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Being part of the promise team

It takes an effort for an organization to align its messaging for multiple audiences, via multiple channels. We need to ensure we are saying the same thing about our brand, products and services to our prospects, clients, partners, suppliers, investors, employees, potential employees, industry analysts and researchers, influencers, government, regulators, and the public.

The bigger a company gets, and more complex its offering, the harder this gets. It requires strategic alignment of marketing, sales, account management, customer service, product development, senior leadership, legal, operations, HR, talent acquisition, analyst relations, public relations, supply chain management, and specifically any and all front line workers such as help desk and call centres. The company needs to know how to deliver the right message, the same consistent message, in many different languages, different ways of saying the same thing, in many different formats: through its people, on its web site, on social media, in marketing and educational collateral, thought leadership, and even in legal contracts. Everyone is charged with the responsibility making, and keeping, the promises that the company is engaged in.

If this is not performed well, the company is seen as inconsistent. The brand ends up making promises to some members of its community, and not others. The brand is then seen to not keep its promises, and the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing. This can lead to confusion, mistrust, loss of opportunity, sales, profits, talent, etc. Imagine sales promising a client that the company can deliver the product/service at a certain level of quality, cost and schedule, and then the production team finding out afterwards, and telling that same client that this delivery is impossible, and that the promise cannot be kept. Imagine the CEO telling investors what the company will be working on next, and then being told by regulators that they cannot keep that promise. We have all seen, heard about, or experienced our own versions of these kinds of examples.

However, when this alignment on the promise is focused on, invested in, and done well, all of those members of the external operating environment, from clients to partners to suppliers, can be relied upon to carry the company’s brand message forward on its behalf, and grow its influence, contributing to the sustainable, long term growth of the brand and company. Because what they are describing, the brand promise, is fulfilled by the company and its team of promise-keepers.

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