Hero Apricot Preserves Have Lost Me as a Loyalist

What turns me off is when a manufacturer tries to pull the wool over my eyes.

One of my little sins has been buying Hero preserves from Switzerland. I first discovered the brand in France years ago. It is an upscale line of jams and preserves that has amazing quality and consistency. That ended this week. They just totally changed the product to become a “fruit spread” instead of a “preserve” and tried to make their package for the lower quality product look as identical as possible to the original. I can guess at why they did this, but the reason isn’t important. By trying to fool me into sticking with them (like I wouldn’t notice) they jeopardized our “relationship.” It’s not the product that I am mad at. It’s the Hero brand. They tried to pull the wool over my eyes.

Hero AG is a Swiss manufacturer that was established in 1886. The company is now part of a complex agglomeration of food companies. To me that would be OK. What they did that really upset me was try to fool me by retaining as much of their packaging identity as possible so I would “think” they were the same. But when I opened a new jar and found the product was substantially different, they not only lost that sale, but lost me as a loyal member of their franchise. Truthfully, all they had to do was alert me to the change and signal what the new product was. I might have rejected it, but wouldn’t have any negative feelings towards the Hero brand. But by trying to fool me, they tampered with our “brand” relationship.

The big lesson here is that brands today, whether consumer products or corporate brands, have to stand up to a higher standard. Today it is a requirement to be honest and transparent. Most people are willing to cut some slack and give a brand a break if it is up front about what’s going on. But to hide a significant piece of information violates the trust we need to have.

Net, I will not buy any Hero products again. Too bad for them.

I’ll bet it wouldn’t be too hard to think of brands that have violated consumer relationships. Think about Toyota, Tiger Woods, Citibank, etc. What brands have