The Brand Promise <> Fulfillment Loop
The best way to truly build trust with your consumers is to continuously fulfill the promises you make with your brand. This Brand Promise <> Fulfillment Feedback Loop is the strategic foundation and framework for experience driven growth brands that are finding new ways to expand - even in an uncertain world. The brands that do this well have established the systems thinking and infrastructure to do this each and every day for their consumers.
For example, Uber’s brand promise of “Where to?” is fulfilled millions of times every day through their business model and operations.
Another great example is Warby Parker’s brand promise of simplicity and design. This promise if fulfilled each time a consumer visits their store, receives a try-at-home pair of glasses or even engages in their eye check technology. Each interaction not only fulfills the brand’s promise, but captures relevant information to continue that relationship across device, screen and aisle.
The evolution of the Apple brand has gone beyond “Think Different” into a new stratosphere of trust and loyalty. Building off the foundation of ground-breaking products, industry changing retail experiences, an ecosystem of software through iTunes and the App Store, Apple is expanding the fulfillment of their brand into experiences like Apple TV, Gaming, News, Payments and even security. These elements not only fulfill the Apple brand at moments where you’d expect the brand to be fulfilled, but into the center of each moment of their consumers lives.
To build this Promise <> Fulfillment feedback loop for a brand, companies need to understand the framework and approach.
Know your promise
This may sound simple, but what does your brand promise truly mean? How should it come to life and engage with the consumer? What does a promise of ‘I’m lovin it’ or ‘Go further’ or ‘Just do it’ mean for the consumer in a tactical and practical sense?
Communicate it often
A lot of folks (including myself at times) say that advertising is dead. But it’s really the idea of hundreds of millions of dollars being spend over the course of 2 months simply to drive buzz or awareness is dead. There is still a need to communicate wisely to the right people in the right context. Understanding your promise in-depth will give you a sense of who the right people are and what the right context is. The way we communicate as brands is an opportunity to fulfill our promise - it goes way beyond simply what is being said.
Fulfill at moments that matter
Another challenge we have today with the traditional mindset of advertising is we rarely think about the holistic journey of the consumer (i.e. what should a consumer do once they take action from our message? Then how should we respond once an action is taken?). Plotting out and understanding this journey, the actions we want our consumers to take and our responses to those actions give us the moments that matter in the conversation we’re having with our consumers. Whether it’s going to a website, coming into a store, watching a video, purchasing from Amazon, the planned actions and reactions from our brand are the moments of fulfillment of our promise.
As consumer’s expectations of experiences continue to evolve, they are requiring brands to understand and make sense of past interactions, saved preferences and customizations then respond accordingly. This personalization of the consumer journey is yet another opportunity to fulfill the promise our brand is making - expanding the trust with the consumer. By capturing and leveraging data of our consumers, we have the opportunity and responsibility to connect on an individual level with each consumer in a way that adds long-term value, not just short term, pressured sales.
It’s about the “relationship”
The evolution of the experience economy will be found in the individual relationships we build with our consumers, at scale. As we saw in the Apple example earlier, we are entering a world where the relationships with consumers are becoming the driving force to business development and growth - expanding beyond our core products, adjacent services and into tertiary daily experiences. The ability to build your brand promise <> fulfillment feedback loop around the idea of a relationship will allow you to not only connect on an entirely deeper level, but also expand the value exchange with your consumers to drive ever-increasing lifetime value.
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