Brand Promise my a**!

When was the las time a “Fast pain relief” medicine relieved your pain fast?

When was the last time a “30% whiter” detergent actually made your laundry 30% whiter?

When was the last time a “we care for you” outlet made you feel it cared for you?

When was the last time a “we try harder” car rental made you feel they even tried a bit?

When was the last time an “I’m loving it” made you really love it?

Oh wait, wait, here’s the best: When was the last time a “growing your potential” bank actually made your potential grow?! When they can’t even protect the heritage they “use and abuse” to sell new products and services?!

You work hard on designing a wonderful logo, a great-looking stationery, pay a copywriter to crack this amazing tagline, a top-notch architect to design your office and outlets, and…?

And what?

If this is how these people treat their husbands and wives, no wonder divorce rates are sky-rocketing!!

Which part of “Brand Promise” don’t these guys get?

Just to refresh their memory:

A brand does all it does for one sole aim, keep its promise. That’s how brands make money. A brand’s equity lies within its promise. A brand’s life is defined by how it keeps its promise… Just like a marriage!

So, to those luminaries who think that a nice looking logo with a cute catch line makes a brand, I say: No wonder you still think a bimbo (excuse my French) on a street corner is a bachelor bank manager looking for a date!

I got news for you: your clients and prospects are no as lame as you think. You can’t take them for a ride anymore. No sir! They know what a false promise is. Ask their respective spouses! 😉

Let’s not hide behind our fingers. Here it is straight in your face: When you break a promise, you are a liar! When your brand breaks its promise, it is as much a liar!

The thing is when you break your promise, you could, I repeat “could” try to patch things up, apologize, reverse the damage, and all it would cost you is a something like a lunch. When a brand breaks its promise and needs or tries to patch things up… Think, just think of the damages, and the costs involved in trying, I repeat “trying” and fix it!

Loosing credibility means losing the trust of followers. And when credibility and trust are wasted, what would a brand rely on to make others believe it is really sorry for not keeping its promise? This is the vicious loop a brand is stuck in when it does not keep its promise. That’s one vicious loop which, like a maelstrom, will keep dragging the brand down into the abyss of oblivion.

Some might argue, how could big famous brands break their promise? They’re doing great. Well… They are… sort of! But big brands are not always about the U.S. or Europe… Are they?

Look at big brands in Lebanon. “I’m not loving it” at all. No one really “tries harder”, and for heaven’s sake, don’t convince me that anyone really “cares for me”.

Big brands should start looking at small territories. Our notion of customer service over here is from another planet. Big brands with branches or franchises in Lebanon should keep a close eye on their outposts. When I am not satisfied, I will hate THE brand, not the branch! So finally, big brands are more at risk in smaller territories.

Now look at local brands, their promises, and how they keep them! I’ll tell you how: Like politicians! That’s how!

The equation is simple: Brand -> Promise -> Customer -> Friendship -> Loyalty.

And as the saying goes, “A chain is as strong as its weakest link!”

So, don’t say it, Just Do It, Try Harder to Care for Me. It will be the Fastest Pain Relief, allowing me to Grow My Potential. And that’s how I’m Loving It, Having It My Way!!!

©2010 Ibrahim Lahoud

6 Responses to “Brand Promise my a**!”

  1. January 13, 2011 at 12:40

    The chain is always as strong as its weakest link and unfortunately, it is this weakest link that is so widespread and overlooked! 🙂

  2. January 13, 2011 at 12:41

    The communication function is probably disconnected from everything else within those organizations you mention. Their idea of a brand in general (not only promise) is embellishment, packaging, instead of a fundamental framework or pacemaker for organizational strategy and ensuing practices.

  3. January 13, 2011 at 14:12

    Agree with Raafat. Brands these days need to give as much attention to their service/follow up/consumer journey as they do to their Logos, taglines, promises. It’s not only about the looks, it’s mainly about the substance! Looks are what grab your attention, but substance is what keeps you interested. 😀

  4. January 13, 2011 at 15:13

    Cru mais bien mache 🙂

  5. 5 Hania
    March 10, 2011 at 15:58

    Your blogs are a huge stress reliever for me!

    And yes, brands are no longer investing in building honesty and loyalty and honestly living by those factors as their internal CULTURE. It just about who looks, sounds and sells better and faster…

    And whats worse, is working for such brands.

    What happened to cultures like IBM?
    I’m unsure if it has been broken, but it was infamous for its pure belief and implemented system from A-Z (marketing, products, designers, managers, politics, promises, delivery)

    I guess were running short on Paul Rands and Thomas Watsons!
    These people began working from the inside out. Now we just polish the OUT and keep polishing it as the IN slowly swallows itself.

    Most people are no longer challenged because as you said in your “There is an I in Team” post, in Lebanon, people manage to stay shiny despite their space wasting talent. We induce this with our lack of motivation and challenge. and BELIEF!
    And by the way, whats worse than space wasters is talent destructors. Some people spend most of their efforts shunning great talent for fear of losing their pseudo-successful mediocre input.
    They don’t even acknowledge “TEAM”! SO how are they to even acknowledge the “I” (the productive “i”, not what they call “i”)?

    oh and let me add, that i’m a very positive person ;p
    but these things just get to me.

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Reason To Believe by Ibrahim N. Lahoud is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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