Judging this year’s Spinawards has been a real pleasure. Some of the work I’ve seen has truly raised the bar (again) for us all, with some cases spiking healthy — even fierce — debates in my jury. That’s what winners should do, right? The forthcoming dilemmas inspired me to muse on the ‘state of the industry’ and the challenges that brands — and agencies — face.
What if the design and UX of a campaign is truly impressive, but it over-promises on the reality of what the brand can offer?
The brand promise sets an expectation of an experience and vice versa
Brands are built through the consistent delivery of the brand promise through all stakeholder touch points. It is the consistent, desired customer experience that builds trust, and it is that trust that forms the foundation of loyalty and promotion. Successful brands are based on authenticity, drawn from real achievements, real strengths, and real emotions with the promise being brought to life at all levels. It’s a promise because everybody understands what a promise is and intuitively knows that promises should be kept, not broken.
The problem with broken brand promises
“Consistency is a key factor in gaining and keeping consumer’s trust in a brand promise. It is not about fulfilling the promise once and moving on to the next campaign. It is a sustained building of trust that nurtures brand loyalty."
Forbes - The Damage Brands Suffer From Breaking Promises
Often the focus can be set on producing and creating an exciting campaign, which is of course crucial. However, it is also vital to look up every now and then to remind yourself who you are running this campaign for. Yes, the campaign is promoting a new product or service, but to create this communication congruency and smooth customer journey, elements of the brand identity should be made clear throughout all domains of the brand, allowing the customer to connect the dots back to the main overarching brand itself. An example of this could be how companies see user-centricity.
As a brand, if you value the idea of centering your services around your customer’s needs then this should be made evident throughout all touch points of the customer journey, not just in a single campaign. Focusing solely on one campaign is the short term solution, whereas the goal should be for your customers to like you for the brand that you are, as opposed to just one of your campaigns, because those sorts of relationship are ones just waiting to end.