Are Employees Breaking Your Brand Promises?

Imagine this C-suite scenario: it is budget-cutting time. On the chopping block are training and marketing. The prevailing opinion is that training doesn’t provide enough tangible benefits, particularly when employees leave soon after they have been trained. Similarly, marketing is regarded as an expensive cost that doesn’t deliver a robust return on investment or generate revenue in the short term. However, these views are short-sighted: customers stop buying from companies when there are gaps between what they experience and what they have been promised in marketing and advertising communications. Both training and marketing are therefore key to how customers perceive an organization.


A company’s brand promise is what customers can expect from an organization. Typically, marketing communications portray a brand in a positive light. However, the dark shadows of malfunctioning back-office operations and cumbersome procedures can prevent front-line workers from delivering the benefits promised by the brand. Problems arise when the brand promise is defined by marketing but is not understood by other areas of the business.

The flight reservation system failure at Delta Air Lines in August 2016 illustrates this well. Delta failed to deliver on its brand promise that “We don’t cancel flights” when its reservation system crashed and forced cancellations worldwide. Investigations indicated that the system crash could have been avoided, but the airline’s back-up arrangements failed. There were widespread reports of passengers missing weddings, funerals and important work engagements as Delta employees struggled to deliver on their broken promise. Delta’s CEO was roundly criticized for his delayed apology. The company was also denounced for relying on its corporate newsroom and social media to disseminate information to customers, which certainly lacked a personal touch.

Get your FREE trial now!

Start your free 14-day trial now to read this story and

Make. Work. Better.

Already a subscriber?

Reuse and Permissions: While social sharing is permitted, unauthorized reuse or republication of any and all content is strictly prohibited. To discuss re-use of this material, please contact: ; 877-668-1945.

Camille N. Isaacs-Morell

Written By

Camille N. Isaacs-Morell ( is a marketing professional with extensive experience in the development and delivery of brand strategies for global institutions that have achieved their business development objectives through effective communication and customer service delivery.


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Related Posts

Your Workplace is a premium source of leading-edge content to help you create a thriving workplace where everyone wants to work.

Contact Your Workplace

Tel: 613-549-1222
Toll Free: 1-877-668-1945
Contact Us

Whoa! Don't Go Yet

Sign up to receive free leading-edge content about people at work.