“There is more to a brand promise than just delivering a product or service. It’s about creating a memorable customer experience.” – Bernard Kelvin Clive
We live in a world where brands have become essential to our daily lives. Whether it’s billboards or social media posts, we’re constantly bombarded by advertising and marketing materials. The challenge for companies, therefore, is to create a brand that not only looks and sounds appealing but delivers on its promises. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.
A few years ago, my family and I moved to a new apartment at Oyibi, a suburb in the Eastern region of Ghana. The neighborhood was lovely, with plenty of greenery and a serene atmosphere. However, we quickly discovered that we had a problem with our water supply. We contacted several water distributors, but most of them either didn’t respond or were unreliable when it came to delivery.
One of the companies we tried was Sprint Water. They had a catchy tagline – “We quench your thirst” – and impressive billboards throughout the city. However, their performance was disappointing. They consistently failed to deliver on time and made excuses for their shortcomings. My son and I would often see their billboards around town and wonder how they could afford such elaborate advertising campaigns when they couldn’t even meet their basic delivery obligations.
Sadly, this is a common problem among many local brands. They spend lots of money on flashy designs and advertisements but fail to deliver on their promises. A brand is only as good as its ability to consistently meet customers’ expectations. A catchy logo or tagline is useless if the brand doesn’t deliver on its promises.
After some frustrating experiences with Sprint Water and other companies, we came across Rock Water. They were a relatively unknown brand, but we decided to give them a chance. To our surprise, they exceeded our expectations. They delivered water promptly every week, and their customer service was excellent. They would occasionally call to check on us and see if we needed more water. We were so impressed that we recommended them to our friends in the neighborhood.
Rock Water didn’t have the fancy billboards or catchy taglines of their competitors, but they delivered on their promises consistently. That’s what made them stand out. They proved that delivering on their brand’s promise was more important than flashy designs or expensive advertising campaigns. They showed that a small brand could outperform its larger competitors by simply delivering excellent service consistently.
This experience taught me that a brand’s success is not just about the logo, tagline, or visual appeal. It’s about delivering on the brand’s promise consistently. Brands that consistently meet their customers’ expectations create a loyal customer base that will continue to patronize them and recommend them to others.
The thing is that brands that consistently deliver on their promises are the ones that stand out and become iconic. Customers remember brands that meet their expectations and will continue to patronize them and recommend them.
Here in Ghana, we all know a financial institution with the tagline ‘We serve you better’ yet for all these years they’ve failed to deliver that promise. We hope they do someday.
These encounters underscore a crucial point: a brand’s success is not solely determined by its logo or tagline, but by its ability to deliver on its promises. In other words, a brand’s actions speak louder than its words. A flashy logo or catchy tagline may grab someone’s attention initially, but if the brand fails to live up to expectations, customers will quickly lose interest and move on to a competitor.
The truth is that it is not just local brands that fall into the trap of prioritizing aesthetics over substance. Even multinational corporations can become so fixated on creating a visually appealing brand that they forget the importance of delivering on their promises.
This is particularly true in the tech industry, where startups often prioritize funding and growth over creating a sustainable business model that delivers value to customers. I have encountered many such startups in the past decade, the quest for fame for their founding fathers and desire to be popular plunged them into failure. They focused on hype than helping its customers.
One example is the now-defunct startup, Juicero. The company raised $120 million in funding to create a high-tech juicer that was supposed to revolutionize home juicing. The juicer was a sleek, $400 machine that required proprietary juice packs that cost $5-$8 each. The company’s tagline was “The first home cold-press juicing system.”
However, the Juicero machine was found to be largely unnecessary, as customers could simply squeeze the juice packs by hand to get the same result. Furthermore, the juice packs were found to be easily hackable, with customers discovering they could simply squeeze the juice out with their hands, making the machine even more unnecessary. The company ultimately shut down in 2017, leaving customers and investors disappointed.
This may be an extreme example, but it illustrates the point that creating a visually appealing brand is not enough. Brands must deliver on their promises consistently and offer real value to their customers.
On the flip side, some brands have become iconic precisely because they consistently deliver on their promises. One example is Zappos, an online shoe retailer. Zappos built its brand on exceptional customer service. The company’s tagline is “Powered by Service,” and it has a reputation for going above and beyond to meet its customers’ needs. Zappos offers free shipping and returns, a 365-day return policy, and 24/7 customer service. The company’s dedication to service has created a loyal customer base, and it has become one of the most recognizable brands in the online retail space.
Simply put, brands must prioritize delivering on their promises over creating a visually appealing brand. A catchy logo or tagline is useless if the brand doesn’t deliver on its promises. Brands that consistently meet their customers’ expectations create a loyal customer base that will continue to patronize them and recommend them. Ultimately, a brand’s success is determined by its ability to deliver value to its customers consistently.
In all, brands need to focus on delivering exceptional value and building trust with their customers. This can be achieved through consistent quality, reliability, and excellent customer service. These factors are often more important than the superficial aspects of branding like logos and taglines.
Let’s look at this, a company that consistently provides high-quality products or services delivers on time and responds promptly to customer inquiries and complaints, will naturally build a strong reputation and brand loyalty. This positive reputation can then be leveraged to strengthen the brand’s overall image and marketing efforts.
Consequently, a brand that focuses solely on flashy logos and taglines without prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering on promises will eventually be exposed for what it is: a hollow and unreliable brand that cannot be trusted.
- A brand is only as good as its ability to consistently meet customers’ expectations.
- Delivering on the brand’s promise consistently is what makes a brand stand out.
- Brands that consistently meet their customers’ expectations create a loyal customer base that will continue to patronize them and recommend them.
- A flashy logo or catchy tagline may grab someone’s attention initially, but if the brand fails to live up to expectations, customers will quickly lose interest and move on to a competitor.
- Creating a visually appealing brand is not enough. Brands must deliver on their promises consistently and offer real value to their customers.
- A brand’s success is determined by its ability to deliver value to its customers consistently.
- Brands must prioritize delivering on their promises over creating a visually appealing brand.
- Consistent delivery of promises creates loyal customers who will continue to patronize and recommend the brand.
- Exceptional customer service, reliability, and quality are more important than superficial aspects of branding like logos and taglines.
- A brand that focuses solely on flashy logos and taglines without prioritizing customer satisfaction and delivering on promises will eventually be exposed as hollow and unreliable.
Inc. (2017, September 1). The Incredible Rise and Fall of Juicero, the $700 Juicer Startup.
Forbes. (2017, September 1). Juicero’s Failure: A Cautionary Tale for Hardware Startups. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/09/01/juiceros-failure-a-cautionary-tale-for-hardware-startups/?sh=7ef19a5f37c7
Zappos. (n.d.). About Zappos.
Entrepreneur. (2017, May 17). Why Zappos’ CEO Once Quit (and Why He Came Back). https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/294945
Bernard is a multi-talented individual who has made a name for himself as a leading authority on personal branding and digital book publishing in Africa
To learn more about Bernard and his work, visit www.BKC.name.