MAL 25/18 MAL25/18 - Page 62

BRAND PROMISE Keep Your Brand Alive - Promise The Clouds, Deliver Heaven! By Joseph Kimotho T he FIFA World Cup is definitely a massive global brand laden with many promises of excitement, great football, fair competition, bridging of religious/racial divides and of course moments of national pride. What makes it the single most successful global sporting event is the fact that it delivers on its brand promises every time. The recently concluded FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia was no exception. We experienced great football and really exciting moments. As football commentator Oliver Carrol of the Independent Newspaper summarized it: “The football was good, with teams much closer to one another than previously thought, it was a tournament of drama, incongruity and the triumph of the supposed underdog… the five opening goals against Saudi Arabia; the superstar Cristiano Ronaldo turning up in provincial Saransk; the crazed and colorful Iranian, Peruvian, Colombian supporters; the Senegalese warm-up dance; the Japanese fans picking up their litter; the German machine breaking down; the Argentine despair amid Brazilian smugness; the Brazilian despair amid Argentine smugness; the sublime Belgian football; Pickford’s saves; England’s unexpected progress; and Gareth Southgate’s waistcoat… and, of course, for the hosts: that victory over Spain.” There were plenty of moments to celebrate and make it worth our time to watch the event across the countries – and next time they are having a World Cup, we will back on our screens to watch if not the terraces of Qatar’s stadiums. When a brand fails to honor its promise the expected outcome is that customers feel cheat- ed, resent themselves for being gullible, and get confused about their ability to make sound judgments. This of course is with varying levels of intensity depending on factors such as the level of investment involved, functionality of the product or service, psychological make-up of the consumer among others. 60 MAL25/18 ISSUE As I reflected on the success of the just concluded World Cup, my mind was drawn to contrast it to another global sporting event that took place some time back in mid - 2015. The Boxing Match between Mayweather and Pacquio on May 2nd 2015. I remember attending a Marketing Society of Kenya dinner event a few days after the match and sharing a table with my friend and marketing comrade; the CEO of Marketing Africa - Mr. William Kalombo. As he was chomping away at his steak, the clinker of his cutlery could tell that there was a lot on the man’s mind. Before I could ask what it was, it came bursting out ‘what was all this fuss about? What was the hype all about? Joseph, did you watch that lame fight? Why did we stay up all night to watch it? These guys over-marketed and over-promised that bout, they are making marketing look bad. Of course a very animated discussion ensued at the table with opinions flowing freely and it got me thinking. The disappointment at the table was not because any of the guys was an ardent boxing fan. Actually none of these guys cared about Mayweather or Pacquiao before that last fight. The problem was that a marketer somewhere promised them a thrilling experience, they bought the promise but the product did not live up to it. The Sports Illustrated magazine commented