October 25, 2023
Brands aim to make people think, feel, and act. But, in the midst of this pursuit, there’s a critical element that often evades the spotlight—a challenge that even seasoned CMOs might underestimate: the infamous Say-Do Gap™. It’s a stark disconnect between what a brand says (i.e., a brand’s belief, positioning, values, etc) and what it does (its behaviors, actions, and decisions), leaving behind disappointed consumer expectations and hindered business growth.
This disconnection isn’t merely a statistical anomaly; it’s a real emotional letdown for your customers. Picture this: a captivating marketing campaign introduces a new socially aware brand that believes in inclusivity. The advertisements echo a commitment to celebrating a wide range of voices. However, when customers engage with the brand, they encounter a reality that doesn’t match. Those inclusive values have been sacrificed for profit. This disconnect isn’t just a business glitch; it’s a breach of the human connection, leaving customers questioning the authenticity of the brand they once admired.
In the echo of unfulfilled promises, growth stagnates. Disappointed and disheartened customers seek solace in competitors who deliver on their convictions. The brand, now tainted by inconsistency, struggles to rebuild consumer trust and grow sustainably and meaningfully.
SEARCHING OUT A SAY-DO GAP
In the relentless pursuit of growth, it’s easy to overlook the subtle discrepancies between your brand’s promises and what it delivers. In fact, the Say-Do Gap isn’t always glaring; it often resides in the nuances of customer interactions hidden within the gaps between marketing campaigns and real-world experiences. Finding Your Say-Do Gap isn’t impossible; it just requires some smart detection strategies. At BLVR®, we like to look at five key areas.
- Belief Identification
At the core of every authentic brand lies a well-defined belief, a deeper conviction that acts as a north star. This belief isn’t just a tagline; it’s the brand’s heartbeat, evident in every branding and marketing endeavor. It serves as the foundation upon which the entire brand narrative is built. When this belief is vividly articulated and consistently upheld, it becomes the bedrock of trust, forming a bridge between what the brand says and what it does.
- Brand Representation
The tangible elements that people see, hear, and experience form the face of your brand. It includes everything from your logo and packaging to your website design and customer service interactions. Consistency in these elements is paramount. When the brand representation harmonizes with the core belief, it reinforces the brand’s authenticity, creating a seamless customer experience.
- Customer Journey
In the digital age, the customer journey is no longer linear; it’s a multifaceted experience spanning various touchpoints. Aligning your brand’s belief throughout this journey is pivotal. Every interaction, from the first point of contact to the post-purchase engagement, should resonate with the brand’s fundamental belief. This alignment not only enhances customer satisfaction but also builds enduring brand relationships.
- Content Authenticity
In a world inundated with content, authenticity stands out as a beacon of trustworthiness. The content your brand produces—be it social media posts, blogs, or product descriptions—must reflect the genuine essence of your belief. Authentic content resonates with audiences, fostering a sense of connection and loyalty. It’s not just about what you say; it’s about how real, relatable, and consistent your content is across all platforms.
- Campaign Consistency
Marketing campaigns are powerful tools that can either reinforce or rupture the bridge between your brand’s belief and actions. When your campaigns align seamlessly with your brand’s fundamental belief, they become more than mere advertisements; they become narratives that echo truth. Campaigns consistent with your brand’s belief not only enhance credibility but also ensure that customers experience what they’ve been promised, closing the Say-Do Gap.
THE SAY-DO GAP™ ASSESSMENT
Is there a disconnect in your brand? Dive into the Say-Do Gap™ Assessment—align your brand, build trust, and unleash unparalleled success.
In the heart of the Say-Do Gap™ lies a chance—a chance for brands to redefine their narrative, not merely in words but in tangible actions. It’s an opportunity to infuse sincerity into every interaction and to rebuild the lost trust. The Say-Do Gap™ isn’t a hurdle; it’s a canvas where brands can paint stories of reliability, credibility, and genuine connection. The choice is stark: stay trapped in the gap or construct the bridge that leads to a future where promises and reality are seamlessly integrated.
About the author(s)
Executive Director Strategic Impact & Growth
Lenya leads business development at BLVR and is well-versed in partnering with clients to drive long-term value for their organizations. She honed her craft working on global brands like Procter & Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, Sony, and Canon at leading agencies, including Saatchi & Saatchi, Leo Burnett, and BASIC. A master of purpose-led creativity, her work has been honored by the Effie Awards and the prestigious Cannes Lion Festival.