How true are your brand’s promises?
This post was originally published on our blog in 2011 and has been updated and re-published.
Growing up in a small town in South Carolina meant that everybody knew everybody’s business. So, when a cheating spouse was spotted slipping around with someone other than their lawfully wedded partner, it was across town in fifteen minutes, tops. Some partners just can’t keep their promises.
Sometimes companies are like straying marriage partners; they can’t keep their promises. I mean brand promises. In marketing your brand’s promise is the inherent pact you create with consumers based on your marketing, your communications via e-mail, phone and face-to-face.
Promise Keeper or Promise Breaker?
If you can’t keep your promises, you might offer *quality products* and then break the implicit brand promise to the consumer by refusing to replace that quality product when it fails. Or you might say you care about your customers and have the world’s hardest to negotiate phone system, demonstrating how you don’t care. How about the oft read claims, “Worlds best food” or similar notations printed on menus and then never read the customer suggestions deposited in the “Suggestions” box.
Have you ever reviewed your actions and communications to determine if you are keeping the promises you state or imply? You may be startled to learn the truth, or then you may find out you are a faithful partner.
One of the most derided consumer facing brands is Comcast, now called Xfinity. Consumers regularly call out the poor customer service they have experienced. Yet, on their customer service website the leader of the division states that you — the customer — is priority number one and that the company is there for you. Yet this doesn’t square with examples such as this tweet:
@Xfinity unbelievable horrible service..not only do I have continuous issues with my service the customer service representative just laughed at me while I was trying to get assistance…im furious and fed up…the unprofessional and incompetency is at an all time high.
— Rox-Ann Wallace (@roxy_us) May 4, 2019
While there was an Xfinity response to this tweet, there is no method for the public to judge who is more truthful, especially since a search for the company name and customer service brings up hundreds of tweets about the lack of service . One of the most basic rules of branding is: The last interaction the consumer had with the brand is the brand’s promise, kept or broken. Faith is difficult to earn, hard to prove and very easy lose.
While national brands are always going to struggle in the face of consumers who may not comprehend, accept or understand your terms of service, limits of liability and other aspects of meeting their needs, your brand must always strive to provide evidence of care and concern. This begins with open, transparent help and support and demonstrations of sympathy. With regard to this, Comcast / Xfinity gets that right with their message
Hi there. I’m very sorry to hear about your experience with us. Please send me a DM with your name, the account holder’s name, and the address so I can assist. -EW https://t.co/sJXooIESMk
— ComcastCares (@comcastcares) May 4, 2019
Never forget, consumers are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your brand.
How can you ensure you have demonstrated your caring?
6 Points to Review to Determine if Yours is a Faithful Brand
- Is there congruence between your outward marketing messages and your corporate behavior?
- Do you take regular customer satisfaction surveys that allow anonymous responses?
- Do you publish the findings from your consumer surveys, at least as customer concerns slated for improvement?
- Do you regularly implement a series of steps to correct the negative findings from your surveys?
- Does your senior staff model all the brand promises?
- So you allow staff and employees to have an active hand in the company’s direction? AND Do you have a method of surveying your employees for their views on the company’s direction?