Utility is the expectation. Promise is the motivator. One gets you to the starting line, the other gets you on the market share winner’s podium.

Brands that are winning in the marketplace make products that do the job and deliver on the promise.

That was one of the main takeaways I got at the recent Insights Association Annual Conference for market researchers at Hilton Head, South Carolina.

Soap is Soap

If we have talked in person, you have probably heard me say this at least once: Soap is soap.

We all need soap to get the dirt and grime and stink off. That is utility, and any brand of soap worth its salt will do that.

Personally, I like a basic, good-old-fashioned bar of Irish Spring. It does the job I want it to do.

My partner, on the other hand, wants more from her soap. She wants it to be gentle on her skin and good for the environment and made by a company that supports sustainability. She wants the promise.

Defining the Promise

The promise is where a brand authentically meets its target audience in their Living Well space.

So, there are two components:

  1. Brands need to know what their target audience values.

    This can run the gamut from living large to living the simple life, finding bargains to finding treasures, and seizing opportunities to embracing Zen.
  1. Brands need to authentically live and represent one or more of those values.

    Let’s go back to my soap example. Irish Spring and I have a few core values in common: we are tough, we like the outdoors, and you will never find either one of us in a frou-frou boutique. That is a promise!

Know your audience. Know yourself. Meet in a mutually acceptable and personal space.

Love and Loyalty

Brands that deliver on utility alone – even if they absolutely own that utility – will be limited to point-of-purchase sales. “Oh, yeah, I need soap. This one works.”

Brands that deliver on both utility and the promise of helping someone live well will build connections and create ambassadors. “Oh, yeah, I need [brand name] soap. It’s the best, and it’s the only kind I use.”

Need help finding your promise? Or the Live Well promise that your consumers are looking for? Give me a call. The Olinger Group can get you there. We promise.

Contact Michael

Categories: Market Research, Living Well, Market Share /

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