Brands who can keep a promise rate highly with consumers

This year’s Promise Index shows how strong brands have fallen in consumers’ minds as a result of an underwhelming experience, delivering the message that it isn’t just a great product that people are looking for.

Mary-Lou Costa
Mary-Lou Costa

The Promise Index highlights, among many things, just how an online experience, either through a brand’s own website or social media activity, can enhance people’s perception and feedback of an experience they have with a brand.

It shows that a brand is no longer represented to consumers by an individual product, but through the purchasing and post-purchasing experience, as well as the company’s wider ethical credentials – all of which can be enhanced by an easily accessible and engaging online presence.

The results show that brands who use social media well have earned a positive consumer view towards the brand experience, such as Ocado, who use Facebook and Twitter as avenues for customers to communicate with them. It shows how being accessible any time, any where and not just through an overpriced 9 to 5 phone hotline means a lot to consumers and pays dividends to brands.

It is interesting to see then how online brand Lastminute.com’s website experience doesn’t match up to the brand perception – with its heritage as an online brand, it should be an expert at communicating to consumers via this channel. According to Promise, this is a result of the surge in competing discount websites, and perhaps this means that people aren’t finding the cheap deals they are expecting from Lastminute.com.

Compare this with Ryanair, who makes no apologies for its no frill nature, with its customers then pleasantly surprised with any small favour they are given. I wouldn’t suggest that Lastminute.com looks to Ryanair for advice by taking on their mantra of “promise nothing” but it does indicate there is a miscommunication in what the brand is projecting and what people are expecting. Lastminute.com made its name on providing good last minute deals on hotels and flights, and if this is no longer the case, the public needs to be told more clearly. Or if the problem is a result of actual website issues, this needs to be addressed, and consumers need to be made to feel that they can communicate with the brand more readily.

It is, however, encouraging to see that Lastminute.com’s UK and Ireland marketing director Mark Fells has interpreted the results as a positive challenge to be met – just the attitude a marketer should have.

To read more about the Promise Index, click here

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