By Jennifer Holland, Certified Brand Strategist, Holland People+Brands
Today, business success requires new ways of thinking and operating. No longer can prospects simply be told you are “the best” to have droves of customers buying your product or service. Instead, you must clearly articulate “why you” to your audience, and it must be true. If the “why you” is not authentic to a customer’s experience, you will not be believed. What’s more, your legitimacy and validity will be questioned across social platforms that rival Rome’s Colosseum.
You must determine your brand’s promise—the “why you”—and hardwire it throughout the customer lifecycle with your business and into every point of contact with your customer. Still, you must do more to achieve success.
A brand promise lens must be placed over every decision and in every department inside your organization. First and foremost, employees must understand, embrace and be committed to the delivery of the brand promise. After all, if employees aren’t devoted to the brand promise, an inconsistent experience is created for customers. Unpleasant interactions with frontline employees mean the company has failed to deliver on our expectation of their product or service. When this happens, we experience a broken brand promise. Broken promises of any kind are disappointing, often emotionally painful. They are one sure-fire way to hurt your brand—or worse—kill it.
To fortify the brand promise among employees, strategic planning retreats should start with the brand promise and use it as a measuring tool when evaluating strategic initiatives. If initiatives do not further the brand promise or align with its intent, then table them as “someday, maybe.” Be sure to remain focused on only those efforts that consistently deliver your brand promise. This hyper-focused way of doing business can deliver record results.
When companies follow their brand promise for determining every decision, every initiative, every new product or service offering, they become laser-focused. Furthermore, when employees are engaged and empowered to deliver on that same brand promise at every interaction with a customer, the business is lifted above competition in a cluttered marketplace. The company becomes recognized and trusted. Business grows—and grows quickly with exponential returns—with fewer marketing dollars required.
Get clear and committed to your brand promise. Use it as an evaluation tool during strategic planning sessions. Determine all the opportunities to communicate and deliver on that brand promise. Engage and inspire your employees to find creative and impactful ways to deliver on your promise. And, hang on, because you’ve just turned your mule into a racehorse.