brand-promise

Brand Promise And Why It Matters In Business

A brand promise is usually one or two sentences that accurately communicates what a consumer should expect when interacting with a brand. When a business creates a brand promise, it is making a declaration of assurance. Brand promises are often seen as extensions of brand positioning statements that explain why a business exists. A brand promise then tells the consumer how a product is service is better than those of a competitor. 

Understanding brand promise

Brand promises can be overt in nature – with courier company FedEx being a prime example. The company motto “when it absolutely, positively has to get there overnight” is a public promise which the company has never compromised.

Brand promises can also be less overt. McDonald’s delivers on familiar, consistent, and affordable meals without incorporating making specific promises around these characteristics. Instead, the brand promise of McDonald’s is the less tangible ability to help families take the guesswork out of choosing a restaurant.

Three steps to creating a successful brand promise

1. Define the promise

The most successful brand promises will combine the personality, mission statement, values, and USP of a business into a succinct and deliverable package.

Combining these important elements ensures that a business creates a brand promise that is not only authentic but unique. 

Here, the brand promise should be written down for clarity. But the promise itself must also be present in a less tangible form. That is, the promise should be reflected in every aspect of internal and external business culture.

2. Deliver the promise

Next, determine how the promise might be delivered. FedEx’s promise of overnight delivery seems simplistic on paper, but tremendous buy-in from employees and other relevant stakeholders is consistently required to make this promise unbreakable. 

At this step, it’s important to remember that cutting corners and making promises do not mix. Businesses who promise to prioritize consumer needs without first determining what they need are doomed to failure.

3. Track and adjust performance where necessary.

While it is true that there is some degree of art in developing a brand, businesses still need a trackable strategy in place. Engagement metrics will provide clear insights on whether a brand is resonating with its audience or whether marketing needs to reconsider its approach.

Surveys and questionnaires are also a great way of determining whether consumers understand a brand. Indeed, carefully worded questions can reveal a range of insights around the credibility and authenticity of a brand promise.

Some more examples of companies with successful brand promises

  • Apple – who give consumers a chance to own the trendiest, sleekest, and most technologically advanced electronics.
  • Lynda.com – offering affordable and convenient high-quality training on a range of topics.
  • Nike – with an all-encompassing promise to bring inspiration and innovation to world athletes. 
  • Coca-Cola – whose beverages promise to instill a mindset of fun and optimism through refreshing and uplifting experiences.

Key takeaways:

  • Brand promises set expectations for the business to consumer relationship. The promise should permeate every aspect of a business and be authentic, unique, and consistent.
  • Brand promises can be tangible and overt in the sense that they are explicitly stated. But they can also encapsulate specific experiences that consumers come to expect when interacting with an organization.
  • To develop a brand promise, businesses must combine aspects of their values, mission statement, values, and USP. Importantly, there must be no potential for the promise to be broken through inadequate due diligence or a lack of employee buy-in.

Other related key concepts connected to branding

Create brand awareness

brand-awareness
Brand awareness is a measure of how familiar a customer is with a brand. The greater the brand awareness a business enjoys, the more their products and services are recognizable to their target audience, thus, in theory, augmenting its long-term strength on the marketplace. Brand awareness is a key element of an effective marketing strategy.

Over time, build up brand equity, one of your most important assets

what-is-brand-equity
Brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Position your company and product so that people can identify with your brand

brand-positioning
Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Define your ideal customers and work hard to get them

marketing-personas
Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Communicate what makes your product unique to generate a strong commercial use case

unique-selling-proposition
A unique selling proposition (USP) enables a business to differentiate itself from its competitors. Importantly, a USP enables a business to stand for something that they, in turn, become known among consumers. A strong and recognizable USP is crucial to operating successfully in competitive markets.

Tell your business story, and make it part of your offering and philosophy

business-storytelling
Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Connected Marketing Concepts

Affiliate Marketing

affiliate-marketing
Affiliate marketing describes the process whereby an affiliate earns a commission for selling the products of another person or company. Here, the affiliate is simply an individual who is motivated to promote a particular product through incentivization. The business whose product is being promoted will gain in terms of sales and marketing from affiliates.

Ambush Marketing

ambush-marketing
As the name suggests, ambush marketing raises awareness for brands at events in a covert and unexpected fashion. Ambush marketing takes many forms, one common element, the brand advertising their products or services has not paid for the right to do so. Thus, the business doing the ambushing attempts to capitalize on the efforts made by the business sponsoring the event.

Brand Building

brand-building
Brand building is the set of activities that help companies to build an identity that can be recognized by its audience. Thus, it works as a mechanism of identification through core values that signal trust and that help build long-term relationships between the brand and its key stakeholders.

