Indisputable rules of branding

We discussed that a brand is a promise . We also talked about the importance of a brand’s purpose. Defining your promise and purpose are the first steps of branding.  Next, you have to deliver your promise and create a pleasant experience for your customers.

A brand for a company is like reputation for a man. Building it  requires time, effort and consistency. Therefore, always make sure that whatever your promise is, you can live up to it. For example, it is easy for a spa to increase its customers’ expectations by building a state-of-the art website. However, what happens when your customers walk in and find out that there is a huge difference between what they saw on your website and what actually you are?

Consider this personal example. You are newly hired and your company is pitching for a huge business deal. You were asked to support the presentation committee. Since you are new, you want to prove yourself as a valuable member of the company. You promise your colleagues a 10-page detailed analysis of the competition, even though a 2 pager would be enough. People gladly accept your offer. All of a sudden, you are perceived as a sage. Everybody starts talking about what a brilliant employee you are. The expectations are raised. However, for some reason, even though you had the best intentions, you fail to deliver the full report and you end up submitting “just” a 2 pager, exactly what you were asked before. Can you imagine your colleagues’ reactions? You let them down. You overpromised and you under delivered, which results in disappointment, and loss of trust and goodwill. You could have easily delivered what you were asked. But you were over ambitious.

Branding is exactly the same. You have to understand what your customers expect and try to exceed those expectations. Every time your customers’ actual experience is less than their expectation, you shoot yourself in the food. More to come on this topic.

Today’s actionable tip: Branding 101: Never overpromise and under-deliver.  That is recipe for disaster.

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