Building Brand Promise from the Inside Out

What is Brand Promise? three goals

Do you remember when you said “scouts honor” or maybe you said, “Cross my heart and hope to die,” or gave a secret handshake to your childhood best friend? You knew that meant a promise would be honored as a result of a trusted relationship built over time.

Brand Promise is more than a slogan, not just something said but practiced from the inside out. The brand lives beyond your marketing campaign and in the minds of your current and prospective customers. The foundation of your brand promise must be built upon an understanding of your customers, competitors and internal values and operation.  Through qualitative and quantitative research and evaluation, you can develop a unique and compelling promise.  The entire customer experience relates the values you represent and your dependability to carry out your promise. The outward communication of the brand promise is represented by not only the logo and slogan, but also how the customer is treated.

This awareness of your brand is communicated through the customer’s opinion of you in relationship to your competitors. Develop market leadership by meeting customer expectations and through this process you will build a reputation and brand equity – what customers are willing to pay for your brand that creates company value over time.

To create a compelling brand promise, realize three goals:

Provide a benefit. – Your product or service creates a positive effect in the mind of your customer that creates desire whether it promotes wellbeing or satisfies a need. FedEx promises “the world on time” as an enticing benefit with a promise so well known that its name has colloquially become a verb for overnight express shipping. FedEx’s dependable benefit was even glorified in the movie, Cast Away, that emphasized dedicated service as Tom Hank’s character, a FedEx employee, refused to open one FedEx package even on a deserted island with his internal promise to deliver it once he reached safe shores.

Be authentic and credible. – Your company builds a reputation that the customer believes in and genuinely knows you can deliver.  Apple Inc. founded on the principle of offering consumers the coolest, easiest-to-use, cutting edge computers, software, and electronics presentation, inspires consumer confidence that cultivates excitement and buzz in anticipation of each new gadget it releases from the iPod and iPhone to the notebook computer that slides out of a manila envelope. Customers desire and line-up for these products since they believe Apple can deliver.

Never deviate from your promise. – A company might grow exponentially but at its core is its promise.  McDonald’s primarily known for over 60 years for burgers, fries, milkshakes, and apple pies, has since expanded its menu to include healthier options including salads, fruit and wraps as well as coffee options. However, it continues to stay true to its promise of an inexpensive familiar and consistent meal delivered quickly in a clean environment.

You know what you promise your customers, but how well is it kept?

 The daily interaction customers have with your brand from first introduction to actual purchase or service and finally beyond in their memories, will help to identify brand promise with brand identity to build brand loyalty. You evaluate sales and customers through surveys and measurable outcomes, but how is the brand promise internally practiced? Build brand measures into all aspects of employee procedures such as product development, customer service, and marketing to ensure brand alignment.  When a company builds consensus among all its executives and staff about the brand promise, then you know it will be followed through with each point of contact. Reinforce consensus through employee training and recognition and rewards program as well as evaluation to ensure consistent awareness. A brand personality develops when everyone participates from the CEO to the employee that the customer meets for the first time.

The customer relies on the brand promise that is conveyed from the visuals and messages portrayed in your marketing and the product or service, to interaction with your employees and finally the comparison with your competitors to form a lasting impression to determine their loyalty.

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