When you build trust, you build the foundation of your brand. The level of trust you achieve represents the strength of that foundation—and we all know that the sturdier and more expertly crafted the foundation, the more unshakable the building.
How can you build trust for your brand? How can you make it a central tenet of your brand strategy?
You can keep your promises.
You can do what you say you’re going to do. You can deliver those benefits you pledged to produce. You can keep your word.
But is that enough?
It sounds simple; however, there are some basics that are often overlooked in the promise-keeping process. Join me whilst we explore some unfamiliar territory…territory that, when navigated, will put your brand on the map.
A New View on Promise-Keeping
Keeping a promise, especially in the branding world, is more than simply doing what you said you would.
Promise-keeping is a more complex proposal.
Consider these, my suggestions for creating a brand strategy that gives necessary attention to making promises you can fulfil, and then keeping those promises in their entirety:
- Make a realistic promise. One way to ensure that your brand will break its promise is to make a promise you know it can never keep. There are two reasons for this. First, consumers’ rubbish detectors are highly sensitive and largely accurate. If a wrinkle cream promises to make skin look 30 years younger, it will not pass the smell test; its promise is simply too unrealistic. Second, when you make an impossible promise, you’re sure to break it; your brand will stand zero chance of ever establishing trust.
- Keep your promise in a reasonable amount of time. When you make a promise, your customers are going to expect results within a particular time frame. Maybe it should be delivered immediately; or, maybe there’s a process with delivery at the conclusion of a number of steps. No matter what the plan for deliverables will be, stick to it. No customer should have to wait longer than expected for what they were promised.
- Make the problem unique to your brand. A general promise might be easier to keep; however, it’s also easy for competitors to copy. As with everything else in your brand, infuse your promise with your USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Make it distinctly yours.
- Ensure that all team members are prepared to deliver on your brand’s promise. Keeping business promises is a team effort. One chink in the armour and customer disappointment is inevitable. Start from the time you hire each team member, making sure they share your corporate values. Be specific about what is expected. Communicate goals, delegate tasks according to talents and take accountability by checking deliverables on a regular basis.
- Deliver what your customers are expecting. If you make a specific promise and deliver a general benefit, your customers will be disappointed. If you promise something broad and deliver only one facet, dissatisfaction will ensue. Poll your ideal customers to find out what they would typically expect from a brand promise like yours. Then ensure that your deliverable matches their expectations. If it doesn’t, adjust your promise or your deliverable, based on what your ideal customers need.
- Curb the hoops and strings. There’s no better way to dishearten even the most loyal customer than to make a promise and then reveal that they are largely responsible for taking the steps to deliver on the promise. Your brand made the promise. It’s your responsibility to deliver. Now, that doesn’t mean the customer shouldn’t have to fill out a form or take some simple preliminary steps; however, you need to bear the majority of the delivery burden.
- Build a mitigation plan into your brand strategy. Things will go wrong as you build, manage and grow your brand. And as those things play out, promises will threaten to break. Instead of waiting for this to happen and risking the loss of customers and your brand’s good reputation, have a plan in-place for delivering on promises despite a variety of circumstances. Never make excuses; instead, build a safety net so they’ll never be necessary.
Well, it’s one hell of way to sprint ahead of the competition, and I would suggest getting started right now.
Have questions about creating a brand strategy? Or wondering how you can most effectively introduce yours to the market, with the most visible and profitable results? Then check out the B.R.A.N.D. Building Bootcamp, a one-day branding event that will change your business, and your life, in ways you never imagined.