Build yourself a great Brand Promise.
What's a Brand Promise? It is what you promise to deliver to your customer. It is more than a marketing tag line or a catchy one-liner. Done right, it will help you attract the right customers, increase your win ratio, and retain happy customers as you deliver on what you promise.
Brand Promise is your inside team delivering on what your outside team promised. It is delivering it in such a way that makes you look and feel different from your competition. It should make you stand out and be very attractive to your important customers. It might alienate you from your less important customers. But who cares? If you are like most companies, 20% of your customers give you more than 80% of your business anyway. It's the famous 80/20 rule. You might be better off focusing on the 20% of your customers and forgetting about the other 80%. For more on this topic, pick up Mastering the Rockefeller Habits by Verne Harnish and read chapter 9 "Mastering the Brand Promise."
Here a few tips and questions for you to think on to get you going:
- Who's going to feed you? Who is your core customer? The customer that you cannot succeed without?
- What is their fundamental need? Focus on identifying "must haves" versus "nice to haves" when thinking about their needs.
- What should you do to fulfill their needs? What activities?
- How can you measure what you do?
- How do you know that you have delivered on your promise?
The difference between an effective and an ineffective brand promise lies in what you do.
Avoid these pitfalls:
- Make sure your stated brand promise is above and beyond the bare necessities of doing business - table stakes.
- What are you actually going to DO? So much marketing, so little doing. Don't fall into this trap.
- Inside team meet outside team. Both teams need to be aligned and excited about selling and delivering on your brand promise.
- Realize that it is a lot harder to DO than to sell. Think of your brand promise like an iceberg. What is above the waterline is the message you sell. The stuff you do and deliver and measure is what's below the waterline. And we all know that the iceberg is much larger below the waterline!
Its great to learn. It's better to DO. It's the DOing that ultimately differentiates you from your competition and wins customers.
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Editor's Note: This post was originally published on Aug. 17, 2011, and has been updated.