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Writing in focus: Spelling, grammar errors can cost brands customers, cash and reputation

by | Aug 26, 2022 | Public Relations

With consumers spending more time on video-dominated social platforms like TikTok and Instagram, some might think that the written word has had its day. Not so, says new research from editorial services firm Accuracy Matters—correct spelling and grammar still matter deeply to consumers.

The survey, carried out by Opinium this summer, found:

  • More than two-thirds of UK adults (68 percent) said they’d be less likely to purchase from a brand if it had grammatical or spelling mistakes in its brand messaging.
  • Almost three-quarters of UK adults (73 percent) said their perceptions of a brand would worsen if they noticed grammatical or spelling mistakes in brand messaging.

The way we communicate is changing

These results are conclusive—not only do the vast majority of the UK-surveyed adults think less of a brand that makes mistakes, but more than two-thirds of adults said they would be less likely to spend money with that brand.

“After 10 years in business we know from clients that errors can cost them dear,” said Rachel Nixon, director at Accuracy Matters, in a news release. “But within the context of our fast-changing communications landscape, we wanted to make sure that our pillars of editorial integrity—accuracy and clarity—were still important to consumers.

“It turns out that accuracy doesn’t just matter, it also pays. If you want your customers to understand, engage and take action, you can’t afford to make errors.

“In a world of seemingly infinite video and audio content, being able to speak to your audience clearly using correct grammar and spelling gives your brand an edge, and becomes a brilliant way of standing out in a crowded marketplace.”

More survey highlights:

  • 71 percent of UK adults over 55 said mistakes would negatively impact their purchasing; this dropped to 65 percent of 18–34s.
  • Women are more put off by mistakes: 71 percent of women said they’d be less likely to purchase from a brand if they saw mistakes in messaging; 65 percent of men agreed.
  • More than three-quarters (77 percent) of over-55s said they’d think less of a brand which made mistakes. The 18–34 cohort were least likely to report worsening perception, with two-thirds (66 percent) agreeing, and 10 percent reporting that their perceptions would improve.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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