Next time you are standing at the aisle wondering which brand of juice you’d like to pick up, keep your iPhone handy. The Goodguide app on the iPhone will let you dig past the marketing spiel of the product and discover its real health, environmental and social impacts, which is more likely to influence which brand of juice you might buy.
Sure, all along, companies were teling you what to believe, and no one questioned their motives or interests. But now, with tools like Goodguide playing a huge role in effecting purchase decisions, a new era of marketing is in the offing. Educating shoppers about the ramifications of buying a particular product opens up the last bastion of control that marketers had over what they say about the product.
Of couse, an unbiased holistic view of the product is any day much preferred than a hardsell, but what is more interesting is the multiplicity of the information that goes into crunching a Goodguide Rating for a particular product. Right from offering general nutritional information about a product, the rating also spills the beans on environmental performance factors like toxic waste generated and air pollution caused by the company in making the product. It also evaluates the social performance of the company – labour and human rights, workplace diversity, working conditions and benefits, among others.
Everyone buys into a brand for a particular reason personalized to them. When there are more than enough compelling reasons to choose one brand over the other, a values match is discovered. This increases bonding, and subsequently builds up repeat purchases.
The best part about this whole app is that it gives information when and where people need it the most – just as they are about to make their purchase decisions. Considering Federal Law does not require makers of household products to list all ingredients, a dispassionate analysis of the brand on various relevant parameters changes the goal posts of the game – from being about company control to working around shopper influence.
GoodGuide has already scored 75,000 products with data from nearly 200 sources, including government databases, studies by non-profits and research by scientists on the GoodGuide staff. At this rate, it won’t be long before the entire supermarket is beaming data about the product at you through your phone.
Imagine a completely deregulated world such as this. How would your brand look in the shopper’s iPhone?