*This post has been updated as of March 2016*
So let’s start with a quick overview.
A brand promise is a vital part of branding and is associated with a company’s positioning in the marketplace. Essentially, it is a statement from the company to their customers, which outlines what they can expect from their interactions with this brand.
This promise defines what the brand stands for and sets the stage for what each individual customer should expect at every brand encounter. These interactions both online and offline can come in various forms such as dealing with company employees, actual product performance or the brand’s marketing communication messages.
A brand promise must deliver the following goals:
- Convey a compelling and relevant benefit
- Be authentic & credible
- Be consistent
This post will offer 5 quick and simple considerations for reviewing your brand promise to ensure you both meet and exceed customer expectations every time.
- Define expectations
When architects and specifiers select a new building product they will have certain expectations.
These can be based upon what they have read about the company or product, what they have heard from others, or the brand’s reputation in the marketplace. These expectations are formed because of the brand promise that a manufacturer has made in their positioning statement or marketing material.
This can range from promises about sustainable products, competitive prices, superior product performance or excellent technical support to its customers.
Therefore ensure that brand promises outlined in your marketing strategy match these expectations; it’s important to clarify exactly what your company offers from the very beginning in order to avoid misleading or disappointing your audience.
For more information on effective product positioning, read our post on ‘What does positioning mean to a specification audience’.
- Improve the experience
Essentially any business, whether construction related or not, should be geared towards improving the experience of their customers both online and offline.
- Does your building products website enhance and guide the user journey?
- Do your product pages contain the right information?
- How well are your pages optimised for search?
- Do you provide added value by answering those everyday questions and offering additional resources?
- Are employees available to speak with over the phone, face-to-face and online?
Look at your internal resources to identify what differentiation you can offer and whether this is consistently achievable.
Nick’s post on ‘marketing to architects by becoming a valuable resource’ discusses how product manufacturers should run their business by providing added value to their architectural audience.
- Be realistic
Most importantly, be realistic in your claims because customers will expect you to deliver on your promises every time they interact with your brand.
If you guarantee that your technical staff are available for customer support every day, including weekends, or that you will replace any faulty products within 7 days of delivery, make sure you have the processes in place to make this happen.
If not, do not make these promises because failing to fulfil them can seriously damage your reputation over time.
Whilst expectations should be fulfilled and exceeded, creating a gap between company promise and customer experience will ultimately leave them feeling disappointed.
Making brand promises that you cannot, or do not, deliver on consistently is worse than not having a promise at all.
- Social media performance
Social media has given architects and specifiers a public platform to discuss their experiences with building product manufacturers.
If they have positive things to say about your company then it’s a great way of increasing brand awareness, resulting in more leads from online recommendations.
For more information on creating an effective online presence for your construction business read our post on social engagement here.
Or read this post for 7 easy ways to improve your social media profile.
However, on the flip side, it can be damaging for those manufacturers who are making empty promises.
When architects have had a negative experience with your company or your products did not perform as expected, then they use those same platforms to talk about it with others. This can have damaging implications for your credibility and the perceived value of your company.
Our latest project assesses how other construction companies have reacted to both negative and positive comments within their social media strategy.
What procedures do you have in place for dealing with conversations across social media, both good and bad?
- Review, refine, improve
Ignoring comments and discussions on social media will not make the problem go away. If you are beginning to receive negative feedback both online and offline then it’s time to review your brand promise.
Was it just a one-time mistake or are you regularly not able to deliver on your claims? Conduct some research (eg. a short customer survey) to find out where the problem lies and how you could go about solving it.
And if you need guidance on brand building give us a call on 01908 671707, or read our latest post on shaping a strong construction brand.