FUD: Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt
What is FUD?
FUD is a sales and marketing acronym which stands for fear, uncertainty and doubt.
Marketers and salespeople love to throw up the tiniest little thing to instill FUD in buyers' minds, which is a powerful tool to get buyers to do what the marketers or salespeople want.
People are always afraid of the unknown. If one brand has no product today, they'll suggest something bad about a competitors product as part of a FUD campaign to delay potential customers from buying the competitor's product until theirs hits the market.
When I worked in sales and marketing, we used FUD like a word, pronouncing it "fud." We used it more often than "price."
FUD in Marketing
Marketing is what companies do to get you interested in their products. In marketing, one company will pull a subtle trick to make you doubt other brands. This is one kind of FUD.
Back when Olympus had very few lenses available for their brand-new 4:3 digital SLR system, few people bought them because there were so few lenses. Canon and Nikon each had hundreds of different existing lenses, all of which worked great on the new Nikon and Canon DSLRs.
Olympus used FUD by suggesting that their new lenses were magically and uniquely optimized for their new digital cameras. This implied that the hundreds of spectacular Nikon and Canon lenses, all of which came out for film, couldn't possibly be as good. With FUD, Olympus never had to say this. This is classic marketing FUD.
As you can see, some of the sharpest lenses ever made are those made for film.
Today, the biggest marketing FUD is playing the fear of sensor dust. Camera makers offer magic sensor cleaners to try to get people to buy their cameras over someone else's. This is also done to get people who don't need a new camera to buy one.
Guess what: The best pro cameras don't even have sensor cleaners! The $5,000 Nikon D3 doesn't have one.
I've never had any problems with dust. It was a worse problem with film, printing and projection. Today if I have a spot, I J-tool it out in Photoshop. If it gets bad, only twice out of over 100,000 shots on numerous cameras have I sent the camera out for cleaning. I usually jam a Shop-vac into the camera to suck it.
I swap a LOT of lenses. I made over a hundred lens changes just in doing my 200mm comparisons. I've left cameras open outside for a moment while I went back to my case to get another lens. No problems!
FUD in Sales
Sales is the act of taking, or trying to take, your money. It's personal and completely different from marketing, which is drumming up general interest.
Salespeople throw up FUD to get you to buy from them, or not to buy from a competitor.
The easiest way to see a FUD demonstration is to ask about a brand a store doesn't carry.
Almost no store sells every brand. Most stores are only authorized to sell a few brands.
If you ask about a brand not carried by the store, the answer always is "We used to carry them and they are a fantastic product. Then we started getting so many returns that we just couldn't, in good faith for our customers, continue to carry them."
Baloney; the only reason the store doesn't carry them is because they couldn't convince that line to sign them on.
Fud in Scotland
Words mean different things in different countries.
In Scotland, the word fud is used the same as we use the word pussy in the USA.
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