The Silent Killer: Why Promoting Your Product Is Hurting Your Success

Did you know that you can sell your products better if you shift the focus away from it? It may sound counterintuitive, but works if it’s done right.As you already know, the market is getting competitive. And talking about what you sell is no longer enough to drive sales. Instead, you need to establish a deeper connection with your audience by communicating your brand promise.

Joe Mutuku
Pragati Badri & Joe Mutuku

July 18, 2023

Did you know that you can sell your products better if you shift the focus away from it? It may sound counterintuitive, but works if it’s done right.

As you already know, the market is getting competitive. And talking about what you sell is no longer enough to drive sales. Instead, you need to establish a deeper connection with your audience by communicating your brand promise.

But Wait, What’s a Brand Promise?

Your brand promise focuses on the emotional and aspirational aspects that you offer. It reflects what you stand for, what you believe in and how you aim to make a positive impact in the life of your audience.

Your audience must relate to you and feel connected before they are willing to make a purchase. A shift from your products to your promise will help you tap into their emotions and aspirations. What sets you apart? Why do they need to believe in you? There are some questions you need to answer to establish a meaningful connection.

When you communicate your brand promise effectively, you create a sense of trust and loyalty. Your audience sees you, not just as a provider of products, but as a partner who understands them. Focus on the value and benefits your brand brings to their lives. This will create a compelling narrative that resonates with them emotionally.

Let's take a closer look at two iconic brands.

BMW: Sheer Driving Pleasure

Imagine yourself behind the wheel of a BMW. You feel the thrill of driving a good machine, you feel like a rockstar behind the wheel. It's not just a car—it's sheer driving pleasure. BMW has cracked the code of delivering an extraordinary driving experience.

Instead of solely focusing on features like horsepower or acceleration, BMW has tapped your emotions and aspirations. Driving a BMW is like you have a trusted partner who understands your passion for driving and shares in the joy of the journey.

By emphasizing the promise of "Sheer Driving Pleasure," BMW creates a brand image that resonates with car enthusiasts and individuals who seek an elevated driving experience. Their marketing campaigns showcase the emotional connection between the driver and the vehicle, emphasizing the sense of freedom, excitement, and sheer enjoyment that BMW cars provide. Through this approach, BMW positions itself as more than just a car manufacturer but as a creator of unforgettable moments on the road.

Coca-Cola: Taste the Feeling

Picture yourself on a sunny day, surrounded by friends and laughter. You reach for an ice-cold Coca-Cola, not just for refreshment, but for something more. With every sip, you taste the feeling—the feeling of pure happiness, connection, and shared moments.

Coca-Cola has moved beyond simply selling a cold beverage and instead communicates a powerful promise - "Taste the Feeling." They know that it's not just about quenching your thirst; it's about creating memories, sparking joy, and bringing people together.

Through their marketing efforts, Coca-Cola portrays their products as companions for celebrations. They show people from diverse backgrounds coming together. By associating their brand with positive emotions and experiences, Coca-Cola has become much more than a mere drink. It is a symbol of shared happiness and simple pleasures.

But Here's the Thing.

BMW and Coca-Cola didn't stumble upon their success by accident. They deeply understand their audience, and that's what sets them apart. They know that you don't just want a product; you want an experience that resonates with your desires and aspirations. They speak directly to your heart. They make you feel understood, and that's a powerful connection.

Now, How Do You Define Your Brand Promise?

It's like a secret recipe that combines the best ingredients to deliver an exceptional experience to your audience.

Here’s the recipe.

Your brand purpose + Customer’s desired satisfaction + Inspired by your values = Delivered in every interaction with your audience.

First, Let’s Talk About Your Brand Purpose.

Picture this: You started a company fueled by a deep passion for making a positive impact in the world. Your purpose goes beyond profits. It's about creating something meaningful, something that resonates with your audience.

So, what's your brand purpose? What change do you want to bring about? Think big and let your purpose guide your brand promise.

Now, Let’s Consider Your Customers’ Desires.

Close your eyes and imagine stepping into their shoes. What do they long for? What problems are they hoping to solve? Your brand promise should align with their aspirations and offer them the satisfaction they're seeking. It's about fulfilling their needs and making their dreams come true.

So, what do your customers desire most? How can your brand be the answer they've been waiting for?

Next, Let’s Tap Into Your Values.

Think about the principles that guide your organization and shape your decisions. Your values are the compass that keeps you on the right path. They inspire you to do better, to be better.

How do they ensure that you stay true to who you are while delivering exceptional experiences to your audience?

If you combine the commonality of these three things (Purpose + Desire + Values) into a statement and express them in everything that you do as a brand, you will be fulfilling your brand promise.

Here’s a Practical Breakdown of the Brand—Tiggle.

Brand Purpose: Tiggle exists to bring back the joy and nostalgia of childhood by offering a convenient and affordable make-it-yourself hot chocolate mix. The founder's vision is to provide a delightful hot chocolate experience without the need to visit expensive cafes.

Customer Desires: Tiggle understands that many people crave the simple pleasure of savoring a delicious cup of hot chocolate in the comfort of their own homes. They long for the warmth, coziness and the sheer joy that comes from relishing a cup of hot chocolate while sitting on their couch.

Brand Values: Tiggle upholds the values of good intention and good energy. They believe in partnering with like-minded individuals and working with people who radiate positive energy. By infusing their products with good intentions and good energy, Tiggle aims to enhance the overall experience and pleasure of their customers.

Brand Promise: Tiggle's brand promise is to help customers relive their childhood happiness. With their convenient and affordable hot chocolate mix, they strive to recreate those cherished memories and provide a moment of joy and warmth. Tiggle promises to deliver a delightful experience that brings back the feelings of innocence and happiness associated with childhood.

Now It’s Your Turn.

Take the time to reflect on your brand's purpose, your customers' desires, and the inspiration derived from your values. Craft a brand promise that speaks directly to your audience, addresses their needs, and fulfils their aspirations. Then, let your promise guide every interaction with your audience, creating a remarkable experience that keeps them coming back for more.

Remember, your brand promise is the heart and soul of your business. It's what sets you apart and builds a loyal following. So, take this recipe, make it your own, and watch as your brand shines brighter than before. Are you ready to create a promise that truly connects?

Remember, it's not just about selling a product; it's about selling an experience, a feeling, and a promise of a better life.

About the Author

Joe Mutuku
Pragati Badri & Joe Mutuku

Joe has collaborated with founders and leaders of both SMEs and Multinational corporations like USAID, Adrian, Shelter Afrique, Barclays, SHONA, Blu Flamingo, Arielle for Africa etc. Joe is an Alumnus of the University of Nairobi where he pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Design. He’s spent more than 9 years working in Branding, Marketing and Advertising and has cultivated an in-depth understanding of how brands work. He has the ability to co-create impactful brands by developing strategies for brand impact, quality control, consistency and innovation.

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