There is an excellent article in Forbes.com (written by Kerry Bodin at Forrester) about how brands need to carefully match what they promise in their communications with what they are capable of delivering.
The article talks about two airline ads:
A United Airlines ad run a couple of years ago showing a dad (depicted as a cartoon character) being transformed into an unreal world where he slays dragons, receives a crown from 2 beautiful girls, etc. The implicit promise being - "You're going to feel like a king on our airline" - is one that United has had trouble living up to.
There is clearly a massive gap between the promise and the reality.
In contrast a recent JetBlue ad pokes fun at airlines competitors by imposing buggage fees on unsuspecting New York taxi passengers who rapidly become irate. The ads explicit message is - "if you would't take it on the ground, don't take it in the air" - also has a promise behind it.
This approach is totally in-sync with what the airline delivers.
It isn't complicated. Check-out the PDD™
- If you over-promise it will result in disappointed consumers - who may not buy again.
- If you deliver what you promise then you are more likely to have happy consumers who will buy again.
- The winning approach however is to over-deliver your promise in a way that delights consumers. Delighted consumers are more likely to buy again and even tell their friends. This is a powerful way to build a sustainable competitive advantage.
The Forbes article goes onto explain that brand organisations should map out their consumers' journeys and design ways to deliver at every stage.
This echoes my thoughts on what I call the path to advocacy framework.
Why not use it and collaborate with the appropriate leaders in your organisation to ensure that great brand experiences are designed for each stage of the path; and that the whole organisation is focused on delivering and delighting.