To motivate customers, a brand promise must meet the following three goals:
- It must convey a compelling benefit
- It must be authentic & credible
- The promise must be kept, every time
A brand promise is not a tagline telling customers what they should expect from your business.
Strong brands possess clear, relevant, differentiating and compelling brand promises. Even more importantly, they fulfill these every day.
The questions a company must ask to create a brand promise sound short and sweet, but effectively answering them requires intense and lengthy discussion about what the company means on the deepest level: how it does what it does, what the feel of working with the company is, and what kind of character the company has.
The goal is to develop a brand promise that is:
Equally important, is that a brand promise ensures that employees, channel partners and consumers can all answer the deceptively simple question of “Why Our Brand?” In fact, it will also allow your team to create marketing communications that inspire and motivate and enable consistent brand messaging throughout all our brand’s customer & partner touch points.
Ultimately, you need to describe how the brand delivers on its promise. A promise, however, is good only if it’s kept. If a company doesn’t deliver on its promise the majority of the time, its reputation—and sales—will likely decline.
The brand vision is the road map to a strong brand
Core to the brand promise is the brand vision. The brand vision is a plan that aligns all customer/shopper based initiatives to make more effective decisions across all business functions. Its purpose is to drive revenue and profits through the development of a strong, differentiated brand.
The brand vision…
- Defines the company purpose
- Provides metrics to measure business decisions
- Identifies who the target audience is
- Provides framework for new product development
- Focuses messaging and the voice/tone to communicate with
- Establishes an architecture for the brand
- Identifies appropriate channels of trade
Although it seems intuitive, strong brands make for strong businesses
Strong brand are products and services in which consumers believe there are no substitutes.
- Command premium prices
- Create barriers to competition
- Are not commodities
- Inspire confidence and trust
- Are products and services consumers connect emotionally with
A brand vision brings together 5 key elements
- Purpose − A single statement that embodies the company’s mission and desired perceptions.
- Positioning − The benefit we deliver to the marketplace.
- Character − How we want to be perceived.
- Personality − The attributes that define the brand.
- Brand Strategy − The masterbrand architecture that defines the relationship
of your brand to other sub-brands, product brands and services.
Where it all comes together is the brand guide
These guidelines are the design standards for managing the brand, complete with examples of do’s and don’ts of how to use the library of logos, imagery and typography that creates the brands look, tone and feel. It covers everything from letterhead and signage to packaging, advertising and web design standards. In short, all the places that the brand can come to life.
What does success look like?
The questions involved in developing a brand promise look easier on paper than it is in reality Brand promise development is hard work that generally takes multiple brainstorming sessions, lots of competitive and market research, and extensive investigation into the true nature of the company. It’s exhausting work.
And yet, as with most things that are difficult, it’s invaluable. Companies that have clearly defined brand promises and values and attributes have strong frameworks for decision-making, and using these frameworks helps develop the brand’s strength and worth to the organization.
And the prize at the end?
- A simple, differentiated brand essence and position that you can own.
- Clear articulation for consumers, customers and employees of “Why Our Brand” above our competition – no matter who they are!
- Brand identity that breaks through the clutter, is difficult for our competition to copy or has proprietary elements.
- Can be translated to product, packaging, merchandising, advertising, web, and national promotions – a whole cadre of marketing and communications vehicles.
- Articulation of essence, promise and identity into messaging and graphics that make consumers want to take action to buy our products NOW.
- Creates value for retailers because consumers are coming to their brick & mortar or online establishment to look for you exclusively.
- Capitalizes on employees’ pride to work for you making superior products and providing top-notch customer service and support.
Greg Bonsib is an author of the new Mighty Guides Ebook Data Disruption.