Brand Promise

Before covering what your brand promise is, it is useful to cover what your brand promise is not.

  • A brand promise is not your slogan, advertising headline, or tagline.

  • A brand promise is not your USP (unique selling proposition)

  • A brand promise is not your value proposition

Simply put, a brand promise is telling your customers what they can expect from their experience with you.  It tells the world what your purpose is and provides a beacon and a guide for your marketing.  It is the thing that when you are developing your marketing materials such as your video content and online advertisements, you stop and ask yourself, "Does it reflect our brand promise?"

"A brand is a promise.  At its core, your brand promise should define your entire business and should touch every aspect of your company." Nick Westergaard, Get Scrappy.


Nike

Everyone knows Nike's tagline: "Just do it".  But this is not Nike's brand promise.

Nike's brand promise is: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete* in the world.” The asterisk in the brand promise says that if you have a body, you’re an athlete.

This is why when Nike advertise, they do not show you images of their trainers and talk about how they look or how comfortable they are.  Instead, they produce adverts that align with their brand promise, 'to bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete....".

Now you understand Nike's brand promise, watch one of their commercials and see how it aligns with their marketing. 

You can see that the ad delivers a constant message of inspiration, its brand promise runs as a constant thread throughout the whole ad.

Coca-Cola

Now let us take a look at Coca-Cola.  

Taken from Coca-Cola's corporate website it says, "Our central promise at The Coca-Cola Company is to refresh the world in mind, body, and spirit, and inspire moments of optimism; to create value and make a difference"

As we take a look at an advert for Coca-Cola notice that their core message has nothing to do with the taste of the drink, but instead, it delivers on the brand promise of 'refreshing' and 'inspiring moments of optimism'.

These are 2 great examples of why your brand promise is so important.  It shows how your brand promise serves as a guide for your entire marketing campaign and core messages. 

Your brand promise is used to deliver expectations to the consumer of what their experience will be of using your product or service.

Things To Consider When Creating Your Brand Promise

When creating your brand promise here are some guidelines:

  • It must convey a compelling benefit and emotionally resonate

  • It must be authentic, credible and meaningful.  A promise is not worth making if there is no value or meaning behind it.

  • It wants to be something that you can measure against and say, "at the moment, as a company, are we keeping our promise?". or, "Does this advert or video represent our brand promise? It must be kept, always.

  • Tell people about your place in the world, the reason your company exists, why you do what you do.

  • Your brand promise should be the DNA of your company and as so it should run through every action, every decision, and every employee.  

  • Your brand promise is part of your brand personality - it's about what makes you, you. What differentiates you from the crowd and makes you stand out.

  • Finally, go big, be creative, keep it clear, concise, and aim to connect with your customers on an emotional level.


Other examples

Take a look at these well known brands and their brand promises. Some have changed over the years but they are good examples of what they promise to deliver to their customers every time:

More Examples of Brand Promises

Coors Light

The Worlds Most Refreshing Beer

BMW

The Ultimate Driving Machine

Apple

Think Different

H&M

More fashion choices that are good for people, the planet and your wallet

Starbucks

To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time

Marriott

Quiet luxury. Crafted experiences. Intuitive service.

Asda (Walmart)

Save money. Live better.

Kempinski (European Hotelier)

Serving guests who expect excellence and value individuality.

McDonald's

Simple, easy enjoyment with great service, cleanliness and value

Having looked at the examples in the guide above, what is it that you offer your customers in terms of their experience with you? Remember, your brand promise should resonate emotionally with your customers. So to help, you may want to look at what core values you have identified and also at how you have described your brand personality, also re-read the things to consider section above.


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