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4 Types of Gaps Big Brands Fail to Plug and How You Can Close Them?

What would you call a person who says one thing and do the other?

A hypocrite, right?

What if your favorite brands do the same thing? Would you ever buy products from them again? I suppose you won’t. 

When brands don’t walk the talk, their trustworthiness, ability to deliver value and relationships with their customers take a nosedive.

Scoring low on the above three factors will result in stifling your business growth, and your brand will end up in the bad books of your audience.

Some might even share their horrifying experiences with your brand and prevent others from buying your products. This will put a significantdent on your brand’s reputation and makes it tough for you to attract new customers and expand into other markets. To reverse this downward slide, it is essential to identify the gap of meaning and fill in that gap brand meaning.

In this article, you will learn about four common types of gaps that popular brands struggle to fill in and how you can change that.

4 Types of Gaps Every Business Should Fill

There are four different types of holes every business should be aware of:

  1. Cultural Gap
  2. Trust Gap
  3. Context Gap
  4. Social Impact Gap

Let’s look at each one in detail.

1.     Cultural Gap

The first disconnect occurs when brands start to challenge the cultural norms of the society. McDonald’s experienced this firsthand when they entered into the Indian market. One-third of the Indian population is vegan so they don’t eat beef and chicken. Due to this McDonald’s was forced to introduce vegan burgers in their Indian outlets.

McDonald’s faced similar challenges in other countries of the world such as China and Finland. McDonald’s did a great job of minimizing the cultural gap by introducing new burgers that suits the taste buds of local population. There are certain colors that symbolize different things in different cultures. For instance, yellow color is a symbol of envy while the same yellow color is seen as the color of happiness and good fortune in Egypt. A good web design agency takes care of all these cultural factors while designing a website.

As time passes, culture evolves. It is important for business to tweak their brand voice and messaging based on cultural shifts. You must take all the cultural factors into account when launching a product otherwise, your product can receive a lukewarm response from your target audience. As a brand, we don’t want that.

2.     Trust Gap

The trust gap starts to widen when a brand’s messages don’t align with its actions. Theircorporate behavior and measures are360-degrees opposite to what theirbrand values are and their brand image reflects. Most successful brands have core values and a brand image, but when brands start to move away from these values, they start to lose their credibility. Next, theircustomers stop trusting them.

What most companies don’t realize is that they can also make profits without compromising their brand image. There are certain things you should never compromise on and your brand’s core values should be one of them. Instead of making tall claims that none of your products can fulfill, it is better to adopt a “promise less and deliver more” formula.

This way, your brand will never bump into trust deficit issues with your customers. If your brand is already dealing with a widening trust gap, you should focus on delivering value consistently. This will allow you to win back the trust your brand haslost. This might not happen overnight, but if you show persistence, the result might come in your favor.

3.     Context Gap

You might have heard this marketing cliché, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast” but did you know that it still holds to this day. Before developing a strategy, brands and creative agencies need to develop an in-depth understanding of how the audience is going to react to their messages.

When brands and their creative teams come up with an out of the box idea they tend to lose sight of the negative impact it might have.How can that happen? Context is the answer. When the creatives are not in sync with the way the audience thinks and decodes branding messages, this mishap is bound to happen.

The context gap increases when brands have big ideas on one side and smart execution on the other side. There is nothing wrong with thinking big and coming up with new and innovative ideas.But you should be 100% sure that branding messages you’re directing towards your audience get deciphered in the way you want them to understand.

4.     Social Impact Gap

Your marketing efforts are not delivering the desired results. There could be various reasons for this, but one of the reasons could be a lack of alignment between the message you are communicating and the position you hold in the industry. To get social approval you should be at a place where you can make a social impact and fulfill the promises you make with your target audience. Try to improve your brand perception so that your target audience takes all your claims seriously.

As a commercial entity whose success and failure are directly linked with the revenue, brands don’t have the political mandate to tell people what is right and what is wrong. Brand purpose acts as a torchbearerthat guides brands on which actions they should take. It is not for positioning brands as an alternative to a social watchdog highlighting the illsof the society.

Having said that if the execution is planned carefully, keeping all the nuances in mind, then this can also present your brand in the right light giving you more social traction and popularity.

How do you fill in the gaps of meaning that most brands fall into? Share your process with us in the comments section below.

Muneeb Siddiqui

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