A brand promise is a value or experience a company’s customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with that company.
If a company delivers that promise on a consistent basis then they will have a stronger brand value in the eyes of the audience.
In creating your brand promise, one needs to consider what makes the company special and figure out what you do for whom. Defining your business model is a good starting point.
A brand promise reveals what consumers can expect from a brand across all touch points. It serves as a company’s guiding light and it shapes every aspect of the company, from its messaging to its customer service. A brand promise is usually an internal mantra shared with employees, investors and partners. However, when your brand identity is strong, your target audience can also assume your brand promise.
The importance of brand promise
It’s important for customers to be conscious of what a brand stands for and the brand promise makes that clear. It allows the company to have a consistent message and rallying cry for the company overall and one that will extend to your customers. A brand promise tells your customer what they can expect from your product/service. It sets their expectations on the quality of your products/services. If the brand promise is broken, the result will be dissatisfied customers who will eventually desert your product/service.
A brand promise can lead to lower cost of sales because selling more products/services to loyal emotionally connected customers is less expensive than acquiring new ones.
A company which consistently delivers on its brand promise will have a greater reputation among customers leading to a higher brand equity. A higher brand equity means that the overall brand strength of the company increases and the overall value of the company will rise as a result. The purpose of the brand promise starts internally with employees and then it extends to your customers and companies have an option whether to state it explicitly to customers or not.
Examples of common brand promises
An effective brand promise is simple, credible, unique, memorable and inspiring.
- FedEx: Your package will get there overnight guaranteed.
- BMW: The ultimate driving machine
- Nike: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
- Starbucks: To inspire and nurture the human spirit in one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time
Differences between a brand promise and a tagline
A tagline is a slogan used in conjunction with a product or brand that is often catchy and fun but might not be specific to the value you offer. A brand promise on the other hand is a statement you make to your customers about what they can expect from every interaction with your brand.
A tagline simply supports a brand promise. Actually, the best taglines have their foundations in your brand promise. Your tagline can reflect your brand promise but your tagline is not automatically your brand promise.
The first difference between a brand promise and a tagline is that a brand promise sets the expectations for the brand experience while a tagline generates interest in the brand’s products/services. A brand promise is short and succinct whereas a tagline is short but catchy. A brand promise isn’t product/service specific whereas a tagline relates to a specific product/service offering. A brand promise is not always advertised whereas a tagline is created for advertising campaigns.
A brand promise combines your value proposition and positioning statement to show the unique value you have to offer putting it in the context of your specific industry related to your specific customers. Let’s look at the Nike tagline and brand promise:
Tagline: Just do it
Brand promise: To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Common types of brand promise
- a) Emotional: A promise appealing to emotion.
- b) Action based: A promise tied to a specific action for example the FedEx brand promise I alluded to above.
- c) Social: A promise based on ethical or social responsibility.
How to create a brand promise
- Focus on your audience
Determine what your audience wants from you. The goal of your brand promise is to set you apart from your competitors. What makes you unique? Is it your customer service? Your product? Your mission? Your values? Use that to offer a promise that’s distinctive.
Conduct customer surveys. Sift through past customer interactions or customer service responses. Read their comments and find out what they value about your brand. Make sure your brand promise resonates with your existing and target customers.
If you make a promise they don;t care about, it won’t impact them or cause them to continue their experience with your brand. Another exercise you can carry out is to list all the reasons customers choose your business and the attributes they count on only your company can deliver.
Circle all the attributes you;re confident you can deliver consistently and upon which you’re willing to stake your reputation. Check the items that are compelling to your customers and to your internal team and complete them.
- What value does your company bring?
After compiling all this information from customers, work hard to find a theme or consistent reason why customers work with your company.
- Get customer feedback
Ask customers that you have a long lasting relationship with to verify that the brand promise is accurate. Make sure it displays how they feel about your company and what they expect to receive from working with you.
It needs to resonate with the motivations and emotions of your target audience. Make sure that you have everything in place to carry out your brand promise before you make it.
This should include everything from the products and services you offer to your processes, sales and customer support. Once you have a consistent brand promise, use it to influence your future marketing plans and the rest of your brand messaging including taglines.
Keep it simple, unique and inspiring
Your brand promise should be clear and to the point, something you can say in one sentence. It must definitely inspire trust and confidence.
Ask yourself these questions:
What should my customers expect from me?
What does my company stand for?
What makes us unique?
Leslie Mupeti is a graphic designer and brand strategy expert. He can be contacted on +263 785 324 230 or [email protected] for feedback. His Twitter and Facebook handle is @lesmupeti