How does a promise affect your brand? In just about every way.
On a day-to-day basis, I often browse other marketing blogs — to educate myself, to integrate the good stuff into our own practices, and to see when others go completely off the rails. One of my favorite bloggers is Seth Godin, a marketing guru and author of 12 books on the subject. The guys doesn’t write as often as he used to, but early on when I was trying to define the RUSSO philosophy, I turned to his writing quite often.
Years ago, I ran across a short entry by Godin, and it stuck with me, ever since:
My main takeaway was the importance of creating value through offers, messages, and promotions of all kinds, which Seth refers to as promises. To be successful here, he states that there are two main areas of focus: simply utility and believability.
The utility of a promise is its usefulness. Let’s face it, it isn’t often people go out of their way to do something that doesn’t benefit them. But there is more depth than just that. Not only does a promise require usefulness to be successful, but that usefulness has to be large enough to motivate us into action. After all, isn’t that what marketing is about? Motivating people? At any rate, your Nonprofit Healthcare Organization has to create and celebrate a meaningful promise that your patients, your patrons, and your supports can actually do something. How is involvement going to improve their lives?
The believability of a promise is what people consider the truthfulness of its message. People will not be motivated to act if they are under the impression you won’t deliver. I myself can think of plenty of times I have responded to an offering only to learn that there was a catch, fine print or that I had been mislead. This characteristic is extremely important as it has a huge impact on business, especially on customer relationship management. However, this issue is often more concerning for those people or organizations that have mislead, tricked or slighted others before. As a Nonprofit Healthcare Organization, you are expected to be responsibly, trustworthy, and transparent. You are held to a higher standard than many other businesses because you’re “mission-centric.” So you’ve got a lot more room to fail than, let’s say, a bar or a clothing store. But that also means that people become more emotionally invested in you. In a way, you’ve got the potential to make stronger bonds built on trust and any other type of business.
The important thing to remember about the above message is that it extends beyond your organization. According to Seth, the utility and believability of a promise “applies to resumes, meetings and even the kid raking your lawn.” Now is as good of a time as any to ask yourself if you’re truly sending the right message.
Download our Branding The Nonprofit Healthcare Organization eBook and learn more about how branding can increase awareness, loyalty, and action.