Two weeks ago, we discussed the basics of defining and delivering on your brand promise. To delve a bit deeper into that subject, let’s focus on consistency. How often are you delivering on that promise?
Gallup research has shown that the majority of companies fall short when it comes to making brand promises they can keep and/or keeping the promises they make. This is a two-fold problem, but both issues come down to starting and ending with the customer.
In today’s economy, customer loyalty and brand loyalty are things of the past. Competition for share of wallet and attention are both so fierce, and consumer knowledge and access so great, that the onus is on the brand to rise above the static and capture market share in innovative ways.
As noted in our previous post, a solid brand promise needs to be developed and agreed upon internally across the organization so that all departments are willing and able to follow through on whatever is necessary to deliver on that promise moving forward. If the promise itself can’t be kept, this needs to be recognized and resolved before it gets communicated to the customer. Afterwards, it’s too late.
Likewise, once that promise is defined and everyone is in agreement, there should be no legitimate reasons why the various business units are unwilling or unable to follow through on delivery.
But according to Gallup’s recent study, most companies are only doing this about half the time. And we think 50% is an optimistic estimate.
Why you’re probably failing to deliver on your brand promise consistently
For most companies, there are disconnects that are getting in the way of effectively delivering on the brand promise in a way that will consistently impress customers and grow market share.
1. Within marketing – A poorly organized or loosely managed marketing department will struggle with appropriately defining the brand promise to begin with. They will be out of touch with the consumer and the competition, and will probably craft the wrong promises.
2. Between marketing and other departments – Even if marketing does a great job of defining the brand promise and getting the message out to consumers, if they are not aligned with other departments within the organization, delivery will fall short. Very often marketing is separated from other functions and operations, finance, IT and other functions are trying to meet their own functional KPIs. Without awareness of the brand promise nor knowledge of their role in keeping the promise, functional colleagues can take actions that are in conflict with the brand promise.
3. Between leadership and the company – In many cases, company leadership is only marginally aware of or involved in the delivery of the brand promise. Their minds are focused on long-term strategy – as they should be – but short-term execution is left to others. This often leads to failure because without leadership in the forefront, the rest of the organization likely cannot see the “big picture” and won’t be able to prioritize their role in delivering on the brand promise consistently.
4. Between the brand and the customer – As noted above, customer and brand loyalty can no longer be relied upon. In fact, customers are more often than not actively disengaged, looking for the next big thing, and willing to jump ship at just a hint of greater value.
The result of these disconnects is failure to deliver on the brand promise in any measurable way.
Why delivering on the brand promise consistently is so important
Another powerful statistic coming out of the Gallup study is that the top performing companies tend to deliver on their brand promises about 75% of the time.
Since most companies do this less than half the time, but the best companies do it most of the time, it brings us to a simple but profound conclusion:
These days, consistently delivering on a well-defined brand promise is a differentiator that can mean increased revenue, improved ROI, and greater market share.
Simply making a compelling promise and keeping it will put your company in the lead in your industry, and in the hearts of the consumer.
Interestingly, that’s something we’ve been saying for a long time now when it comes to creating a plan for marketing excellence. Read our free eBook for more information: