Brand promise

Brand promise

A well-defined and strong brand promise is one that links your purpose and positioning with your customer.

It’s your marketing strategy in action, delivering on what your brand proposed to your customers through understanding their needs and acting on it. It has never been more vital to ensure that your brand keeps its promises to customers – and never has it been harder to do so.

It has been a challenge not just for marketers, but across all sectors and industries as well. It’s exacerbated by the pace of technological change that has shifted the balance of power towards customers, who can now instantly share their dissatisfaction about bad service, inferior products or a practice that is deemed to be ethically unsound. In this new landscape, the relationship between brand promise and the experience of the customer is laid bare.

A schism between the two can cause acute embarrassment and real financial hurt, and as the saying goes ‘no news travels as quickly as bad news’. It means, more than ever, that companies need to be aware of the expectations they are creating. “Do you make the promise and then force everyone to implement it, or do you ensure it is implemented first, and only then make the promise? Says Bastien Schupp, vice-president, marketing, Nissan Europe. At Nissan, we only run with things when we really feel we can make that promise.” Perhaps the key word here is ‘implemented’.

Brand promise is much more than something that needs to be defined then communicated to the customer, it needs to be delivered on, and refreshed, every day. One of the main elements that many companies forget is to ensure their brand promise is firmly believed and executed internally. This is one of the many hurdles that can cause a brand to under deliver on their promise to customers. Schupp agrees that a company’s internal structures can present an obstacle: “The internal organisational aspects of brand promise can sometimes be the most challenging,” he says. His own response to this was somewhat radical – he created a new department.

“While the treatment of brand sits within marketing, really it is everyone’s business,” he says. “I developed a brand department that is not under my charge – not my responsibility. That was difficult at first, but it’s important that everyone in the business contributes: production, sales, everyone.

And it’s important to develop clarity about what the brand is; only then can you start to execute against it. “We need to get people to answer the question of what Nissan stands for, and that needs to be distilled into training.

It can’t just be a theoretical standpoint; it needs to be injected into everything we do – and it needs to be repeated incessantly. It’s not good enough just to implement something, you need to explain why you've done it.” To create a powerful brand experience for your customers, it is essential to integrate the same culture internally and externally.

Your team are essentially your brands first customers, make them brand advocates and you’re one step closer to delivering on your brand promise.

Catalyst issue two: brand experience


Catalyst CIM
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