Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "How To Deliver on the Brand Promise," considers how organizations can deliver on brand promises across a variety of deliverables, which can increase brand equity in a myriad of ways that produce profits and minimize competition. We are all very aware that customer attention and engagement shifted rapidly to social media for various reasons. The primary reason is to connect with friends and family, mostly due to social distancing and other COVID-19 mitigation efforts. The other and most important reason for the shift is that people are also engaging with brands when they find them. This behavioral shift has businesses competing for that attention. The sheer volume of social media interactions is so widespread that grabbing folks to engage is now more challenging than ever.
Our Quote of the Day: "Never say never because limits, like fears, are often just an illusion." – Michael Jordan
It is a common theme among brands and marketers that understanding customer needs, wants, wishes, and desires greatly aids in targeting consumers personally. The argument goes that listening to the prospect is more valuable than delivering the proposal in a sales call. Further, by listening to the prospect, the odds are very strong that the proposal content will be made stronger by including those needs, wants, wishes and desires.
The whole goal of sales is to solve a challenge or a persisting problem for the prospect. Your business methodology and product offerings may be the best or at the top of the competitive field. The ultimate question becomes, "How long can your organization remain in that top position?" Regardless of where an organization ranks, maintaining a competitive advantage all relates to understanding the customer.
Social Media listening represents an ocean of engagement and communications between the very people you want to attract. An effective social listening strategy is vital to the brand and presents a scenario whereby brands have the opportunity to analyze content-rich conversations that reveal likes, needs, wants, wishes, desires, and challenges.
Social listening is the key to increasing successful outcomes. Understanding consumer sentiment helps the brand to design transformative marketing campaigns. Armed with these conversational data points, brands can create insightful, engaging campaigns that are more likely to resonate and ultimately increase response rates.
Deliver on the Brand Promise
Most organizations will attest to having a mission statement, which could qualify as a "brand promise." As Steve Jobs maintained throughout his storied career at Apple, knowing and understanding the customer is the key to success, including R&D, product development, advertising campaigns, customer service, and of course, sales.
The brand's promise to its targeted prospects is only valuable if the brand can deliver consistently and customers feel valued when the brand directs them to a call-to-action. It matters not what product or service the brand is selling, from sneakers, hotel stays, apparel, electronics, restaurants, or even B2B offerings. How the brand delivers on the brand promise is the turning axis point for most customers who will remember the brand for good or bad. In short, the brand promise should be to focus on the consumer mindset. What generates return business from consumers is a reflection of the brand promise executed to the customer's satisfaction. There is such a high degree of competition that brands can ill afford to risk the inability to deliver on the fundamental brand promise.
For example, PwC (Price Waterhouse Cooper) completed a study that included 15,000 global customers and found that 73% stated that a good experience is vital in influencing brand loyalties. In addition, there is a prediction for 2021 that loyalty ranks higher than performance and price.
Brand Promise Examples
The marketing community often says that if one wants to understand marketing strategies, look at what the iconic brands are doing. It's the best learning experience for achieving high marketing stature and understanding iconic campaigns' thought processes. Here are a few iconic brands that deliver on the brand promise:
Nike—The Nike brand promise goes way beyond its famous tagline, "Just do it." Nike's brand promise is: "To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world." The asterisk in the brand promise says that if you have a body, you're an athlete. Starbucks—Starbucks positions itself as a company that brings more to the world than a great cup of coffee. It sees itself as a lifestyle brand, and the promise it makes to consumers backs that up: "To inspire and nurture the human spirit—one person, one cup, and one neighborhood at a time." Coca-Cola—"To refresh the world… To inspire moments of optimism and uplift… To create value and make a difference."
While Nike and Starbucks' brand promise refers to the people or product they make, Coca-Cola aims for a mindset and doesn't mention a product or service.
Retooling the Brand Promise
Brand positioning in the marketplace is critical, and brand promises play a pivotal role in achieving a higher marketshare. If you are retooling the brand promise, there are several questions that brands should ask themselves, including:
Is the current brand promise relevant to target customers?
Is your brand mentioned in specific lifestyle conversations?
Are consumers connecting with your brand based on topical news, data, or behaviors of the day?
Are consumers responding to your brand in ways that represent a high satisfaction level?
Brands that want to improve the brand promise must look to the marketplace and do the following:
Create a SWOT analysis: (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) at least once a year
Establish where you perceive your brand position to be before, during, and after a campaign runs
From an inclusive business standpoint, always raise the question, "What are we trying to achieve?"
Match objectives to relevant measurements of success, such as brand mentions (in a specific context, not overall) and log purchase intent indicators directly from social conversations
Embed the SMART framework to define objectives as Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound
Communicate all goals, including benchmarks and corresponding measures of success. Retooling the brand promise should be an active process throughout the organization, all based on achieving reasonable goals and holding the organization accountable.
Most brands will state that they do know and understand their customer set. However, while brands may know their optimal prospects, the real question is, do they know what the prospects are saying and sharing in a particular category that may be relevant to the brand? That's where social listening bridges the gap. Keep in mind that qualifying an audience for the brand relies on several identifiers, such as age, professions, ethnicity, age, income levels, and more. Elevate your brand promise, and successful growth is sure to follow. Thanks for reading "How To Deliver on the Brand Promise." We hope you found this post useful.
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