Thursday, March 3, 2016

The Marketing Power of a Public Promise

I just got back from a week in Japan.

One of the first things I saw when I got off the airplane at Haneda airport was a sign in the men’s bathroom that said, “Today’s janitor is Yamashita Mayumi.” Take a look ...

There's a phone number to call to let them know what you think about the cleanliness of the bathroom.

And guess what? That bathroom was spotless. The counter next to the sink was cleaner than my dining room table. I could have eaten lunch off it.

Why? Because there were serious consequences for Mayumi if she wasn’t doing her job.

That's the power of a public promise.

Now. How can you use this idea in your marketing?

A simple way is to put your direct phone number on all the correspondence that leaves your business -- emails, invoices, receipts, anything going out to customers or clients. Include a message that says, “If you have questions or concerns, here's my phone number. Call it, even on weekends.”

Here's how Keith Lee, president of American Retail Supply, does it. On his company website and in his correspondence is this message:

"Every person at American Retail Supply is empowered to Make You Happy. If at any time you feel we have failed to Make You Happy, or if you ever have a question or concern, please call us right away at 800-426-5708.

"If you're still not happy, please call me on my direct line at 253-859-7310."

And guess what? If Keith gets a call on his direct line, somebody's butt is on the line. Because a call to him means one of his employees failed to make a customer happy. According to Keith, this almost never happens.

Again, the power of a public promise. 

So think: How can you make a public promise to your customers or clients?

Try it. Then see if your sales don’t take off as a result.

By the way, a public promise costs you nothing to implement. It's a little thing that can deliver big profits for your business. That makes it a perfect Marketing Multiplier.

And if you own a service business, you can get a box of 11 Marketing Multipliers delivered, at no cost, if you hurry. Visit


  1. I totally agree, the power to make the client happy is in your hands. If you are an employee, why should you care? Because it is better than not caring. Sign your name to everything you do, like it was a work of art. And make it a work of art! Don't just go through the motions - have a life that matters by making others happier than when you met them.

  2. Bob,

    Thanks for sharing! I agree: Sign your name to your work, like it was a work of art. Because, like it or not, that's what your work is.