Telling the truth about brand experiences … It’s National Honesty Day

“I want to be honest with you…” usually isn’t the best start to any conversation. “Telling the truth” is often followed by something negative. The negative can also be constructive and helps us understand our relationships. In the case of marketers and insights professionals, that relationship is with our customers.

Telling the truth is what marketers and insights professionals want to hear from consumers.

  • How else can we improve customer experiences?
  • How can we do better?
  • What do you like about our product and what don’t you like?

To celebrate National Honesty Day (April 30, 2021) we asked 50 consumers across the United States to be honest with the brands they use. Specifically, we asked:

In honor of National Honesty Day, tell us how you really feel about a brand you used today and why.

We launched the question via video survey in the Voxpopme survey platform and a few hours later had our responses, sentiment analysis and machine-generated transcripts to review. Of course, we created a quick reel directly from within the platform that gives you some of the highlights.


In all, sentence-based sentiment of the responses wasn’t all negative and actually pretty evenly split. Fifty-five percent of the responses were positive, 25 percent neutral and 20 negative.

telling the truth sentence based sentiment

Telling the truth, consumers told us what foods they didn’t enjoy, what products make their lives more enjoyable what products helped them with their skin and more.

telling the truth - perfect barGiven that we asked about a product that they used today it was also great to see some showing the actual products they were being honest about. Like Janine, 31, of El Paso, Texas, when she talked about Perfect Bar.

“Hey guys. So in honor of National Honesty Day, I just want to tell you guys about this brand,” she said through the Voxpopme Influence app. “It is called the Perfect Bar. I just bought it yesterday, and it’s pretty darn good. It’s supposed to be like a protein bar. I just wanted to be honest about what I think of it. And it does has a lot of sugar, but it also contains a lot of protein. It’s a little bit kind of expensive. I mean, being for a bar this size, it’s about two bucks. But overall, it’s a very good protein bar. Just a little bit too much sugar in it, but you guys should definitely try it out.”

Scott’s Comfort Plus was mentioned for its price at Dollar General and usefulness by Dezirae, 28, of Madison. I think we can all be honest about that: We need brands like these in our lives.

To be honest, customer service matters

We also heard comments about customer service. How easy it is to get in touch with brands and how helpful they are.

“The brand I used today is the Circuit Maker,” said Rachael, 48, of Portland, Oregon. “When you call them, they have good customer service. They answer the phone. They seem to be pretty nice, get on their e-mails. The machine is amazing, had no problems with it. And I think that I will be using it for a long time.”

Karen, 39, of Port Saint Lucie, mentioned Chick-fil-A: “I think they have wonderful customer service and wonderful food and decent prices.”

Read next: Responsiveness in customer service matters, so why are some brands struggling?

Experiences that get us through the day

Consumers use brands all day – from Google, Apple and nutritional products. When the experience is good that can make your day so much better.

“I just recently discovered this brand,” said  Svetla, 44, Grand Junction, Colo., holding up her Orgain drink. “It’s a Nutritional Drink. It does not bother my stomach because it’s based on grass-fed milk and it’s gluten-free. And I’m  very glad that I found it. It’s a very good choice. This is a good start for the morning.”

Achilles, 35, of Vernon, Texas, gets through his day with Starbucks coffee.

“I use that to get a pep in my step and get me through the day,” he said. “If you don’t tackle the day, the day will tackle you.”

The words used

It’s always interesting to see what words a study’s consumers used the most, which I easily visualized with this word cloud, which is based on the automatic transcription of the responses. These word clouds can be useful to see if consumers are using the words a brand is trying to position for.

wordcloud from consumer feedback

Even if your brand wasn’t included in this year’s National Honesty Project, we are happy to work with you now to get you honest feedback.

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What’s a question you’d like to ask consumers?