3 – brand promises & how they’re fulfilled

The purpose of this exercise is to learn to recognise the kinds of things that brands promise
the user through their various communication channels, and to understand how they fulfil this promise.

see page 33 of BDI

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  1. Team EFCOM

    Brand Promises

    Evaluating the different brands and their promises we found that it is key to be specific, consistent and connected to your consumers. Some companies are too generic and see it as their mission to improve the entire world, which is not taken seriously by people. A brand should stick to its core competence and have realistic ambitions to believe in. Therefore, a brand should be considered as a person with character. Which stimulates people to feel more empathic towards the brand and therefore become a loyal customer.

    Most of the companies we liked as a group tried very hard to be authentic towards their users. They should not fear to admit their flaws to make the brand seem more human. Being honest creates goodwill, while pretending perfection (while not being able to deliver it) creates suspicion. Also, the brand has to take its customers seriously by listening to feedback and by expecting some effort on their part. IKEA for instance gives people a feeling of self-assurance after they’ve constructed their Billy.

    Sep 26, 2011 @ 11:38 am

  2. G3

    Within the team several brands we encountered in our daily lives were discussed. The main conclusion is that it is difficult to establish the six different brand elements, such as ‘vision’, ‘promise’ and ‘internal values’. For some, the brand vision and promise overlap. This is not a problem, but it leads to some debate about a brand’s core values.

    An interesting discussion point that returned several times is the difference between what a brand promises and what it delivers. Mainly seen from different points of view. If you look for instance at Ikea, they promise to; “Create a better everyday life for the many people”. Of course with a low price point and nice products they do fulfill their promise for the customers. However, Ikea has also been connected to extortion of their employees in developing countries. Of course this is not something they pride themselves in, but it does have a considerable impact on the legitimacy of their brand promise. The result of which might lead to some sarcasm when understanding their mission statements. Of course we believe that most multinational companies have the best intentions, but sometimes those beautiful words can have a counter-productive effect. We therefore think that it is crucial to make sure you have a clean slate as a company before making any promises.

    Oct 04, 2011 @ 1:00 pm

  3. Paradox 20

    By keeping track of all brands you encounter during a day (or even during 20 minutes!) it becomes clear that this list is huge.

    For this assignment we have taken a closer at various brands, namely: Sennheiser, Giant, IKEA, PostNL, Wella, Diesel, Wacom, FIAT, MediaMarkt and Canon.

    To keep this blog to-the-point, we will not bore you with their promises and our thoughts about it. Our main findings are that brand promises are beautiful statements, inspiring you to start using the product no matter what it is they sell. They can be very product-focused (Sennheiser, developing outstanding headsets) or more experience-focused (Wella promises a ‘moment of hair triumph every day’). The most striking ones are probably those focusing on the user (‘with Canon YOU can, ‘IKEA: design YOUR OWN life’).

    Most brands we analyzed do stick to their promise, although often their competitors do just as well. For example MediaMarkt, stating you’re crazy if you pay too much for your electronic products, while BCC is offering ‘everyday low prices’ and promises discounts if you find your product somewhere else for a lower price.

    Oct 05, 2011 @ 3:05 pm

  4. Group 14

    As all groups stated, we encountered really a lot of brands during the three days we had to track them (which also indicates that brands try to be present as often as they can), so we focused on some brands.

    [img]http://www.youatwork.com/UserFiles/Image/logos/logo-ikea.gif[/img] We looked to Ikea for example and found they had different slogans in their advertisements, but that the core essence of the brand was to offer a wide range of well designed furniture products with a price as low as possible, so that their products are open to anyone. We see that it is based on the internal qualities such as the logistics, average to good design of their products and indeed for a price that is affordable. For many people this is relevant, and also to us as group, because we use Ikea products as well (and that is for a reason, because their products are cheap but of good quality). Their vision were this is based on vision (as stated on the website) is: a better everyday life for many people.

    Their promise is fullfilled because every year they come up with a new range of furniture, which is affordable. Also the concept of having the furniture in boxes allows them to keep the price low and the furniture accessible for many people. If we would rephrase the promise, we would suggest ‘well designed furniture for everyone as a promise, which basically says the same but is more compact and more easily remembered.

