Deliver or Dazzle: Basic Promises to Customers Aren’t Meant to Be Broken


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The tale of the savvy mobile shopper is going the rounds among merchants, managers, and marketers. This type of consumer uses her smartphone as a decision-making tool. She compares prices, looks for better alternatives, demands products of high quality and with low carbon footprints. This person makes up the largest demographic that brands are scrambling to please.

Adweek reports that 81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying goods. Out of that group, 60% use a search engine while 61% read product reviews. On average, a consumer will visit a store thrice before purchasing.

All of these activities come into play when you are mapping your customer’s journey. Whether you are a merchant, a manager, or a marketer, imagine yourself in the buyer’s shoes. You may begin to understand how delivering on basic promises is better than putting on a dazzling show. And it starts with knowing that shoppers have become smarter, and they are looking for brands that are as thoughtful and resourceful.

Here are more steps you can take to become a brand or business they will believe in:

Get to know them first

It will not be enough to know that consumers have gotten smart. You must create segments or categories or personas to identify each group’s needs and wants.

For instance, to further understand smartphone users, you should be able to gather information about their preferred mobile OS. How many are Appleheads or Android geeks?

According to, “There is a very consistent pattern between Android and Apple users. Each of these brands’ users carries a very particular set of habits, lifestyle, and overall livelihood. This isn’t a random coincidence, though. Both, Android and Apple offer a very different user experience that appeals to a selected audience.”

Only when you have identified the audience share per mobile OS will you be able to design a user experience that is favorable to the majority.

Align marketing message with the company’s ability to deliver

According to this Forbes article, businesses of all sizes set customers’ expectations. So if an airline implies in its ad that you’ll feel like a king flying with them, it’s exactly the kind of treatment you’ll expect. But United Airlines is having troubles fulfilling its promise. Why? It’s pictured itself as a giant white bird taking medieval warriors to far-off lands where they sit with knights and meet with beautiful damsels. It does not say anything about toddlers throwing tantrums in mid-flight. Nothing about passengers getting dragged out of their seats because those same seats have also been sold to other people.

Sometimes, in an effort to dazzle the audience, companies end up concocting fairy tales. The moral here, however, is to keep your marketing message grounded on reality. Are you able to ship products within the day? Is your express checkout two steps faster than your competition’s?

Put your money where your mouth is

The same Forbes article advises companies to invest in the bright spots of the customer’s journey. In other words, capitalize on your strength/s. If your salespeople are knowledgeable about your products or services, tell consumers about it. At the same time, reward excellent representatives.

In one local ad, Uber highlights the social contributions and back stories of its drivers. The ride-sharing service not only reminds users how these “personal chauffeurs” take people to their destinations with relative safety, comfort, and convenience. By letting the drivers narrate their personal reasons for taking on the job, Uber also adds that necessary human touch.

In another example, say, you are an online beauty shop that acknowledges the role of retail therapy in busy women’s lives. Knowing the importance of instant gratification, you promise to ship orders within 24 hours. Now you should allocate a bigger budget to logistics. Hire and train delivery personnel if needed.

In addition, consider huge seasonal events as another investment opportunity. Take the forthcoming long weekend in November. While you devise a strategy to bring in traffic and sales during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you should also prepare well for infrastructure and customer support should anything untoward arises.

Get the equation right for earning customers’ respect

Dishing out an excellent customer experience goes hand in hand with delivering high-quality goods. At its core, your business exists to add value to the lives of consumers. If not, what are you doing there? But if you get that equation right, it will be much easier to get some love from buyers.

One way to get it is asking for a review. After reading about how a certain product improved another person’s skin or productivity, mobile shoppers will be able to decide if it is worth spending their hard-earned dollars on.

How do you know if you are earning the respect of your customers? Your items are accumulating good ratings. Independent bloggers are promoting your products. Or your goods are getting featured in the “best list” of review sites. Do not underestimate the power of word-of-mouth in the digital age.


Nothing beats delivering on your basic promises such as a hassle-free experience from research to delivery to the actual use of the product. Other factors are either enhancements or embellishments. At the end of the day, a brand will earn people’s respect if it makes its promises simple and avoids breaking them.  A wise brand will reinvest its profits in filling the gaps in the customer’s journey. And lastly, a well-loved brand will have done these two and gain free marketing from the reviews and recommendations of satisfied consumers.


Vikas Agrawal
Vikas Agrawal is a start-up Investor and co-founder of the Infographic design agency, He is a highly influential research analyst and strategic marketing consultant.Vikas advises and plans the visual marketing campaigns of Medium to Large companies. Vikas has worked globally across multiple industries including retail, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals deploying effective strategic marketing plans and methodologies. A renowned blogger on the subject of Technology, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.


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