Consumers rely on the unique promise a brand makes to them; their promise to fulfil their expectations; their promise to make the experience memorable — but in a good way!
Each day, touch points such as advertisements, reviews, chats and opinion-seeking with family and friends and first-hand product experiences, form the basis of their decisions.
Marketing is no longer driven by companies ‘pushing’ their wares on to consumers through advertising and other channels. Today, the consumer is the one driving the marketing. Conscientious customers undertake research and evaluate goods and services, obtaining significant and appropriate information that is useful to them in their decision-making process. No longer is a customer at the mercy of strategic marketing because boy, are they informed!
Your brand promise should inform the world what your business stands for, and how it will achieve that promise.
Remember, a brand is a promise and if that promise is broken, so basically, is the brand! A brand promise represents everything a company stands for, it’s what separates it from its competitors and what makes it attractive and worthy of customer consideration.
However, according to Gallup: “only half of customers believe that the companies they do business with always deliver on what they promise”.
As a rule, a consumer starts off their customer journey with a few potential brands in mind, brands that they have become aware of, that they consider. They steadily reduce that number as they move through the consideration process, ticking off points, assessing, emerging at the end with one brand that they will purchase from, that they will choose above the plethora of choices. This is the Holy Grail to the brand, as a customer has made it through the wilderness of messages and selected their product and/or service through in-depth consideration.
However, they may actively avoid brands that they have no trust in.
A brand promise gives you a pledge to which your customers can hold you accountable.
Trust is a top concern for consumers in deciding whether to do business with a company and it needs to be earned through actions. Delivering on promises such as ‘FREE’ will win customer trust, but if there is small print that the customer must consider to obtain the FREE item, that undermines and dilutes the customer’s trust in the brand. No one enjoys having to jump through hoops; they’d rather go where it’s easier to achieve what they want.
Making a customer repeat themselves, being put on hold for a long time, being forced to fill out mountains of paperwork or forms or having to undertake any other frustrating task to get to your product, chances are, that customer will lose a little bit of trust in the company, damaging the relationship, maybe irreparably.
Consistency plays a major role in obtaining and maintaining a customer’s trust in a brand. It’s not a ‘one-hit wonder’ scenario where you deliver once and think they’ll keep coming back. It is sustained nurturing of trust that cultivates brand loyalty and makes customers believe that you are fulfilling your promise to them, that you are delivering on the experience they have come to expect whenever they engage with you.