    What we discovered on other brands such as Dell and Philips is that most brands keep their promises, and we concluded that their promise is often important for e.g. the quality of their products. However, we also found that often the promise is somewhat vague, such as the promise of Loewe which is ‘stimulates your senses’. A more vague promise is in our opinion easier to promise and to fulfill.

    Oct 06, 2011 @ 12:32 pm

  5. Group 12

    Three brands have been extensively elaborated: Duracell, Gillette and Sony. The remarks for improvement are presented first, the full elaboration is presented after that.

    Ideas for improvement on fulfilling the brand promise
    Duracell is already well on its way to fulfill their brand promise. They differentiate according to the customers’ needs and develop the technology needed. Innovations for the batteries should be kept up. Next to that it might be interesting to look for power sources which are not batteries, but do include the experience, skill and targets of Duracell, such as solar power and wind energy, but applied to individual use.

    Gillette is also well-aligned to fulfill its promise. The entire strategy is focused on that. Since this message is clear, it might be interesting to not only try to achieve their promise by their scientific, technological developments, but also by starting from the different situations in which shaving is performed, for example in the woods. This could generate products with the same technology for a lot of different scenarios.

    Sony’s promise is unclear, unspecified and not much intriguing. They don’t develop products from their promise, but simply adjust their promise to whatever products they come up with. It therefore is no miracle that they are falling behind in innovation with their competitors: they don’t have a focus or a specific goal.
    In order to improve on making their brand promise, they should first decide on a direction for the company to go and then rephrase the promise. For example: they could completely focus on the users demand from the available technology and differentiate all their products to the specific needs. Or they could focus on regaining innovation leadership by focusing on a specific type of product, film platforms for example.
    Further innovations in products should be according to these choices.

    Elaboration brands
    The promise Duracell makes to me is to provide me with energy where and when I need it.
    The promise intents to communicate to me that Duracell will offer quality products for all my energy needs when I need them. They offer high quality, sustainability and solutions which are fit to my needs.
    The internal qualities on which this is based are experience, technological superiority, strong innovation and knowledge of the users’ needs.
    This promise is relevant to me, because I regularly need these kind of products and I want them to be easy to find and implement and to function for a long time. However, I only want to buy these if they indeed offer the extra quality for the higher price.
    The promise is based on the vision that Duracell will offer batteries that provide the most sustainable and useful solution to our needs. In the product design the user is placed central, while in the technology development sustainability and performance are the main issues.
    This promise is fulfilled through a strong differentiation in products, each tuned to a specific situation. Next to that, the manufacturing processes are leading in keeping pollution down and recycling is applied where ever possible.

    The promise Gillette makes to me is the most comfortable and most smooth shaving result.
    The promise wants to communicate to me that their products are based on the newest technology (innovated by themselves) and provide the most comfortable shaving experience. It also wants to communicate that they offer full treatments (before, during and after shaving) that are superior to just shaving.
    This promise is based on the internal quality that they are constantly developing new technology that delivers superior products. Their “ science”, as they call it, is the root of their innovation.
    This is relevant to me, because I shave almost every day and I don’t want this to be an irritating experience, while I do want the sharpest blades so I can get the best result. Gillette promises me that they can deliver that.
    This is all based on their vision that their scientific, innovative approach will generate the best solutions/products for this purpose.
    The product innovations that fulfill this promise are all over the place: one example is the Gillette Fusion ProGlide system that includes thinner blades and a lower friction coating. Every Gillette product has some new innovations to offer.

    The promise Sony makes to me is to give me exciting digital entertainment experiences when using their products.
    They intend to communicate that they will bring this by bringing together cutting-edge products with latest generation content and services.
    This promise is based on the qualities of cutting-edge technology and the ability to synergize all different businesses in the organization. Next to that, they intent to look at the products from the users’ perspective.
    This promise is relevant to me because this area of products is developing very fast and I want to get up-to-date products which provide me with an experience that is surprisingly good.
    The promise is based on the vision: ‘To create exciting new digital entertainment experiences for consumers by bringing together cutting-edge products with latest generation content and services’.
    This promise is fulfilled by keeping the product portfolio up-to-date with the latest developments. While having leading innovations in the past, this seems to be diminishing: Sony’s products are not leading in the market.

