On their majesty’s service

Testimonials are still all the rage, though some marketing people argue they’ve already gone over the top. But sometimes they are a wonderful quality endorsement.

HM QE2's Royal Warrant

HM QE2’s Royal Warrant

For example, in the UK arguably the ultimate honour for any company would be to supply the royal family with chocolate, shoe laces, cars, whatever. Let’s face it, some companies would pay millions to be invited by Buckingham palace to send in their wares. It’s being going on for centuries, but now it gets lost in all the marketing hype.

Not to a Brit. One glance at the packaging and the mere indication that the Queen also eats your brand of breakfast cereal (eg, Weetabix) is reason enough to sit down and have a jolly good cuppa tea. It ticks all the D for Desire in the AIDA process.

Prince Charles' warrant

Prince Charles’ warrant

Whether you are “By Appointment to Her Majesty The Queen Suppliers of Household and Fancy Goods” (John Lewis department stores), or you have the “Royal Warrant” for cars (Rover/MG) – you can tell other people and SLAP IT ON YOUR PACKAGING!! Which is the real selling point in endorsing the quality of your product.

So this set me thinking – what about the Germans? Well, if you know Germans, you’ll have guessed it already: what gets them trusting your brand is independent product testers…

Stiftung Warentest

Yes, it has to be consumer body “Stiftung Warentest”. They go out and do tests on all sorts of products. Then sell magazines on what’s not so good and of course what’s good. Like the milk above (no apologies for the design – that German packaging for you!). It only got top marks on one criteria, but consumers don’t really look carefully at the endorsement stamp anyway. It’s been tested. End of story. In a country that invented the DIN norm, a stamp is all you need. Testing is a format of endorsement in itself.

Ask P&G, they slap every sort of endorsement possible in their ads, especially from Stiftung Warentest.

Alex Woodruff

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