Branding

How to create a brand promise that delights your customers.

Brand promise

Your brand promise is one of the core elements of your brand message. It can set you apart and fuel your growth. The question is, what defines a compelling brand promise, and how do you create one that keeps your consumers coming back for more?

What Is A Brand Promise?

A brand promise is a statement of how the customer will feel when they interact with your brand.

It is more than just a statement of how good your product is or what it’s made of. It should be about the experience your consumer will have. The most powerful brand promises are those that are most closely aligned with what consumers actually care about. 

The brand promise is the one thing about your company that you want your customers to remember. It should be short, easy to remember, meaningful and memorable. 

Best practices

A compelling brand promise should be clear, concise, catchy, credible, and customer-centric.

How will a brand promise make your business stronger? 

Builds trust: Every time you deliver on the stated promise, you’re dominating that position in your customer’s mind.

Clear values: it reinforces the values your brand deems important.

Clear positioning: Your guarantee is an extension of your positioning. Consider what differentiates your business from the competition, what differentiates you from other companies that you may be compared to, and how well your uniqueness is being communicated. 

Clear benefits: It clearly states the benefits that the customer will receive from the brand.

 If you’re a skincare blogger, for example, your statement might be “skincare solutions that are natural and safe.” 

A successful brand promise is one that resonates with your customer and one that you can consistently deliver.

The Two Types of Brand Promise

Types of brand promise

Articulated 

If you are looking to differentiate yourself from the competition, an articulated brand promise is one way to do it. It is a literal promise made by the brand. You explicitly state this bold claim. If the brand promise is literal and not vague or ambiguous, it will have more impact and connection with your core customer. 

 If you are familiar with your brand, you can craft your communication with laser focus. You give your clients and prospects a precise understanding of what you do and who you serve. You do this by mentioning the exact benefits of working with you. This will work only if you’ve got the process-perfected. Since you’ve got it down to a T, you can create a very effective process for your clients and prospects. 

Consider making a claim in your marketing message only if you’re confident enough you can fulfill it time and time again.

Fedex: “When it Absolutely, Positively has to be there overnight.”

Assumed 

The messaging implies the value your business offers. Implied value often goes beyond what the brand does and connects with the customer’s emotional side. 

If the brand promise is implied, it has less of an impact because one’s relationship to the brand is based on his/her own personal view of the brand’s promise. 

Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”

How is the brand promise conveyed?

Every single interaction with your company should fulfill your brand promise. Customer experience across all products, departments, branches, and locations should be consistent.

Examples of a broken brand promise

Here is an interesting video that talks about having a disconnect in what you claim and what you deliver:

A disconnect can be damaging for your brand’s reputation.

Compelling brand promise examples for inspiration

Starbucks: Love your beverage or let us know. we’ll always make it right

Tesla: To accelerate the advent of sustainable transport by bringing compelling mass-market electric cars to market as soon as possible.

McDonald’s: “To provide Simple Easy Enjoyment to every customer visit.” 

In some cases, your mission statement will be the same promise.

Factors to consider when making a compelling brand promise

Can you deliver on this promise every time?

The minute you make a promise, you’re setting expectations with your consumer. There is pressure to deliver on your brand promises, so make sure you have the resources.

Imagine Dominoes making the promise to deliver the pizza within 30 minutes from the time of order without having enough resources to deliver them. It will be a nightmare for the company that could cause financial loss and tarnish their image. Dominoes had to reinvent their technology landscape to deliver on their promise in the new age.

Customer-centric

A company’s brand promise is created by all the things that matter to customers. The commitment you’re making should matter to the customer; otherwise, it won’t help your brand. Always create a brand promise that creates a positive customer experience.

Let’s take Dominoes as an example again. In 2010, their sales dipped because customers were not happy with the taste of the pizza. They fulfilled the orders in under 30 minutes, but that did not improve the sales because people valued good quality pizza more than a faster delivery. Patrick Doyle, CEO of Domino’s Pizza, turned this around by taking a series of brilliant business decisions which restored the brand trust. He apologized on national television for the drop in quality and worked with the customers to develop a successful pizza recipe.

The take away here is to revisit your brand promise from time to time to ensure you’re still promising a customer-centric trait.

Brand purpose

Your brand promise should be aligned with your brand purpose. Your purpose should be infused throughout your brand strategy, and your brand promise is no exception.

Read more about brand purpose.

Competitor threat

You don’t want to make a promise where your competitors are able to fulfill it better than you. The minute you cannot deliver your commitment and your competitor seems to do a better job at it, your credibility goes out the window.

Promises that come with the dreaded “*”

Promises should be no strings attached. It should be simple: they do business with you, and you fulfill your promise. Your customers will not be happy if they find out they have to jump through several hoops to get to the promised land.

Can you rally the entire company around this statement?

Every single employee should understand and adopt the statement in the company. Your brand promise is not just for you but for everyone who works at your company. It can be a great way to make sure everyone is on the same page and prevent confusion or miscommunication. Your employees will then create processes and interactions that will materialize your commitment.

Some common mix-ups

Brand promise vs brand positioning vs tagline vs value proposition vs mission

Brand promise vs. tagline

A tagline is a short, snappy, and memorable catchphrase about your brand. It is built on the positioning you’re aiming to own.

Brand promise vs. value proposition

The brand value proposition is the benefit that differentiates you from your competitors. The value can be functional, emotional, or self-expressive. If you’re not clear on what makes your brand unique, you may be send the wrong message to customers.

Brand promise vs. mission

Your mission is your crusade. It clarifies what you do to fulfill your vision. It should be specific enough to be measurable, but it also needs to reflect your purpose.

Brand promise vs. brand positioning 

Positioning is the act of designing a company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s minds. It is the perception of a brand in the market.

Conclusion

Having a bold brand promise can give you an edge, but not every company needs an explicit brand promise. Consider the risks associated with breaking the commitment and ensure your company can deliver the brand experience you claim. Know what is essential to your target audience and exceed the customer’s expectations in every interaction.