Brand Equity

what-is-brand-equity
The brand equity is the premium that a customer is willing to pay for a product that has all the objective characteristics of existing alternatives, thus, making it different in terms of perception. The premium on seemingly equal products and quality is attributable to its brand equity.

Brand Positioning

brand-positioning
Brand positioning is about creating a mental real estate in the mind of the target market. If successful, brand positioning allows a business to gain a competitive advantage. And it also works as a switching cost in favor of the brand. Consumers recognizing a brand might be less prone to switch to another brand.

Business Storytelling

business-storytelling
Business storytelling is a critical part of developing a business model. Indeed, the way you frame the story of your organization will influence its brand in the long-term. That’s because your brand story is tied to your brand identity, and it enables people to identify with a company.

Content Marketing

content-marketing
Content marketing is one of the most powerful commercial activities which focuses on leveraging content production (text, audio, video, or other formats) to attract a targeted audience. Content marketing focuses on building a strong brand, but also to convert part of that targeted audience into potential customers.

Digital Marketing

digital-marketing-channels
A digital channel is a marketing channel, part of a distribution strategy, helping an organization to reach its potential customers via electronic means. There are several digital marketing channels, usually divided into organic and paid channels. Some organic channels are SEO, SMO, email marketing. And some paid channels comprise SEM, SMM, and display advertising.

Growth Marketing

growth-marketing
Growth marketing is a process of rapid experimentation, which in a way has to be “scientific” by keeping in mind that it is used by startups to grow, quickly. Thus, the “scientific” here is not meant in the academic sense. Growth marketing is expected to unlock growth, quickly and with an often limited budget.

Guerrilla Marketing

guerrilla-marketing
Guerrilla marketing is an advertising strategy that seeks to utilize low-cost and sometimes unconventional tactics that are high impact. First coined by Jay Conrad Levinson in his 1984 book of the same title, guerrilla marketing works best on existing customers who are familiar with a brand or product and its particular characteristics.

Inbound Marketing

inbound-marketing
Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to attract customers to a brand with content and experiences that they derive value from. Inbound marketing utilizes blogs, events, SEO, and social media to create brand awareness and attract targeted consumers. By attracting or “drawing in” a targeted audience, inbound marketing differs from outbound marketing which actively pushes a brand onto consumers who may have no interest in what is being offered.

Integrated Marketing

integrated-marketing
Integrated marketing describes the process of delivering consistent and relevant content to a target audience across all marketing channels. It is a cohesive, unified, and immersive marketing strategy that is cost-effective and relies on brand identity and storytelling to amplify the brand to a wider and wider audience.

Marketing Mix

marketing-mix
The marketing mix is a term to describe the multi-faceted approach to a complete and effective marketing plan. Traditionally, this plan included the four Ps of marketing: price, product, promotion, and place. But the exact makeup of a marketing mix has undergone various changes in response to new technologies and ways of thinking. Additions to the four Ps include physical evidence, people, process, and even politics.

Marketing Personas

marketing-personas
Marketing personas give businesses a general overview of key segments of their target audience and how these segments interact with their brand. Marketing personas are based on the data of an ideal, fictional customer whose characteristics, needs, and motivations are representative of a broader market segment.

Multi-Channel Marketing

multichannel-marketing
Multichannel marketing executes a marketing strategy across multiple platforms to reach as many consumers as possible. Here, a platform may refer to product packaging, word-of-mouth advertising, mobile apps, email, websites, or promotional events, and all the other channels that can help amplify the brand to reach as many consumers as possible.

Multi-Level Marketing

multilevel-marketing
Multi-level marketing (MLM), otherwise known as network or referral marketing, is a strategy in which businesses sell their products through person-to-person sales. When consumers join MLM programs, they act as distributors. Distributors make money by selling the product directly to other consumers. They earn a small percentage of sales from those that they recruit to do the same – often referred to as their “downline”.

Niche Marketing

microniche
A microniche is a subset of potential customers within a niche. In the era of dominating digital super-platforms, identifying a microniche can kick off the strategy of digital businesses to prevent competition against large platforms. As the microniche becomes a niche, then a market, scale becomes an option.

Relationship Marketing

relationship-marketing
Relationship marketing involves businesses and their brands forming long-term relationships with customers. The focus of relationship marketing is to increase customer loyalty and engagement through high-quality products and services. It differs from short-term processes focused solely on customer acquisition and individual sales.

Sustainable Marketing

sustainable-marketing-green-marketing
Sustainable marketing describes how a business will invest in social and environmental initiatives as part of its marketing strategy. Also known as green marketing, it is often used to counteract public criticism around wastage, misleading advertising, and poor quality or unsafe products.

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