Delivering Your Brand Promise
You can have the most effective marketing and sales in the world but they’re worth nothing if you can’t deliver.
Your brand will mean nothing when you fall short when it comes to delivery.
Delivery is all about fulfilling your brand promise.
It’s about ensuring that your products or services are able to meet the expectations of your clients and customers. That you’re able to come through for them every single time.
In this post, we’ll cover why your delivery matters. We’ll discuss the important elements of delivery and how you can build a consistent, reliable delivery process.
The Customer Experience
There is only one perspective that matters when it comes to delivery: that of your customers.
How well you deliver your products and services has a big impact on the customer experience and their satisfaction. It affects their perception of your brand and their decision to continue doing business with you.
That’s why you want to deliver the best possible product or service. Your brand or company’s reputation is only as good as the product or service you deliver.
Think of delivery as perfecting your brand promise. You always have to go back to what you originally promised your customers and make good on them.
Your ability to deliver your brand promise is how you will win your customers and keep them coming back to you.
There’s a saying that the moment you close the sale is also the moment you start losing your customer.
And it has some truth in it.
You have to keep proving to your customers that you deserve their trust in order to build their loyalty to your business. You have to be committed to delighting your customers with your product and service delivery.
Remember that for your customers, you’re not the only company or brand out there. There are tons of other brands vying for their attention.
So you can’t be complacent.
That your customers trust you now doesn’t mean you can start neglecting them. On the contrary, you have to keep earning their trust. You want to keep the bar high so it isn’t easy for them to replace you with one of your competitors.
The best way to do this is to build a close relationship with your customers so that they develop a deep trust in your brand. Your customers should always feel that you have their backs. They should have faith that you’ll always make good on your promises.
In order to delight your customers, you have to be constantly improving.
There is no such thing as a perfect product or service. Whatever it is that you do or make, you can always make it better. You already know how Apple does this. They release an iPhone every year with only minor improvements – a better camera, a new slight design variation. But users still look forward to the new iPhone because they know it’s always going to be better next year.
Another way of looking at this is considering how you can make working with you an amazing experience. Which is why you need to get feedback from your existing clients or customers. Ask them about their experience with your products, your services, and your post-purchase support. This should lead to great insights for improving your overall delivery.
So think about what could make your product or service better. And plan for those improvements both in the short and long term.
Your Delivery Process
Do you follow a process to serve your customers?
If you don’t have an answer to this question, it’s important to think about it now. Because you can’t deliver to a single customer the same way you deliver to a thousand customers. This means that if you’re looking for growth, you should plan your delivery process around those goals to meet customer expectations. Your current delivery process might be working right now but you might have to change it when you need to serve more clients and customers.
The delivery process can be categorized into these:
Standardized – products or services follow a certain template; customers or clients are served the same quality and quantity of products or services
Customized – products or services are tailored according to specific needs and requirements of clients and customers
A good example of a standardized delivery process is McDonald’s. McDonald’s offers the customers the same food throughout their stores. McDonald’s stores are franchised by different business owners but the company makes sure that each store has the same delivery process, from the recipe down to the store design. Customers can be sure the Mcburger will taste the same no matter the location. This standardization has allowed them to scale their business to its current size.
Compare this to the experience of ordering a custom-made cake. With a customized order, you get to pick the flavor, the design, and the size of your cake. However, just because you offer customized products or services doesn’t mean you don’t need a process. You still need to establish a delivery process – such as your base recipe for your brand, lead times for different custom orders, etc.
The same concepts can be applied if you’re a service provider. Let’s say you have an accounting firm. You’ll have either a standardized or customized process for delivering different types of services. Or you could use a hybrid system where the delivery process depends on some criteria that you set (eg. customized delivery process for high-value clients and standardized for all others).
Brand Promise Consistency
Whether you have a standardized or customized delivery process, your goal will be the same: to have a consistent output.
Consistency is key to building and maintaining a good brand reputation. It equates to reliability and predictability in your delivery process. This is very important for your clients and customers.
Delivering your products and services in a consistent manner helps set expectations from your business. Your clients and customers appreciate it when you have a clear and predictable window for doing certain things (eg. processing orders or accomplishing projects). For instance, if you’ve specified a 24-hour time frame for customer responses and always make sure that this is followed, then it reassures your customers that you’ll always respond to their concerns within that period.
Your business also benefits from consistency. It sets standards of delivery that everyone can use when dealing with customers. It provides guidance on what’s expected of your staff and employees so they’re aligned with the delivery of your brand promise.
Underpromise and Overdeliver
When you’re trying to get customers, it can be tempting to make big promises to convince them.
But what happens when you’re unable to keep those promises?
You risk not only disappointing your customers but also completely losing their trust. It doesn’t matter how popular or strong your brand already is. The lack of delivery follow through will ultimately erode your credibility.
When it comes to delivery, it’s often better to underpromise and overdeliver. Aim not only to deliver products and services that measure up to your customers’ expectations, but actually exceed them. By doing so, you’re giving customers the kind of surprise that’s always welcome.
Always Deliver Excellence
Again, customer experience is about setting expectations.
By anticipating and meeting customer needs and desires, you can enjoy high customer satisfaction. This in turn, strengthens and fortifies your brand. Your business benefits from more customers and less churn.
Sounds simple right?
But it’s not so easy in practice. Even the biggest, most recognized brands in the world struggle to always deliver excellence across the customer experience. That’s why they invest resources into dedicated customer experience teams: to safeguard their brand image.
This doesn’t mean that excellence should be relegated to a business ideal. Rather, it illustrates the inherent challenge of keeping up with customer expectations to deliver your brand promise.
Excellence is always a moving target. Even when you think you’ve perfected your delivery process, you have to continuously improve to match ever-changing customer demands and increasing competitive pressures. Your toughest competitor in delivering your brand promise is your own business: you have to keep outdoing yourself to delight your clients.
Delivery and Your Ideal Lifestyle
A lot of the stress that entrepreneurs face is due to their delivery process.
Delivery is crucial to your growth and success as a business. So it’s crucial that you have a repeatable, manageable system – a recipe, if you want – for delivering not just your products and services but also customer experiences.
The delivery process, as we’ve noted, is about meeting customer expectations. If you’re a service-based business that offers highly custom solutions, for instance, you might be overwhelmed by having to meet tight deadlines and changes in customer requirements.
Having a clear delivery process eases the burden by clarifying expectations for both your internal team and your customers.
It’s always good to circle back to the question of whether your business is serving your ideal lifestyle. If your delivery process isn’t fitting in with your desired lifestyle, you should start exploring some changes to it.