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The Client's Perception Is the Only One That Counts

What does your company or brand stand for? When you advertise or market your company and your products, what is the image that you’re trying to create? What is your brand promise ?

I Googled the definition of the term brand promise and here is what came up first:

A brand promise is the statement that you make to customers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services and company. It is often associated with the company name and/or logo.

After further searches, I found a few brand promises that we can use as examples.

Walmart promises “Save money. Live Better.”

Geico is the insurance company that promises “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

BMW promises “The Ultimate Driving Machine”

Some may say these are advertising slogans, but I think they are more. They are promises that the companies want to deliver. So, do these brands deliver on their promises?

There is little doubt that shopping at Walmart will save you money on the large selection of merchandise they have to offer. This is what they are known for, and I don’t think anyone could argue with that. The “Live Better” part of the promise is open to interpretation, but it would be hard to argue that saving a few dollars wouldn’t make life a little better.

Geico’s promise is very specific. It’s a brand promise that can be kept, because it’s measurable. You don’t hear a lot of people saying that they spent 15 minutes with Geico and only saved 5%.

BMW promises something a little more abstract. Can they really deliver the ultimate driving machine? There’s plenty of other car manufactures that feel they provide the best in class. Tesla is combining performance with an electric card. Mercedes promises performance and luxury, as do many other brands. It’s subjective.

And, subjectivity is what brings us to the point that no matter what you promise, you can’t control what customers think. It is their perception – their reality. You can only hope that what you want them to think syncs up with how they perceive you to be. You can’t argue with measurable promises, unless they don’t measure up. You can argue with abstract and subjective promises like providing the ultimate of anything.

In the end, it doesn’t matter what the company believes its perception to be. For example, we can tell everyone we’re friendly, but if the customer has a different opinion, what you believe doesn’t matter. It’s only the customer’s perception that counts. So, make a promise that intrigues the customer, makes them want to do business with you, and is a promise that you can keep.