What Promise Are You Keeping?

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In my book, Branding for Bloggers, I quote Kristin Zhivago when she wrote:

“Branding are the promises that you make. Your brand is the promises you keep.”

So what promises are you keeping? Is there a disconnect between what your marketing and advertising is telling people, and what they are actually experiencing when they decide to become a customer?

If so, watch out. Because people will eventually know you by what you do, not by what you say.

Your brand is the promises you keep. It’s in your control, but it’s not just how you market yourself. As marketers, we need to take a more active role in all facets of the organization so as to ensure that the promises we make are kept. If anything, we want to exceed those promises in the quality of our product and the way that we treat our customers.

As an example, let’s consider the for-profit school industry. Over the last several years, many large schools have taken a beating from regulators and the press for “over-promising”. Their marketing makes claims that they cannot keep. They promise students certain results and then get in trouble because they can’t deliver. And the damage a few companies have caused have affected the entire industry.

Of course as marketers we want to be able to make claims about how terrific and life changing our products and services are. But we need to be extra careful to make sure we can back up those claims. Otherwise, your brand will suffer.