The marketing concept is a philosophy that all business activities should be geared toward satisfying customer wants and needs while achieving company goals. Commitments, which are statements, promises or policies, play a vital part in the marketing process. They imprint an identity on a company, defining what it can and cannot do. As companies grow, they may need to redefine their identities by implementing new commitments involving strategy, finance, personnel and operations. An ill-considered commitment during any of these stages can doom a business.

A thriving company requires committed customers, employees and investors. However, too many commitments can make a business rigid and slow to change direction. Commitments can also limit a company’s ability to pursue opportunities and prevent it from competing effectively. For example, a CEO’s promise to dominate a market might discourage other competitors from entering the same field. Likewise, a commitment to a particular manufacturing technology might preclude the use of other methods.

In contrast, affective commitment evokes a sense of loyalty and brand advocacy. This type of commitment is important to build for small businesses that rely on repeat customers, such as restaurants and hotels. Affective commitment also helps companies develop strong referral networks and creates loyal advocates, which are a key source of new business.

Achieving a high level of affective commitment can be difficult, but there are several steps a company can take to boost customer satisfaction and create brand advocates. The first step is to define a unique value proposition that separates a product from its competitors. Then, the company must communicate its value proposition through all channels. Next, it must offer a consistent experience to customers, including training its employees and establishing a company culture that reinforces the value proposition.