The only thing worse than not having a guarantee? Having a pantywaist guarantee.
I was ordering new socks – yes, I am the most boring person you know – and I came across Darn Tough Socks. I’m a sucker for great, American-made stuff, and that led me to their site, where I found this guarantee:
OUR LIFETIME GUARANTEE: Unconditional lifetime guarantee—simply and without strings or conditions—if our socks are not the most comfortable, durable and best fitting socks you have ever owned, return them for another pair, or your money back. No strings. No conditions. For life. When you are really serious about something you make it yourself.
RETURNING SOCKS: If you were able to wear out a pair of Darn Tough socks, we’ll replace them. At any time. Just package the socks up, fill out the form, and send to the appropriate address—we will send you a brand new pair!
Don’t like these socks ten years later? Return them. Wear out a pair of these socks in thirty years? Exchange them.
Most companies, sadly, stop at “if you don’t like them, return them within 14 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money.”
That’s a pantywaist guarantee. Don’t even bother advertising it. It’s, at best, meh, and at worst, what every decent company should do anyway.
Having a rockin’ guarantee assures me of your belief in your product or service. How bold can you be? Can you be as bold as our clients in Milwaukee and Chicago, Penny Mustard Furnishings?
Our Warranty is simple. Our family will take care of your family’s furniture to the 8th generation. In tracing our family tree back as far as we could, we determined that a “Generation” in our family was 35 years, 10.5 months. In taking care of our furniture for 8 generations our warranty is 287 years.
Simply put, 287 years from now, if your great, great, great, great, great, great grandchild needs service done on your Penny Mustard furniture, our great, great, great, great, great, great grandchild will satisfactorily repair your Penny Mustard furniture or offer to replace it.
Does any furniture in your house have a 287-year guarantee?
BHAGs (Big, Hairy, Awesome Guarantees) make for great marketing. They show consumers you’re not typical, that you’re willing to pay a price for greatness. Here’s the story the owners of Penny Mustard tell about their BHAG:
Ben and I are passionate that great furniture should last for Generations. Not years, or decades, but hundreds of years. It should be cherished as a family treasure for many future generations.
This belief stems from some simple scrawled writing on the back of a dresser that was purchased by our late Grandmother Augusta Huth.
The furniture store in Ripon, Wisconsin where she purchased this dresser simply scribbled her name, address, and the delivery date on the back of the dresser. I am sure it was just their way of tracking the delivery. However, 70 years later, that simple scribbling made this dresser invaluable to our family. It made it a piece of our history.
Arvid & Ben Huth
Create your own BHAG:
- Audit your current guarantees and warranties.
- List out your company core values.
- Brainstorm ways to apply #2 to #1 and exaggerate your offer.
- If your result doesn’t make you, at first, slightly uncomfortable, then make you puff out your chest, go back to step #3.
Remember, good messaging isn’t born out of flowery writing. It comes from the customer experience born out of brilliant strategy – which includes boldly applying your core values to your systems, your policies, your procedures, your warranties, and your guarantees.
Jack up your warranties next week. Create BHAGs, and your business will grow. I guarantee it.