Three steps for executing on your brand promise
Turn insights into action
The difference between a brand promise kept and a brand promise broken can have dramatic consequences. See three steps to consider when executing on brand promise.
- Definition: Brand promise
- Important of brand promise
- Execution of brand promise
- Turn insights into action
- More from the flip side series
What’s a “brand promise”?
In a fiercely competitive business environment, companies rely on the strength of their brand. They also rely on the promise their brand represents, which is what’s expected from all interactions with that brand, including how customers feel about their experience. Brand promise is also embodied by an organization’s people, and it’s translated through its products, services, and actions.
In a marketplace bombarded with an overwhelming choice of products and services, a distinctive and well-executed brand promise can cut through the clutter. It can drive intense customer loyalty and increased revenue. And it can potentially make or break a brand.
Why is your brand promise so important?
A brand promise can directly affect your company’s bottom line—positively or negatively. It can translate into lower cost of sales, because selling more products and services to loyal customers is less expensive than winning over new customers. When your company consistently delivers on its brand promise, it reinforces the organization’s reputation and builds brand equity: A store of goodwill that can help you weather situations when the customer experience may be compromised.
Delivering on brand promise is directly tied to brand strength, and there’s plenty of evidence that a strong brand affects financial performance. According to BrandZ, the top 100 global brands in 2016 were valued at $3.4 trillion. In addition, the share prices of those brands outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 60.7 percent from April 2007 to April 2016.
But when a company fails to stand behind its brand promise, the opposite can happen. Consider negative social media attention or product recalls. Those are just two examples of how failing to deliver on a brand promise can hurt a company, in terms of both reputation and market value. With such a hefty premium placed on brand and reputation, it’s more important than ever to be alert to situations that can damage or sabotage them.
Share prices of the top 100 global brands outperformed the S&P 500 by more than 60.7 percent.
How can you execute on your brand promise?
Leaders who truly understand, embrace, and are committed to executing their organization’s brand promise are often better able to anticipate and respond to brand risks. They know that reacting swiftly and thoroughly to problems as they arise can help mitigate any hits their brand may endure. They also understand the value of putting processes in place to ensure that their brand promise is upheld, budding problems can be identified, and issues can be handled well in advance.
There are three important areas to consider when executing on your brand promise:
Conduct customer and employee surveys to determine how well your brand promise resonates with both customers and employees. Questions to ask include: Do customers consider your brand promise to be appealing, unique, and believable? Do they feel you’re doing a good job of delivering on your promise? Are employees committed to fulfilling your brand promise? And do they believe senior leadership shares this commitment? This data can help you decide what adjustments are needed to better deliver on your brand promise.
Measurement can also show the link between the execution of your brand promise and financial returns. Yet surprisingly few companies effectively track these metrics. For example, a November 2015 Deloitte Dbriefs poll revealed that only 26 percent of organizations measured the financial impact of customer experiences.
Keep regular tabs on how well you deliver on your brand promise and create standards that operationalize it. Measure performance on those standards through regularly scheduled evaluations. For example, say Company X has made customer responsiveness a part of its brand promise. To support this promise, it has created a policy that every written customer inquiry must be answered within 48 hours and every phone call must be answered in less than five minutes. Careful record keeping and logging of inquiries and complaints would verify that these standards were met.
Monitoring and establishing early detection and effective risk management helps organizations turn potential brand threats into opportunities for delivering on their brand promise and further strengthening their brand. Without consistent monitoring, the brand promise can become obsolete. It’s easy to establish policies, but it takes time and commitment to put them in place and see them through on a daily basis.
Train and engage
Make sure your employees embody your brand promise and understand how to effectively execute on it. Inconsistency between internal and external branding messages can weaken organizational culture, confuse employees, and negatively impact customer experience. Ongoing training is important, especially for those who have direct contact with customers.
But if employees are to deliver on your brand promise, they also need to feel as if they’re part of something important. Including employees in decisions, asking for ideas on how to improve initiatives, and answering the “what’s in it for me” question in a compelling manner are all critical to enlisting the support of employees.
Front-line employees can also serve as your eyes and ears in evaluating the customer experience and front-line processes. Create mechanisms for them to weigh in and provide feedback on how customers are responding to your brand.
How can you turn insights into action?
Continuous measurement and monitoring can yield important insights about how your brand promise is resonating in the marketplace and how you can improve its impact. But unless you leverage those insights and turn them into an ongoing and sustainable plan of action, they won’t get you very far.
Companies with a consistently strong and differentiated brand promise work hard to keep it that way. They don’t simply stay abreast of customer sentiment. They monitor and gather real-time feedback from the marketplace. And they use it to create action plans to consistently improve the execution of their brand promise and protect it from harm.
More from The flip side series
Additional brand promise content
- Read more: Managing brand promise for customer loyalty and financial performance
- Dig deeper: Make or break: Delivering on your brand promise
- Listen: Resilient (podcast). Episode 10: Mandeep Grewal, head of customer experience for United Airlines, on enhancing the customer journey
- Explore: Brand protection and customer experience measurement
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact us. We’d be happy to schedule a meeting with you and your team.