A brand is a promise–the emotional and psychological deal you make with your clients. To inspire others with your brand, you must believe in everything it represents. Just as no two snowflakes are alike, so it must be with your brand.
What your brand promises to your target market(s) must be evident in every marketing message, providing brand stories and giving power to your sales team.
Your Brand Promise:
- Is NOT slogan or a tagline, but rather an internal mantra.
- Is at the heart of an effective strategy to differentiate your business from your competition.
According to Verne Harnish, your devotion to delivering on the promise must be maniacal. You must choose the right brand promise—the one your customers respond to, the one you can track and execute day after day.
- Must be relevant to and resonate with your target market.
In its Brand Promise Breakdown, University of Michigan-Flint suggests that you consider how your brand promise sounds to your target market(s). To craft it’s brand promise, UM-Flint asked target audiences which potential positive brand messages they most preferred—those they viewed as most important, believable, and differentiating.
- Must be evaluated against these three criteria: unique, compelling, believable.
Brad VanAuken (The Blake Project) says the “winning” promise must deliver at a high level against all three criteria or it won’t work. He suggests you have your target audience rate each potential “promise” on each of these three criteria.
- Must be delivered to clients consistently, every time by every employee in every action taken and in every marketing channel.
If your business—including all employees—can’t deliver on the brand promise, it will severely stunt brand success. When you promise to empower your employees [to deliver on your brand promise], you have to actually do it, says the Young Entrepreneur Council.
- Impacts your credibility and trajectory of your brand’s perceived value. If it’s not in harmony with the brand proof, the speed of social media communication can erode credibility.
As Thomson Dawson (Branding Strategy Insider) puts it: If you don’t deliver what you promise to people, in time, you won’t matter to them. He suggests that you consider if your marketing messaging and imagery could be breeding mistrust and degrading your brand’s value. Check out the examples of images from fast food advertisements versus the actual products that he attributes the blog Alphaila. Broken brand promises? You bet.
- Is manifested in the delivery of the overall brand experience.
According to Hinge Marketing, expectations are communicated by the brand itself. The brand promise is the expected tangible benefit that creates desire for a product or service. It allows a business to set up customer expectations and generate excitement.
Only when you prove you are different and trustworthy will people talk about you, show their loyalty, and recommend you to their friends. That’s a true measure of success for your brand promise.
Are you maniacal about substantiating and delivering on your brand promise? What other factors are vital to your brand promise?