I did there? I lol at myself). Lies can use their customer's emotions against them, (much like fear mongering) then comes... the gaslight (an attack!) "Only idiots like that product!"

IMO even saying "I made product x because I couldn't find anything that worked" is a pathetic lie in this massive industry, and could be construed as violent language... or maybe it just makes me roll my eyes.

Flag #5

Black and white thinking : Strongly held beliefs without acknowledging their own limitations of knowledge, with zero space for nuance. Like everything in nature, science constantly evolves, as does research, as does availability and sustainability of ingredients. Lack of flexibility shows little creativity, and can even be damaging in the long-term. How can anyone ever change if they think it damages their character?

Flag #6

What's the brand's intent?

Is it an influencer brand perhaps looking for more clout and fame? Are they creating a "unicorn" brand to be sold ASAP? Do they have shareholders they need to please, and who are they? Are they someone who uses their title to intimidate (sometimes Dr. brands can do this)? Were they rich to begin with and use their fortune to appear more successful/sell a lifestyle? Are they worthy of your trust?

Unfortunately, I'm sure there's way more to add this list! What questions do you ask yourself before supporting a brand? What puts you off, or draws you in?

Oh, and a special mention to MLMs. Just, no thanks ma'am.