Why do so many companies struggle to live up to their brand promise? Perhaps they don’t think what they’re promising matters to the customer, or perhaps they just don’t care.
I’m sure we’ve all experienced what this looks like. A company may rave about their great customer service and then doesn’t return phone calls, or a company might talk about how easy it is to put together their furniture yet there is a whole flood of YouTube videos saying the opposite.
Customers know there’s a minefield of false advertising out there and you can be sure that they do care about getting ripped off. More and more people are doing their online research before they buy a product or service these days.
For most businesses that are authentic, honest and do what they say they do, then it’s unlikely they will ever be accused of false advertising, but there are still ways that they could be more in alignment with their brand promise. Your brand promise is about what people can expect when they deal with you. Maintaining the integrity of your brand promise is crucial for both credibility and making it easy for potential customers to interact with you.
I was at a conference last week and one of the other business owners attending stood up and talked about an event that he’s been running for his retail store. He advised that the last event sold out and there were only a handful of tickets left for the next one. Intrigued and wanting to find out more, I got on his website. I looked for the event in what I thought were the obvious places but couldn’t find any mention of it. I then Googled the name of the retailer and what I thought the event was called. I was persistent and eventually, I found it.
At another event recently I listened to a digital marketing expert discuss all the things that her business is doing. It all sounded great, very professional and like she had a deep understanding of what it takes to make people take action. But when I went onto the website for her business, there were several links that didn’t work and no sense of follow through from the content on the page, to the call to action button. No connection was established between what I might have been looking for and what she was offering.
These two examples aren’t to name and shame (note I didn’t include any specifics) but to illustrate the importance of following through on what you want to be known for, i.e your brand promise.
So how can you make sure that what you say you’re business is about is actually delivered through to your customers? Here are 5 tips:
Being clear about what you want to be known for makes it easier to align your business around achieving that. A business that has a clear and attractive brand promise has a huge advantage over one that doesn’t, especially if it can consistently deliver above and beyond that.
Once you’ve decided what you want to be known for, involve your staff and customers to help you fine tune that awareness. In terms of your team, ask them what they think needs to be done to live up to the promise. Tell your customers what you’re shooting for and ask for feedback on whether you’re on track.
If you want to be known for running a particular event, then including information on your website and social media is an important first step. As I mentioned, I persisted in finding information but many potential customers won’t. Make it easy for them to find what they are likely to be looking for.
You can ask a few people who know nothing about your business to find information about what you want to be known for and then review their feedback on how easy or hard it was. This is like having a secret shopper but the aim isn’t to catch anyone out. It’s about seeing your business from your customer’s point of view and what makes sense to them.
If a customer came to your website looking for an event that you’re running, would they be able to find it? Is it obvious? If you spoke at an event or a networking function about an aspect of your business, what would happen if they walked into your office or phoned to follow up, would your staff know what they were talking about?
Companies that can’t live up to their brand promises end up losing business in the long-term. But if you can live up to and exceed your customer’s expectations then you have the potential for winning their trust and loyalty, as well as long-term prosperity and revenue growth for your business.
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