A company’s brand promise is something that connects your product or service with your purpose, your positioning, your strategy, your people and more importantly your customer experience. Some brands do it well in certain channels and some brands don’t. Over the last 10 years, I have talked about ways to extend and execute your organization’s brand promise in email. It’s hard to do and it’s especially hard to do at the beginning of the relationship.
I have been signing up and collecting welcome emails for nearly 15 years and have only seen a handful of companies who in the first email to their subscriber clearly convey what their brand is all about and the promise it makes to its customers.
Patagonia has long been on my list of companies whose email program has consistently been successful in humanized messaging both in imagery and voice. I have been a subscriber to their program for many years and always enjoy reading their emails and shopping for their products. While I may not be their perfect demographic I do own a few items from Patagonia and have nothing but great things to say about the quality and durability of their products.
When you subscribe to their email, the first impression is experienced through their welcome email which immediately grabs your attention by setting expectations around the types of content you will be receiving, and their mission statement is clearly highlighted right at the top. Two modules around Environmental & Social Responsibility and food provide the reader with a non-salesy look into the company and who you are truly dealing with.
Surprisingly the one thing that this email does not provide that most other Retailers do is a discount on a purchase. There is no discount for giving up your digital SSN and guess what…I am ok with that. The other thing that isn’t present in this creative is a “shop now” button and guess what…I am ok with that too. The purpose of this email is not to sell…it’s to educate people about the brand and why Patagonia exists in the first place. It communicates their values, as well as the simplicity and utility of the brand – some of the key things that have made them successful. The email is a clear statement about what the brand is all about and it’s promise without going into selling you something, which in most cases with Retailers doesn’t happen.
If you are a person who buys from companies because of what they represent, don’t you want to know what goes into their products, why they exist, and what they believe before you give them your hard earned money? Sometimes brands need a kick in the pants when it comes to less selling and more doing which in the long run will lead to a sustainable and profitable business.
If your customers don’t know your brand promise then how do you expect them to remain loyal to your brand or at the very least loyal in engaging in your email program? Make the commitment to weave your brand’s story and promise into at least the first 2-3 touches and then periodically throughout their journey.
Patagonia’s email borders on near perfection for me because I get to know more about them rather than what they make or sell in my first few interactions with them. The only glimpse of what they sell lies towards the bottom of the email in the footer.
Key takeaway: Your brand promise is more important than you think. It is time to start letting people know what it is before you try to take their money.
To learn more about building great email onboarding strategies and programs, contact the email experts at Trendline today.