One of the keystones to a marketing campaign is the promise. What does the product promise to do for the customer? Does it do what is promised? Does it follow through to build trust with the customer? Is the promise going to be met consistently, or just for the initial sale?
The promise established a level of trust in the mind of a customer. This can make the difference between a one-off sale and a lifetime business relationship.
For this column I’m going to use the example of a hotel to illustrate the three levels of trust.
The promise is simple. The guest expects a warm, comfortable inviting room with amenities that make the guest feel at home. This perception is created the moment the door to the room is opened for the first time.
If the promise is met, the feeling toward the owner of the hotel is positive. The guest feels the owner respects them and the money they bring to the table, so to speak. They also feel that, when the come back again, the quality of the property will be consistent. As a result they are willing to recommend the property to family and friends.
If the promise is met, but only conditionally, the response is mixed. The guest may open the door to the room and think “Well, I just drove 300 miles. I guess I can stay here.” Their first impression might be that the owner is not managing the property effectively and may even be “phoning it in.” They will be suspicious of the future of the property and the quality of its amenities, so they will not be open to recommending the property unless there are no other options available.
If the door the room is opened and the first thing they see is a badly kept carpets, bed linens that have a suspicious stain and so forth, the first response is to run away as fast as possible.
I’ve stayed in hotels on the first and second level and run away from the third, so I have a clue about what I’m talking about here.
Everything revolves around the promise and the trust it creates. As children and adults, we still respond, even subtly, to the idea of a promise. Pick a product or service and experiment with this idea.
NOTE: Ever meet someone who would only buy a specific kind of car because all the others didn’t have the quality he expected? Think about it. In his mind the car made a promise and kept it consistently enough that he was fiercely loyal.
Maybe the reason consumers are so fickle these days has to do with this simple concept.
© 2015, Moody Publishing Co., LLC