Want Branding

Modulating Your Brand’s Promise

There are many brands whose promise or promises are universally felt or received.

Drink a Starbucks espresso and you’ll get a moment to yourself, a little breather, a minute to reflect, as well as a little pick me up from the caffeine buzz.

And, that caffeine buzz might get you through that boring afternoon meeting or give you that little jolt you need to knock out that PowerPoint presentation for your boss.

Point is, the benefit of that Starbucks espresso is abundantly clear and well-defined.

Now, when it comes to dating sites, the benefits manifest differently to the end user. Of course, that’s because there’s a third party that’s an essential part of the equation. You don’t need a third party to get the Starbucks caffeine buzz.

For many, finding a long term partner, perhaps marriage and kids is the ultimate benefit that users are seeking. But dating sites can’t make that promise.

Dating site brands need to modulate their brand promise so they don’t make an over claim.

On this note, I’m impressed with EHarmony’s new ad campaign which uses a great new line ‘I met someone’. The campaign focuses in on intimate moments with family and friends when a single person declares: ‘I’ve met someone’.

These three words are resonant and powerful and hugely meaningful for those seeking partners. And, they’re a stepping stone to perhaps those other three words that single people want and cherish (I love you).

Yes, of course, single people want more – eventually – from a relationship but the mere notion of meeting someone –someone they like, care about, and who has the potential to form a longer term relationship is the immediate benefit/outcome they’re seeking from a dating website.

And, other dating sites have latched on to this idea by focusing on this ‘step’ benefit by showing singles at dinner, having drinks at a bar and actually having a fun on a first date.

I would be very curious to see what kind of response rate EHarmony’s ad has had – how many people clicked on the site and how many actually subscribed?

For now, kudos to EHarmony – in a simplistic sense they’re following a time honored mantra: under promise, over deliver.

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