Buyer experience trumps anything else a brand has to say; find out how wide the gap between brand promises and their ability to deliver really is.
Houston, We Have a Problem: The Gap Between Brand Promises and Employee’s Ability to Deliver + Infographic
According to Brandworkz, today’s brand marketers face an uphill challenge from within, coming from both leadership and a brand’s most powerful ambassadors: its employees. Data from their infographic, which you’ll see below, comes from a study of 2,200 brand marketers from around the world. Let’s take a closer look at the statistics that demonstrate the uphill battle marketers face when it comes to ensuring brand promises are met:
- 81% believe experience is more important than communications when it comes to brand performance
- only about half believe their organization is delivering an industry-leading customer experience, or has good internal-external brand alignment
- 67% say senior leadership doesn’t understand the strategic role, value or potential of the brand
- only half say their leadership teams speak with a unified voice
Without brand alignment and a leadership team that understands the importance of delivering on brand promises within the customer experience, it should come as no surprise to find that a significant number of employees don’t even realize how their performance impacts the buyer journey:
- 75% of marketers believe that employees care about how customers think about the company and the brand; however,
- only 37% believe that all the employees in their organization understand how their role impacts delivery of brand promises
- only 17% of companies enable employees to improve or suggest ways to improve the customer experience
- 72% believe HR (human resources) have limited or no impact on whether brand promises are fulfilled within the customer experience
- only 3 out of ten companies even have internal brand champions or programs outside of marketing
Of the five challenges cited in the infographic, it’s especially interesting to note that only one isn’t related to the company’s leadership or employees. Given the conclusion that a good many organizations are failing to deliver on brand promises simply because corporate leaders and staff may not clearly understand their role in building the brand, the good news is that these are problems that can be addressed and improved upon quickly and inexpensively.
What are Brand Promises?
Hinge Marketing describes brand promises as an extension of brand positioning. Its promises are those aspects of the customer experience that are unique to the company and help to set it apart from competitors; if you will, brand promises are the benefits customers experience that make a particular brand’s goods or services desirable.
When it comes to customer perceptions, brand promises may be those which are overtly described in corporate communications but they can also be implied, things that customers believe will be part of their customer experience based on past interactions with a brand, word of mouth and other unofficial sources. Hinge Marketing suggests that three things must be true for one of these benefits to be considered a true brand promise.
- Brand promises convey a compelling benefit (if all or some of your direct competitors provide the same benefit or if the benefit isn’t meaningful to your target audiences, it’s not a brand promise)
- It must be authentic and credible
- It must be kept, every time
Many times you will find brand promises housed in the best brand taglines. For instance:
Verizon’s “Can You Hear Me Now” campaign made a brand promise of the best coverage, setting it apart from competitors.
State Farm’s familiar tagline and advertising jingle, “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There” made two promises, being conveniently local and accessible, and coming through on customer’s claims. Similarly, “You’re in good hands with Allstate,” promised that customers could rest easy, knowing that Allstate Insurance was looking out for them.
When FedEx said, “When it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight.” they were promises that important items would arrive where and when they were needed.
Bounty’s tagline “The quicker picker-upper,” promises customers that they’ll outperform competitor’s paper towels, saving people time and effort while cleaning.
Parents were promised fewer cavities and better oral health for their children in Crest’s “Look Ma, no cavities!” campaigns.
Disneyland’s brand’s promise of being “The happiest place on earth” would be difficult to argue, given the continued, lasting success of their parks in being the destination of choice for countless fans worldwide.
Tire industry manufacturer Michelin’s brand promise is reliability, safety and performance, no matter what is important to its customer, “Because so much is riding on your tires.”
In the next part of this article, we’ll talk about how companies can improve their ability to deliver a brand experience that matches customer expectations by making corporate leaders and all employees more aware of their role in the buyer’s journey.
Infographic Source / Read: 5 Challenges for Marketers on Delivering a Consistent Brand Experience to Customers at Brandworkz.com.