Message & Media: Satisfaction Guaranteed

6 examples of the profitable power of a promise
Valspar Paint Guarantee

Valspar Paint promotes its guarantee on its homepage and walks customers through the steps to receive a rebate for the can of paint in the color that didn’t work out.

Valspar Paint understands this concern and also knows its product is a commodity marketed by many. That’s why the paint company developed the “Love Your Color” guarantee. In addition, showcasing it on its website home page—”If you don’t love the color, have another on us”—Valspar also promotes the guarantee in broadcast, print, and even on YouTube!

2. Stand apart from the competition. How many plumbers are there in your city and how much time have you wasted waiting for one of them to show up to fix your plumbing problem? What if a plumber promised to be on time or he would pay you for your time lost? Benjamin Franklin Plumbing—”The Punctual Plumber”—does just that. The guarantee sets them apart with this promise: “If there’s any delay, it’s you we pay. If we’re not on time, we pay you $5.00 per each minute late up to $300.” What reinforces the attention-grabbing value of this guarantee is its specificity. And, no surprise, it’s even featured on the back of Benjamin Franklin Plumbing trucks.

3. Don’t let your lawyer write it. The best guarantees are short, to the point, and without asterisks or legalese. When it comes to having the shortest, most unconditional guarantee on record, Lands’ End wins hands-down with “Guaranteed. Period.” To prove the retailer means what it says, the Lands’ End website recounts the following story:

As you’d expect, over the years our guarantee has been put to the test. We’ve been given countless opportunities to demonstrate our commitment to customer satisfaction and our willingness to stand behind the products we sell—though none more demonstrative than the return and refund of an original London taxi. Featured on the cover of our 1984 holiday catalog, the taxi was purchased for $19,000 by a Kansas native as a gift for her husband (an avid car collector). In 2005, her husband contacted Lands’ End and expressed interest in returning the car for a full refund. Of course, we obliged—because whether your purchase includes a tote or a taxi, your satisfaction is Guaranteed. Period.

Pat Friesen is a direct response copywriter, content developer, copy coach and creative strategist. She is also the author of "The Cross-Channel Copywriting Handbook," published by Direct Marketing IQ. Reach her at (913) 341-1211.

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