    Team Coffee-break (Group 12)
    ‘get set for fresh perspectives…’

    Oct 17, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

  6. LeCON7

    We believe that a brand vision and the brand promise are a necessity for differentiation from competitors. The vision should lead to the promise being a point of differentiation, thus should not focus on a generic attribute within the product category. If such a promise is fulfilled and adds value from the consumer’s perspective, the brand gains a competitive edge over competitors. A few brands to underpin this conclusion will be given below:
    We found Albert Heijn to be a proper example of this conclusion; Supermarkets should provide daily goods to consumers for the appropriate price. Albert Heijn’s promise is to be familiar (their Dutch slogan: „Gewoon, bij Albert Heijn”, translated: „The usual, at Albert Heijn”), which they convey through their consumer touch points, e.g., all of their stores have the same design, adjacencies do not differ and the visual appearance does not differ in between stores. Because an Albert Heijn in Groningen delivers exactly the same experience as an Albert Heijn in Delft, the store has become familiar to the Dutch public. The competitors do not promise a familiar store and therefore Albert Heijn is experienced as a strong brand.
    On the contrary, Nokia’s familiar promise of ‘connecting people’ has lost its meaning, due to the fact that within their product category (mobile phones), it is a generic product asset. All other (smart)phone manufacturers produce phones which also connect people and therefore the promise Nokia makes does not add value from the consumer’s point of view. This might be part of the reason that Nokia’s sales in Europe are decreasing. If they had, for example, focused on the reliability and durability, the promise would have created differentiation from competitors, making it more easy to compete, like Samsung (‘imagine what Samsung can do for you’).
    Some brands like Coca-cola were difficult to analyse, due to the fact that their promise is merely emotional: ‘open happiness’. There is not a internal quality within the product that triggers happiness, the promise is merely fulfilled due to the fact that it covers a temporary need/desire people have. In addition, the fulfillment of the promise through innovation is difficult to lay a finger upon in Coca-cola’s case, as the product itself has not changed much over the years. The innovation for Coca-cola therefore has to be sought in the sales-touchpoints and for example different bottle sizes for different occasions.

    Oct 18, 2011 @ 8:54 am

  7. - shiqi -

    What firstly became clear with this ‘in practice’ is that the promise of a brand is often too vague and too general. It is not very clear what the promise wants to communicate. We’ve discussed, amongst others, the promise of Dell: ‘The power to do more’. Does this promise mean that the products Dell is selling are very strong and powerful, or does it mean that with Dell you’re able to do your work more efficiently? Based on their innovations, it is possible to argue both explanations.
    We think such a wide and vague promise can also have a negative influence on the innovations. For Dell’s employees it is also unclear what the vision and direction of the company is. We think, in this case, it’s smarter for Dell to focus more on one direction, enabling Dell to distinguish themselves from their competitors.

    Another thing which we found interesting is the fact that a lot of brand promises change over time. Coca-Cola’s slogan for example, changes very frequently. They adept their promise to the circumstances in the society, so their core value of making people happy is always fulfilled. Their innovations are not only real, tangible products, but also new promises/brands. Think of Coca-Cola Zero, which is not an entirely new recipe or product, but an existing recipe with a new name on it. With Coca-Cola Zero the company is selling more of a feeling rather than a product. This gives a whole new perspective about what the brand is and what the innovation. Does the innovation come from the brand, or is the brand the innovation? We think that the innovation is the new brand (Coca-Cola Zero), which comes from a ‘deeper’ laying brand promise (making people happy), which in its turn is based on changes in society (men are also starting to look for healthy products).

    The third thing we noticed is that a promise becomes stronger if you’re personally involved. Samsonite promises that ‘Life is a journey’. When using a Samsonite case very often the consumer is on a journey, resulting in that they can easily imagine the promise and understand it. The relation between the brand and the product is very strong. Personally we get a better feeling about such promises since they make it more clear what the vision of a company is. Samsonite can make the fulfillment of their promise better by designing adventure focused products, like bottles, maps or other cases.

    Summarizing we think it is important to have a clear promise towards the consumers; otherwise the expectations don’t match with the actual product. With a clear promise it also easier to come up with better innovations whether this is a tangible product or not.

    Oct 18, 2011 @ 10:31 am

  8. Group 11

    Successful brands have brand promises that are clear to the consumer and fulfilled by their products and/or services. When thinking of a particular brand, this image you have should not conflict with what the company promises you. Below we will give to examples, one that is successful and one that is not. We will explain why we think so.

