How do you know if a brand/company is credible?

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Brand credibility does not come easily.

Many companies would like you to think that they are the best in their area but after a little digging, it becomes obvious that they are not. Here are some of the key pointers to look for when looking to buy from the best: 
1. Niche market. Is the company you are looking at focused on a niche market? I was recently looking for an office product and found it on a company website among thousands of other totally unrelated products. This set off a warning bell in my head! I’m not saying that all ‘generalists’ are bad but when you want something of excellent quality, that will last sufficiently and will have been tried and tested, generalist companies are not always the best. Specialists ones, however, tend to only have a few products in their range and they know them VERY well. They may have designed them, manufacture them and probably know all there is to know about the product. Mostly, they believe in the product. They would happily sell it their friends and family, believing it was absolutely the best choice.  

2. Locally made. I know, people seem to be harping on about this at the moment but there really is something in this of benefit to you, the consumer. Some things are still made in Australia. The advantage of buying something locally made includes: 
- You are supporting Australians. Purchasing locally made supports jobs, which contribute to thriving families and a healthy local economy. Very good. 
- If something if not right with the product, it is easy to sort out. 
The person using the product and the person making it are not so detached from one another. If you know someone local is going to be using it, you do a better job. 
- It is more likely to be good quality. Products made closer to headquarters are watched over more carefully. Improvements can be implemented more quickly when production is local.  

3. Credible credentials. OK, can you at least find a website, with a company contact number for this product? I know we live in a global market place but I have experienced the frustration that comes when trying to get a refund for a faulty product that I bought online, from a company based overseas. Trying to find a phone number, so I could talk to representative from that company was terrible. Their website was hopeless. I recently came across another website that again, had no phone number on the ‘contact us’ page. Just one of those annoying forms. It did have an address, but when I goggled it, it did not exist. An unusual occurrence? Unfortunately not. It happens more often than you might think. Check out their basic ‘contact us’ info. It will tell you a lot.  

4. History. See if you can find out a little more about them, usually from the Internet (reviews or their website.) How long have they been around? Who is the boss? What’s their story? If they have nothing to hide and only pride for their company, then it will usually show in information they are willing to share on their website.  
Lastly, trust your intuition. If your overall feeling from looking at a website, is well, dodgy, then look elsewhere. We have more buying options than have ever been possible before. Therefore we need to be more purchaser savvy too. 

Stephen and Elizabeth Procter, from Procson Pulpits Pty Ltd
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Stephen and Elizabeth Procter, from Procson Pulpits Pty Ltd
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