The unwritten promise that must be kept

“Brits getting bashed for World Cup performance”, “Sun goes down on remnants of France’s football empire”, the start of the 2010 World Cup has not been an auspicious one for the traditional aristocrats of the game. Fans of these teams have been sorely disappointed by the dismal performances and national pride has been dented. In branding, this is called a brand gap – where the brand experience does not measure up to expectations.

Although no promises will ever given, these expectations arise from fans perception of the teams based on what they have seen, heard, experienced in the past. Thus, keeping the unwritten “promise” of the brand is particularly imperative for brands with a strong heritage. Failure means an almost irreversible damage to brand equity that’s extremely costly to remedy.

In the case of England and France, the promise is not about winning the World Cup since there is only one winner, but about putting on a show that’ll delight and thrill their fans, a performance that despite winning or losing, their fans can walk away feeling pride for their teams. Thus far, both and several others have sorely failed and even shamed their home nations through internal squabbles between players and coach. Whenever the team starts pointing fingers, it looks bad for all in the team regardless of whose right and wrong.