    From all the examples we discussed as group, we agreed that the Dutch radio station 3FM is successful in fulfilling their brand promise ‘serious radio’. This short and powerful statement completely corresponds with the way their broadcast music. Furthermore, their yearly charity event Serious Request and their scout for new music called Serious Talent enhance this promise. It shows their effort to go further then their regular business of making radio and this strengthens their fulfilment of the brand promise.

    In contrast, we think McDonald’s needs to make some improvements in order to fulfil their promise ‘Good Food Fast’. Currently, the food is known for being unhealthy and low quality. Their slogan ‘i’m lovin’ it’ also implies that customers are really big fans and even love their products, while in fact they are not – we therefore think this slogan is overdone. The same applies for the staff; they don’t seem very enthusiastic about their job. The latter indicates the importance of the employees; fulfilling your brand promise is not only about the products and/or service you deliver. Despite McDonald’s is attempting to adapt their products in such way that it fits their promise more sufficiently (e.g. by putting more focus on healthy products like salads and by painting the restaurants green instead of red), it doesn’t seem to work. Maybe these changes are not well communicated to the customer, but it is more likely that it is really hard to change the current image of fast food. In order to better fulfil their brand promise, not a change in terms of innovations is needed but a change in promise could be more effective.

    Oct 18, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  9. 6MINUS1


    Pickwick promises you that you will hang on while drinking its tea. Even in though circumstances you will be able to manage all the things you encounter in your daily life, even the tough ones.
    This promise is based on the fact that Pickwick is an expert in producing tea. It really goes back to the roots of the tea and wants to offer the consumer a wide range of tastes, so there is one for everybody.
    For us, this promise is relevant, because with a cup of Pickwick tea, you can really enjoy individual moments, or the moments shared with friends.
    The promise of Pickwick is based on the fact that the owners wanted a kind of English name, the company is Dutch, because this country is known for its tea drinking. Although Pickwick sounds English, their promise, ‘Je trekt het met Pickwick’, is only convincing for the Dutch people.
    This promise is fulfilled by the fact that they are constantly broadening their range of tastes. To create a more international character, Pickwick could change their promise into ´Dutch tea with an English touch’.


    The promise Coca-Cola makes is ‘Open happiness’. Coca-Cola wants us to believe that drinking Coca-Cola makes us more happy and shows us ‘the Coke side of life’. Coca-Cola is an expert in creating soft drinks. Drinking this drinks, often with friends, is already a form of happiness and opening up this bottle of Coke, will only make it better.
    The promise of Coca-Cola is not that relevant to us and is not the one thing that they are known for, since they are changing their promise almost every year.
    As said before Coca-Cola is changing their promise almost every year, which consists in not making each promise that relevant. Where they usually focused on the product itself and the quality of it, they are now focusing more on the side-effect of their product.. They fulfill their promise by providing every target group with their own drink.
    They can fulfill their promise even better when they will focus on the whole product range, so that the consumer will also see the soft drinks Fanta, 7-Up, e.g. as a real Coca-Cola product.. A good promise could be ‘Coke it your way’.


    Campina promises, that the all the ingredients that are contained in their products are all coming from our nature’. All products that they produce are natural and the milk they use for it comes from cows from the Netherlands. Therefore Campina uses strict reglementations and controls for farmers in the Netherlands they have got a contract with. In this way, Campina takes care of their promise.
    This promise makes me sure that when I am eating are drinking a Campina product, I am feeling that I am eating and drinking natural and healthy and makes me feel better. Because of that we think we do not hesitate to pay some more for those products. This promise is based on encouraging and supporting the production of milk that is produced in the Netherlands. They are supporting the Dutch business. The product innovations by which they want to fulfill their promise even better, is by broadening their portfolio, adding yoghurt, pap and fruit milk for example.
    When they would rephrase their promise, is would become more clear, it could become something like; ‘From the Dutch cows’.


    The promise of Calvé sounds like; ‘Get out of it, what’s in it’. What they mean with this is that it is a good product that is healthy and good for the physical development (of my kids).
    This is based on the fact that Calvé has a long tradition in producing oil-based products such as mayonnaise for example.
    Because of this experience, mothers know that peanut butter from Calvé is better than Nutella for example, for the nutrition of their children.
    The vision of Calvé is based on the fact that they want to distinguish it from other spreads. And like a lot of other brands, they want to make their promise more convincing by broadening their portfolio.
    We think that Calvé is already working well on fulfilling their promise and they do not need an innovation to fulfill to be better.

