We’ve written about how good branding is vital to the success of any business, and that your brand is defined by more than a logo. But does your brand have a brand promise?
By creating a brand promise for your company, you offer new and existing customers a way to connect with your business on a deeper level, while also building brand affinity, recognition, and loyalty.
Building a brand promise that resonates with customers isn’t necessarily an easy feat. Read on for specific tips and strategies to build a compelling brand promise.
A Brand Promise vs. a Brand Tagline
Is a brand promise the same thing as a tagline? Not necessarily.
Your brand promise is what you deliver each and every time someone interacts with your brand. It stems from the foundation of what your brand message is—who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and how you do it.
A brand tagline, on the other hand is a marketing message that is distilled down into an agile soundbite that you can publish places or bring up in everyday conversation with a potential lead. Your brand promise can certainly become your brand tagline, but not in all cases.
Every time someone interacts with your business, you are articulating your promise—in the customer service you provide, in the messaging you use across your social platforms, or when you’re meeting with new leads face-to-face. Across your customer experiences, your brand promise should be apparent in each interaction. To define what makes a good brand promise, ask yourself these three questions:
- Is my brand promise true and authentic?
- Am I able to consistently deliver this promise in every customer interaction?
- Is this brand promise beneficial to my customers?
Your brand promise should be a constant across your customer experience, and it should be an authentic reflection of your brand values and mission. Importantly, however, your brand promise should be about the customer. Does this promise that you offer benefit them in important ways? If not, then it’s time to re-evaluate your commitment statement to your customers.
Brand Promises in Action
Your brand promise is an extension of your company’s positioning. Being intentional in how you situate your brand promise can mean the difference between being “just another option” to becoming “the option” for your potential customers.
For example, think of the supermarket giant, Wal-Mart. In the highly-competitive market they’re in, they still are able to stand out with their specific brand promise, “Save Money. Live Better.”
Wal-Mart makes a guarantee to their customers that by shopping at any of their stores across the nation, they can save money over competitors, and they can live better through access to comparable branded products and by offering one location for all their customers needs.
So whether you need a haircut from their in-store salons, money services to cash your paycheck or file your taxes, or you want to buy anything from a television to fresh produce, consumers know they can get everything they need to run their lives (relatively inexpensively) at Wal-Mart.
What might a brand promise look like for a company that’s not as large as Wal-Mart? A strong brand promise might center around your customer service, such as “Hot and fresh to your door in 30 minutes—or it’s on us.” Or, your brand promise might center around how you interact with your customers, such as “When you need us, call us: 24/7.”
As long as your promise is truthful and authentic to your brand values, you’re able to consistently deliver on this promise, and you’re giving your customers something they truly need and want, you’ll build a strong brand promise.
Crafting a Brand Promise
Your brand promise should be the cornerstone of all your marketing efforts. While you may distill down your brand promise into a tagline, or use it as part of your larger company mission statement, your brand promise is the guiding principles upon which your business is built. So how do you create a brand promise that resonates and is easy for customers to understand? Follow these steps below.
Step 1: Get clear on who you are.
Often, business owners make the mistake of building a generic business, not a brand. This does a disservice to their organization because a forgettable business is an unprofitable business. See more reasons why building a brand is the heartbeat of your business. Customers need a clear way to remember and engage with you, and having a strong, defined, and intentional brand is one way to spread your messaging and attract your target customers.
So how do you get clear on who you are? It starts by defining your brand’s personality and identity. What’s your company culture? What values are important to your company as a whole? Gather a clear vision of what elements compose your brand to lay the foundation of your brand promise.
Then, think about what it is that you do. Not just the specific processes that you deliver to your customers, but think about the transformation you provide to those who work with you and your company. By owning that transformation and incorporating it into your brand promise, you’ll set the path to take action in step number 2.
Step 2: Find what makes you different.
The marketplace is crowded, and customers have an overwhelming amount of choices for almost any issue they may have. So how can you make sure you rise above the competition? It happens by creating a strong brand with a solid grasp of what makes them different (and messaging that articulates the difference clearly).
When crafting your branding and brand messaging, it’s important that you know what sets you apart from your competition. Step one in gaining this information is to analyze other businesses in your market. How are they presenting their business to their audience? What kind of tone are they taking in their messaging? How is their audience responding?
Then, take that information and see how your brand does things differently. How are you servicing customers in comparison? Is there something in the way that you do what you do that sets you apart? Use this information to build part of your brand promise.
Step 3: Don’t forget about your customers.
Once you know who your brand is and what sets you apart, the next crucial step in creating your brand promise is to look to your customers. It’s important that at every stage you remember your customers, their needs, pain points, and motivations. As part of this step, you want to analyze your target audience and create a customer profile to attract them to your business.
When writing out your brand promise, have your ideal customers in mind. Do you know who they are and where to find them? Do you know how what you business will impact them—if you were to take them up on your offer? By creating your brand promise with your customers in mind, you’ll use messaging that matters to them and connect with them in a way that makes a difference.
Step 4: Put it all together!
Once you’ve gotten clear on who you are, what you do, who you do it for, and what makes you different, you’re now ready to put it all together. Your brand promise could be as long or as short as you want to make it, and if you want a quick no-fuss formula to help guide you in creating a brand promise that works, check out this handy guide here.
By creating a compelling brand promise, you will foster brand loyalty from customers and attract new customers looking for a stand-out company to give their business to. By setting yourself apart from the competition with a brand promise that is authentic, deliverable, and benefits the customer, you’ll elevate your branding and strengthen your positioning.
The team at Harvest Media specializes in growing businesses through strategic, attractive branding. If you need help creating brand messaging that helps your attract and keep your ideal customers, contact us today to find out more information.