Keeping a promise can do wonders for the bottom line

Making wild, unsubstantiated claims is not going to endear you to the consumer or do your business any favours. Apparently businesses are finally learning this lesson. In this year’s Promise Index, that tracks which businesses are sticking to their word, the gap between image and experience is getting smaller. Essentially, what brands are saying about themselves is getting closer to reality.

Jo Roberts

The insight consultancy, Promise, tracked 159 companies to find out how customers perceive the ‘image’ and their ‘experience’ of various brands. There were some surprising results.

Utilities came out as one of the top sectors overall. Although not the sexiest sector out there, it’s reliable, according to the Index scores. The car industry did relatively well in this year’s Index despite its well-publicised financial woes. It seems that consumers still see cars brands as desirable and aspirational.

No surprises for the top dog, however. Google, our favourite search engine, is top of yet another list. The search engine is number one on the Promise Index for the third year running because it’s seen as an innovative brand, and importantly in the current climate, it’s free.

The one common factor in all of the top performing brands is their emphasis on customer service. Google’s director of marketing for central and northern Europe, Dan Cobley, says everything the business does is geared to making life easier for its users. “We make hundred of tweaks to Google search every year to make our results faster and more relevant.” It’s good to know that the top brands aren’t getting complacent.

Perhaps the financial rewards will also help keep businesses motivated. The Promise consultancy teamed up with the London School of Economics to understand the relevance of the Index. According to its findings, those who perform above and beyond expectations have an average revenue growth of 10.5%. Now who said that image is everything?

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