    Oct 20, 2011 @ 10:06 am

  10. Group 13 - Paper Planes

    We made a selection of three out of the brands we discussed together:


    Das beste oder nichts (The best or nothing)
    Mercedes offers premium automobiles in all segments they are active in.
    Mercedes employs quality designers, engineers and researchers and always has.
    Your car is superior over others; offering more luxury, performance, safety, etc.
    Mercedes wants to lead the industry in terms of next generation automobiles.
    Throughout history Mercedes has brought many innovations, especially in terms of safety (e.g. Brake Assist, Night View Assist, etc), and as such they are one of the most innovative car companies out there.


    Good food fast
    At McDonalds you can enjoy a good meal while being served quickly.
    McDonalds has operational excellence and premium quality suppliers.
    You can catch a quick bite, while having plenty of quality alternatives to choose from.
    Anyone should at any time be able to enjoy good food in a nice place.
    They moved from serving burgers and fries to offering healthier and more balanced meals through introducing McSalads, chickenwraps, fruitshakes, etc.


    Enhance lens-wearing experience
    CooperVision offers the most pleasant lens-wearing experience for patients.
    CooperVision are leading in excellent lens design, materials and manufacturing.
    Wear lenses all day comfortably with a wide variety of lenses to choose from.
    Through excellence in lens design, materials and manufacturing offer patients the chance to see beyond the ordinary
    They have a rich history of technological innovations (in lenses, manufacturing, distribution, etc) and are leading when it comes to the innovative toric lenses.

    Oct 25, 2011 @ 10:40 am

  11. Group 15

    Here you’ll find a table of some of the brands that we discussed about during this exercise.

    Through this exercise we concluded that it is not always easy to find out a brand’s promise and it often has to be interpreted from their visions and mission statements. Although, there are organisations that have a clear brand promise, they might lack in fulfilling it (through product innovations).

    As we can see in the chart, one brand (e.g. Sony & SonyEricsson) perceived by different people can still lead to similar answers (in this case, Sony/SonyEricsson fulfil their brand promise through their product innovations in a good way by making personalised/customised products suiting different types of people). Such a brand has a clear brand promise that is fulfilled or well-pursued.

    While considering other brands, their brand promises might be clear but not fulfilled, which makes the brands less trustworthy. Without fulfilment of the promise, the whole brand promise becomes irrelevant.

    It’s a matter of consistency; if an organisation is being consistent and fulfil their brand promise and work according to their vision, then customers will gain more confidence in the brand and customers will also feel that they can derive values from the innovations.
    [img]http://www.branddriveninnovation.com/wp-content/table for p.33.jpg[/img]

    Oct 26, 2011 @ 5:38 pm

  12. Group 18

    In order to understand how brands fulfill their promise and to recognize the things that the brand promises we discussed multiple brands we encountered during our daily life. First thing worth mentioning is that there are thousand of brands around us. Within one minute you already see dozens. When you’re not paying attention or conscious looking for these brands, then you don’t see them. So, it is not that easy for a brand to stand out, to get noticed in the way they want to be noticed.
    For this blog we worked out 3 brands (NS, McDonalds and Media Markt) to underpin our findings.

    Brand slogan
    ‘Ga mee’ (Come along)

    What does it communicate?
    Worries about he travel are taken away. The NS will do everything for you, like someone else is driving you. It’s about going somewhere else, an adventure, carefree and with ease. But it also communicates: You’re waiting, I’m here, let’s go.

    Based on what internal qualities?
    The NS uses a big network of railways track throughout the Netherlands. Also they use a lot of trains, with what they try to shorten the waiting time.

    For us the promises are not really relevant because it is the only way for traveling to other cities because we don’t own a car. However, since we do have to go by train it is a nice thing that this can be carefree and with ease. For the people who do own a car, it would be more relevant to communicate things like fast, comfortable, and extrapolate the experience of traveling by train.

    Based on what vision?
    To take care of a safe, on time, and comfortable journey of more travelers through attractive stations.

