Romance makes the world go crazy, has it ever occurred to you that the statement “I love you”, is a promise. In the world of branding, that is what we call a brand promise.
A brand promise is giving assurance and one would rely on the promise, that then becomes a reality to them when they experience it. Brands spend enormous amounts of money, assuring consumers that they really are who and what they say. Everything in this world comes with a promise, and so do country and city brands.
As for Zimbabwe, what are we promising the world? Lets take a look at our famous tag lines,
- Zimbabwe a world of wonders
- Zimbabwe is open for business
- Invest in Zimbabwe
By looking at the above, are we really keeping our brand promise to the world markets? Are we a world of wonders, open for business and investor ready? According to a case study done by the Ministry of Tourism in 2017, they cited that, when someone comes into Zimbabwe they would be having high expectations, by the time they experience our brand they would be disappointed and some never want to come back again.
The Ministry agrees that there surely is lack of brand promise, we are selling a mirage most of the times. Expectation is what ignites peoples desire to buy into anything but when that expectation is defied, the seller loses credibility and sales. It is evident why we have what we call illegal sanctions because we are failing to keep our brand promise.
The world markets are erupting with different emotions towards how and what they feel about products and services. Where they come from and who made them, are a determining factor. The market does not go for mediocre, I mean nobody ever wants to buy into mediocre. Have you ever walked into a restaurant and asked for a mediocre meal or a mediocre seat? or even wished for a mediocre service for your car. If you haven’t but always demanded the best, that is how the market makes decisions on which country to tour, study, invest or trade with.
Everything goes back to the brand promise delivery. Zimbabweans are known for migration to other countries, this being triggered by what these countries that they migrate to promise.
Countries are just basically different business portfolios, in their distinct nature they offer diversity to what different demographics fancy. Brand promise is the end game for any and every brand and so it cannot be lacking, as it will diminish the brand leaving an unpleasant perception in the mind of the consumer.
In my own opinion if domestically we can not keep brand promises to our selves, surely we cannot court the global market to buy into our products and services. As a country we have forgotten that the totality of the brand is a contribution that we all partake in. Lets look at buying lunch at a restaurant so that you understand why we are not progressing . If a restaurant is selling sadza, beef and vegetables at 20rtgs, and when they run out of veggies, they still continue selling the meal at that same price, not adding anything to substitute the missing vegetables.The price remains the same, the service is compromised and the consumer leaves the restaurant unsatisfied. Its these small things that may seem irrelevant, that we ignore but are ruining the functionality of the country . Why are we guaranteeing what we cannot deliver at the expense of causing detriment to one another?
The World stage is now filled with players that leave no stone unturned, as they understand that brand promise equates to not just sales but a long lasting impression that creates legacies of continuous generations. For Zimbabwe to become a powerhouse, we must all start functioning like powerhouses for both our personal and organizational brands . Brand promise will transcend us to reach goals that we thought were unobtainable, and to dominate on the global market, generating not just revenue but a brand that people trust, rely and believe in..
Tare Munzara is a Country Branding Expert and the CEO for Destination Marketing International. For Feedback please do contact Email on email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org . Phone: 0774 817 440