THE ART AND SCIENCE OF BUILDING A BRAND: DELIVERING ON THE CUSTOMER PROMISE

By The Malketeer

More than a century ago, the astute merchant John Wanamaker lamented the uncertainty surrounding his advertising investments, famously stating, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is, I don’t know which half.”

In response to this enduring challenge, Roger L. Martin, Jann Schwarz, and Mimi Turner propose a solution in their insightful exploration of effective brand building. Drawing on a comprehensive database from the World Advertising Research Council (WARC), the authors identify the critical elements of successful brand advertising and reveal that the key lies in offering a memorable, valuable, and deliverable promise to the customer.

At the heart of the authors’ argument is the concept of a customer promise, a strategic commitment that extends beyond mere marketing jargon. A well-designed customer promise not only directly translates into increased sales but also provides an effective framework around which a company can organise its activities.

Let’s look into the core components of a customer promise that distinguishes it from conventional advertising approaches.

1. Emotional Connection

A compelling customer promise goes beyond the rational and establishes an emotional connection with the audience. By tapping into the customer’s emotions, brands create a lasting impact that resonates with their target demographic.

2. Functional Value

In addition to the emotional aspect, a customer promise must deliver tangible benefits. Whether it’s solving a problem, enhancing convenience, or providing unmatched quality, the functional value ensures that the brand’s commitment is grounded in real-world benefits.

3. Enjoyable to Buy

The customer journey is a crucial aspect of brand building. A promise that makes the purchasing process enjoyable adds a distinct layer to the overall customer experience, fostering positive associations with the brand.

4. Memorable Impact

A memorable customer promise is one that stays with consumers long after the initial interaction. Crafting a message that stands out in the crowded marketplace is essential for brand recall and long-term loyalty.

5. Tangible Value

Value, in both economic and experiential terms, is central to a successful customer promise. Brands must not only meet but exceed customer expectations, ensuring that the perceived value of their offerings justifies the investment.

6. Deliverability

Perhaps the most critical aspect of a customer promise is its deliverability. Empty pledges erode trust and damage a brand’s reputation. Successful promises are those that can be consistently delivered, creating a sense of reliability and dependability.

The research findings highlight that campaigns rooted in making and fulfilling a customer promise may not always generate the most immediate buzz, but they deliver where it matters most. Customer promise campaigns outperformed others across key metrics, including brand perception, brand preference, and purchase intent. Notably, 56% of customer promise campaigns reported improvement compared to 38% of others.

Market penetration and market share also witnessed significant gains in customer promise campaigns, with 45% experiencing increased market penetration and 27% achieving greater market share. These results underscore the financial benefits of aligning brand building efforts with a well-defined and meaningful customer promise.

In conclusion, the right way to build a brand involves moving beyond traditional advertising uncertainties and embracing the power of a well-crafted customer promise. Brands that prioritisecreating a memorable, valuable, and deliverable commitment to their customers are not only winning their hearts but also reaping substantial financial rewards.

As businesses navigate the complex landscape of brand building, a genuine and meaningful promise to the customer is the cornerstone of sustainable success in the ever-evolving marketplace.


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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)

 

Download Event PDF
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