    How fulfilled through product innovation?
    There are several products the NS recently introduced, for example the OV-chipkaart, displays with travel information for connecting trains and arrival time, and wifi. Moreover, the last couple of years a lot is done to make the trains more appealing to people as well. The NS tries to make traveling by train more comfortable as well, for example by installing heaters on certain track points so waiting travelers will not freeze during wintertime.

    The biggest problem with the NS is that they cannot fulfill their promise since they often do not travel in time, which causes a lot of frustrations. The slogan “come along” evokes in this way a reaction like “yes, I’d love to come along but you are not here!”. Most probably the NS does everything it can already to technically try to reduce this as much as possible. However, still they schedule the trains on minutes precise, so every minute you are late people already downgrade your brand value. Therefore, in order to be more in touch with their brand promise it would be a good idea to let the fixed times go and use a metro- approach; more and shorter trains that have no exact schedule.
    Another solution can be changing the slogan in for example: Take it easy, take the train.

    Brand slogan
    I’m lovin’ it.

    What does it communicate?
    It’s tries to communicate that they serve good food, it is good for you and it’s nice to be there. ‘You’ just love it. The words ‘you’ means that everybody takes this personally, so it is meant for everybody.

    Based on what internal qualities?
    The McDonalds is the same everywhere so you know what you can expect. They are quick, flexible and have a high service. Also, for the kids there is always a place the play, which makes it attractive for parents with kids to go to.

    “I” also want to love it, but the problem is that not everybody loves the food that the McDonalds serves. Perhaps “I” like to have food that is healthy and gives you energy. The relevant part of McDonalds to us is that it is quick and easy.

    Based on what vision and how is this fulfilled through product innovation?
    The McDonalds is moving away from the fast food core. The restaurants become more atmospheric. They move from a take away restaurant to a take it here restaurant by changing their interior, filling the room with ‘design’ furniture. Also, they want to get a healthier image, they introduced for example carrots and corn for the kids instead of fries, salads for adults, and posters with vegetables on them. However, they still strive for having a fast service, by placing self-service fast order systems in the restaurants.

    They could change their slogan into ‘Fast good’. This implies they still have the fast service, but with healthier food. The fast food image doesn’t fit anymore with their strategy. They should embrace the paradox of speed vs. comfortable restaurant.

    Media Markt
    Brand slogan
    ‘Ik ben toch niet gek?’ (I’m not crazy, right?)

    What does it communicate?
    It tells us that it would be stupid not to go there. They have a big assortment and low prices. They state that they are the best in the business.

    Based on what internal qualities?
    You can test each product, before you buy it. Also, they have a big stock, large assortment, good service and specialist personnel.

    When I buy electronic products I want to compare it with similar products and I want to ask questions about it.

    Based on what vision?
    Let customers compare products so they (feel that they) can make a well-considered choice.

    How fulfilled through product innovation?
    They don’t really fulfill their vision by a product innovation. The problem with the Media Markt is that people now that they are not the cheapest, while they say they are.

    Lay the focus more on the large assortment and service instead of price. The new slogan can be something like ‘Media Markt – We’ve got it’.

    From the examples we learn that companies are not always able to communicate and fulfill their promise to their customers. Most of the group members didn’t even know the slogan of the NS. The slogan ‘ga mee’ also communicates negative emotions. Most people in the group made fun of it and said ‘ga mee, but first wait for a while’. It is very hard to get rid of a negative image once you got it.
    It is important for a company to make true what they promise, otherwise people have a negative feeling with the company.
    Another point worth noticing is that all three slogans are directed on the individual. This results in a more personal message. We think it is good to make the promise personal, but don’t forget as a company that different people expect different things and they want to find that in the company.

    Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:13 am

  13. Team Nine

    Brand promises and how they are fulfilled

    The brand promise, that the company makes to the user, has to be in line with the company’s vision and core value in order to give the right message and be able to accomplish it.

    When a company is getting into new markets it sometimes tends to confuse the user’s perception of its brand. Therefore it is, according to us, better to focus on the core value of the brand. For example if Dell releases a phone it should be in line with the company’s core value, i.e. that you should be able to assemble your own product before you buy it. Otherwise, if they would release a phone without the possibility of choosing components (e.g. camera, RAM-memory, screen size, operating system), the customer’s perception of their brand will be confused.

