In my prior blog, How Difficult is it to Change Your Brand Promise, I talked about some companies that did an excellent job of delivering on their brand promise, as well as one company in particular that didn’t deliver on their promise. A visible disconnect between your promise and what is actually delivered, many times is the fatal flaw that brings down a company. Even companies who are considered “Great” by today’s standards can fall prey to a faulty brand promise. Therefore it is crucial that you ensure your promise is aligned, and able to connect to your delivery.
Developing a strong brand promise requires attention to detail. Having a process to follow as you build or revamp your promise is necessary to maximize your success. Here are 8 simple steps to creating or modifying a brand promise:
- Involve key stakeholders – having the right people involved from the onset of this journey will help with alignment at the end when implementation is critical. People are most likely to support something they had a hand in developing.
- Talk to your customers. Not just your favorites, or the customers you know will say good things. Test the waters using VOC tactics to obtain a broad and random voice.
- Understand your competitors. One of the most commonly missed steps of the process. Why? Because most people/companies think they already know everything about their competitors. Wrong!
- Size your market opportunity to justify a change in your promise. Think Amazon Prime. Amazon changed how merchandise was shipped. They strengthened their promise but not before researching and understanding the potential takers for this service. Earlier this year the Business Insider indicated Amazon had reached 10 million Prime members. At $79 a year that’s not a bad addition to the top line! All from taking the time to understand the market opportunity.
- Develop your core brand attributes and identify statement – value proposition. If a core attribute of your business is “easy” then you need to make sure that everything you do checks back and balances to easy. If you market an “easy set-up” and set-up is actually time and labor intensive you’re already disconnected from your promise.
- Establish an Advisory Group. Create a Council or Group of 9 to 11 members…always an odd number to ensure voting efficiency on topics and items that require decisions. Use this group to test attributes, messaging, and most importantly experience.
- Talk to your employees. Too often companies exclude the “rank and file” from this work believing it is an executive function only. The problem with this mentality is that it’s all wrong. I have witnessed countless times when an employee reviews branding work and raises a topic or issue that no other executive caught because the employee is closer to the action. Involve your employees and you’ll see results in improved morale, better processes, and overall better performance.
- Communicate, Communicate, Communicate. Once you’ve locked into your brand promise share it. Tell your story. And most importantly monitory your results. Is our promise connecting? How are our customers and prospects reacting?
I will post future blogs diving deeper into each of the above 8 steps. Until then remember: “Do what you say, and say what you do”. That’s your promise.