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Let’s look at the growing trend of brand over-claims. One example that springs to mind is Starbucks’ organising brand thought: ‘inspire and nurture the human spirit’.

But, surely it’s just coffee?

In the quest for an emotionally driven and unique brand, through differentiating it is easy to stretch a brand too far, resulting in an over-claim.

The danger of this is that an over-claim will neither inspire staff nor motivate customers. It then becomes difficult, and even impossible to translate it into the customer experience.

So how do we balance the fine line between being ambitious or over-claiming who and what we are? 

Thinking about some of our work we have completed here at Brand Vista, I have distilled three principles to avoid stretching the brand too far:

1) Is it rooted in the truth of the product

 If you can not directly relate it to the product or service it loses its viability.

2) A strong link between insight and the brand

If it is a tenuous link and more than 3 jumps of faith between the insight and the brand, it is likely to be a step too far away.

3) It inspires ideas

If it can instantly inspire customer experience ideas, from the communications to the offer, then it is understandable and achievable.

By understanding the motivating and inspiring power of an under-claim, brands can create customer experiences that employees can engage with and consumers can relate to.

This is the power of an under-claim. 

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