Truth in Marketing – The Power of the Consumer Review

By Steve Gilman

The era of making exaggerated product claims is long dead – at least it should be. But, some brands continue to use exaggerated claims, or “spin”, to sell products. In the hyper-connected, consumer-driven world we now live in, unethical marketing and sales tactics will not continue to work.

Recently, I needed a space heater for an extra room in my house. A simple purchase to make, so I stopped by a local hardware store where there was a prominent in-store display of EdenPURE heaters. You may be familiar with this brand, as they are aggressive multi-level marketers. Their products are priced as ‘premium heaters’ and are, therefore, more expensive than most space heaters. EdenPure and the stores that sell them make bold claims to the product’s superiority. After asking a few questions about the heaters, I decided to do what so many of us do these days – I Googled the product and immediately clicked through to Amazon. Google and especially Amazon have become the most powerful “product review centers” in our wired world.

One review really got my attention. The user who wrote it has several detail-oriented, thorough reviews that possess a tone and style that indicate credibility. It’s amazing to think that, with as little of a gut check as that, buyers readily trust online consumer reviews.

Consumer review from Amazon

Here’s a portion of the review. The user, “Trapeze”, debunks EdenPure’s product claims by responding directly to the brand’s marketing copy. It is a direct and powerful counter point to EdenPure’s exaggerated statements about the superiority of their product. This review, and many others like it, should give any marketer that would make an unrealistic or exaggerated claim a compelling reason to stop and be honest.

Q. What is the EdenPURE Heater Quartz Infrared Heating System?
A. Our Heating System is a revolutionary zone furnace that safely and efficiently heats entire areas that need additional heat.
Translation: It’s a portable electric space heater.

Q. How do the EdenPURE Quartz Infrared Portable Heaters Work?
A. With the advent of micro-electronic technology and the latest in infrared commercial quartz tubes, three solar copper furnaces inside the unit absorb the heat from these tubes much like a sponge absorbs water. The patent pending process of cured natural copper creates an innovative heat exchanger capable of absorbing heat like a solar sponge. It then safely exhales what is coined as “soft” environmentally friendly heat that is able to travel rapidly in relative humidity. The EdenPURE SOFT heat does not burn up the humidity; moreover, it employs the humidity as a vehicle to warm up large spaces quickly and efficiently.
Translation: Let the BS begin. Let’s Take this item-by-item:

  • Micro-electronic technology. Translation: It has a digital thermostat.
  • The latest in infrared commercial quartz tubes. Translation: Three 500-watt halogen light bulbs. Big woop.
  • Three solar copper furnaces. Translation: Copper pipe cut to length that surround the light bulbs.
  • Cured natural copper. Translation: Fairy dust & unicorn farts. There is no such thing as “cured” copper.
  • It then safely exhales. Translation: It has a blower.
  • “Soft” environmentally friendly heat. Translation: More fairy dust.
  • Does not burn up humidity. Translation: Utter nonsense, heaters don’t dehumidify.

“Trapeze” effectively used both humor and a sense of outrage to completely debunk EdenPure’s claims and, after reading it, I would never buy an EdenPure heater. Also, because I check multiple sources before many purchases, I did notice that there were a majority of other user reviews on Amazon and other sites that support this review.

Consumers no longer take marketing claims at face value or rely on recommendations from just friends and family – they have a wealth of reviews and insight just a click away, thanks to social media and sites like Amazon. So brands are on notice to be honest and transparent with their marketing efforts. Exaggerated claims, ‘spin’, and attempts to manipulate or trick consumers are hopefully moving toward extinction.

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