The other day I was looking for someone who could do customized beddings for me. With most people today, the first place I started this journey was on Social Media. I landed on a business that had a lot of positive reviews, with customers raving about the quality of work they received from this business. This was more than enough to convince me, so I made the call. Right there, I had already developed an expectation of what I thought I wanted to experience.
That is exactly what a brand promise is. It is the implied commitment to deliver a certain experience. Unlike a tagline that is clearly communicated to your customers, the brand promise is not directly articulated to external audiences. It is experienced.
So here I was, having read the rave reviews on social media, expecting the world. After some back and forth, a deposit had been paid and the specifications I sought had been provided to the vendor. When I didn’t receive a call on the expected date of delivery, I was quick to forgive as I assumed that they were busy dealing with other customer deliveries that may have come before mine. After another week or so, I finally received my consignment!
You can imagine my disappointment when the beddings were of the wrong size. How was this even possible? Still, I remained optimistic. And anyway, the explanation I received that they had just employed a new set of workers to tailor the beddings seemed to make sense. And so, the wait continued. This time, however, I was not as confident or enthusiastic as I was the first time.
In the same way, your customers might be forgiving and give you a chance to redeem yourself to them. What is important to remember is that every action that does not live up to the declared or implied promise of your brand, means that you are simply eating away at the trust that your customers had bestowed on you. How you redeem yourself then becomes the determining factor that will either make or break your brand.
Back to my story, the day I was to receive my redone beddings came. Believe it or not, while they were much better than what had been initially delivered the first time, they still did not meet my requirements. By this time, I was tired of the back and forth and I figured I would live with whatever I could endure. What I did not like was to be returned to the shop for them to sell to another customer. I was looking forward to making subsequent orders but after this, I was done!
To build on your brand’s promise, you must be able to consistently deliver on what the customer’s expectation is. I equate the brand promise to the brand’s moral compass the same way God is an individual’s moral compass. Delivering on the brand promise is usually an internally driven process that requires employee understanding and buy-in. How well is your brand promise communicated to your employees?
I highly suspect this may have been the case for this business. The new workers had not been well trained and informed of the way of doing things to ensure they delivered the promise the owner had created for the brand. Your employees need to be so sold out on the brand and its promises that they draw their inspiration from it.
As a business owner, is what you claim for your brand consistent with what your customers say about the brand? Or are they experiencing a very different reflection of your brand?
Did you get to read our last article, click the link The Power of Personal Branding