    Being transparent and having specific goals (S.M.A.R.T.) humanizes a company.
    Having specific goals would be easier to accomplish in comparison to general goals. This will make the brand promise more believable and therefore gain more trust from the customers. For example Unilever has its Unilever Sustainable Living Plan in which they state concrete goals that “By 2020, we will halve the environmental footprint of our products, help more than 1 billion people, take action to improve their health and well-being, and source 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably”. (http://unilever.com/sustainability/?WT.GNAV=Sustainability)

    Some companies have aspects of their operation they do not want their users to know about. Trying to cover this up can result into much worse effects to the company rather than being open to the user. On the other hand we realize this is something that needs deeper analysis. For instance, if a company is doing wrong things (child labor, improper disposal of waste, etc.) and this comes to the public light, should the company admit their wrong doing and try to improve or deny it?

    Nov 02, 2011 @ 12:57 pm

  14. 3plus3

    Several different companies and their brand promises were discussed with the group. For this assignment we decided to take a closer look on Hewlett Packard (HP).

    When starting with HP it became clear that the brand promise was not very well known, although some remembered a quite recent advertisement slogan; ‘the computer is personal again’.

    Some research delivered us a document from HP with its complete brand promise, vision and mission. Transparency appears to be quite important for the company. As for the brand promise: “We can help you do that”, that is mainly directed at the customer, there also is a clear overlap with the aforementioned slogan.
    The brand promise to us appeared to be strong: it is not a pure advertisement statement only mentioning fashion words: it is very honest and straightforward, yet very broad: it says that whatever you want to do, HP will deliver a product that can help you with that. This is noticeable in the broad product portfolio HP has (computer and everything around it, cameras, etc.).

    Furthermore HP often tries to be very innovative, but always with a clear focus on the user. They were for example one of the first companies to introduce a computer fully embodied in a touch screen monitor: innovative in terms of technology, and it can help the user interact with the product better.

    In general it appears that the brand promise is very important to brands, though some use it a lot more than others. HP for example does not end every tv commercial with its promise, but a brand like Spa (water) does.
    A promise such as Spa’s (purity that cares for you) can be difficult to promise, since the health of people is hard to assure with one product. A water company can state this quite clearly, since people will not get sick of drinking water.

    A vague brand promise can be easier to fulfill, because it does not give clear examples of what you will be or what will happen to you as a customer when using the product. HP’s brand promise is in that sense strong, since it is vague in a way. On the other hand, it also means that all products have to be very easy to use, otherwise people will not be helped by HP. Especially HP’s printing division is extremely focused on ease-of-use, for example with the newest wireless printers that show a small video on the printers display on how to set it up and require hardly any user actions to make a print.

    Nov 03, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

  15. Four

    Through this exercise, we tried to do an in-depth analysis of what a brand stands for, what it promises and how well it fulfils its positioning. We studied these aspects for 30 different brands, from well-established to poorly established brands, from manufacturers to services and institutions. After having discussed the different values and images these brands had, we were able to identify patterns amongst them. We considered the following models:

    Brands that successfully implement clearly defined brand values.
    These brands have managed to clearly state what values they were trying translate through their products or services. Having clarified what they strive to stand for, they managed to implement the products that would fulfil them. The results are strong brand with coherent product-brand fits. Furthermore, during our conversation, we agreed that these brands, having fulfilled their promises and secured their “core business”, we probably experience easier innovative product launches. We believe these brands could leverage their core assets to gradually expand the scope of their brand values.

    Brands that had unclearly defined brand values.
    These brands are struggling to implement to a corporate level what they are supposed to be standing for; the company and the brand are two seemingly different entities. Furthermore, the products don’t translate the values they are supposed to convey. These brands, while struggling to find a product-brand fit they can’t base new innovations on previous successes, and will therefore, in our opinion, experience challenging innovative product launches.

    Nov 08, 2011 @ 6:47 pm


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about this blog
this is Erik Roscam Abbing's blog on topics relating to the synergy between branding, innovation and design. Erik is a consultant (www.zilverinnovation.com), teacher (www.io.tudelft.nl), and frequent speaker on the topic of Brand Driven Innovation. He is also the author of the book by the same title, to appear in autumn 2010 at www.avabooks.ch. For inquiries, contact erik at erik at zilverinnovation.com
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