A world-renowned thinker on strategy and innovation, Martin is the author of several books, including the best-selling “Playing to Win.” He is also a frequent speaker and consultant to CEOs and other senior executives around the world.
In the study, Martin argues that a clear promise to the customer is essential for B2B marketers because it helps to:
- Focus on the brand’s message: A clear promise helps to ensure that all of the brand’s marketing efforts are aligned and working toward the same goal.
- Differentiate the brand from the competition: A clear promise can help to make the brand stand out from the crowd and attract customers who are looking for the benefits that the brand promises to deliver.
- Build trust with customers: When customers believe that a brand is committed to delivering on its promise, they are more likely to do business with the brand.
The study, which analyzed over 2,000 award-winning advertising campaigns from the past five years, found that when campaigns included a credible promise to the customer, they were more likely to be effective in driving brand health, market share and long-term sales.
Martin defines a promise to the customer as a simple yet powerful statement that articulates the benefit(s) a brand promises to deliver to its customers. It should be clear, memorable and believable, and it should be something that the brand can actually deliver on.
The study found that the most effective promises to the customer were those that were:
- Simple and memorable: The promise should be easy for customers to understand and remember. For example, Nike’s promise is “to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” This promise is clear, memorable and believable, and it is something that Nike has been able to deliver on for decades.
- Credible: The brand must have the right to believe its promise. This means that the brand must have the evidence to back up its promise. For example, Volvo’s promise is “to make the safest cars in the world.” Volvo has the right to believe this promise because it has a long history of safety innovation.
- Differentiating: The promise should set the brand apart from its competitors.
- Aligned with the brand’s overall strategy: The promise should be consistent with the brand’s values and goals.
Here are some tips for creating your brand’s own “promise to the customer”:
- Start by identifying the most important benefit that your brand can deliver to its customers.
- Make sure your promise is clear, memorable and believable.
- Back up your promise with evidence.
- Communicate your promise consistently across all your marketing channels.
To further help you wrap your head around the “promise to the customer” idea, here are some examples from the study’s authors of B2B companies that are executing on the concept well:
- Salesforce: Salesforce’s promise to the customer is “to help our customers achieve their greatest ambitions.” This promise is simple, memorable and believable, and it is something that Salesforce has been able to deliver on for many years. Salesforce has helped businesses of all sizes grow and succeed, and it is a trusted brand in the B2B software market.
- Adobe: Adobe’s promise to the customer is “to help our customers create, deliver and optimize experiences that matter.” This promise is aligned with Adobe’s overall strategy of helping businesses create and deliver digital experiences. Adobe’s products and services are used by businesses of all sizes to create and deliver marketing materials, websites and other digital experiences.
- Google Cloud: Google Cloud’s promise to the customer is “to help our customers transform their businesses with the power of cloud computing.” This promise differentiates the company from its competition because it focuses on the business outcomes that Google Cloud can help customers achieve. Google Cloud offers a wide range of cloud computing services, including infrastructure, platform and application services.
- Microsoft Azure: Microsoft Azure’s promise to the customer is “to help our customers build, run and manage their applications and services on the cloud.” This promise is aligned with Microsoft’s overall strategy of becoming a leader in the cloud computing market. Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of cloud computing services, including infrastructure, platform and application services.
- SAP: SAP’s promise to the customer is “to help our customers run better businesses.” This promise is simple and memorable, and it is something that SAP has been able to deliver on for many years. SAP is a leading provider of enterprise software, and its products and services are used by businesses of all sizes to improve their operations.
The “Promise to the Customer” is a new mental model for B2B marketers. By adopting this model, marketers can create more effective marketing campaigns that resonate with customers and drive results. Need help implementing and executing this new concept for your B2B brand? The B2B marketing experts at Brandon are here to help. To explore all we can do to boost your B2B brand, contact us today.