Before moving forward with any marketing initiative, a brand should have a solid positioning in place to establish a firm foundation. While there are many parts to a brand positioning platform like, vision, mission, value proposition and brand voice, there is one concept that brings everything together—the brand promise. Simply defined, the brand promise represents the core of what the brand stands for and the value it provides to customers (and employees). It serves as a guiding principle for all aspects of the business, including product development, marketing, customer service, and overall brand experience.
An effective brand promise should be:
- Clear and concise: It should be easily understood and succinctly summarize the brand’s value proposition.
- Authentic: The promise should be true to the brand and rooted in its history and strengths.
- Customer-centric: The promise should address the needs, wants, and aspirations of the target audience, demonstrating how the brand can enhance their lives or solve their problems.
- Differentiating: It should set the brand apart from its competitors and highlight what makes it special and preferable.
- Consistent: The brand promise should be consistently delivered across all touchpoints and interactions with customers, reinforcing the brand's identity and building trust.
- Experiential: More than a statement or tagline, a truly differentiating brand promise should be reflected through tangible and meaningful experiences customers have with the brand, every day.
Given the ever-increasing expectations of customers, making sure your brand promise is aligned with the experience you want to provide throughout the customer journey will improve the focus and efficiency of your marketing efforts and lead to customer delight.
Here are a few ways to make your brand promise experiential:
- Make sure brand promise and brand values are aligned: Understand the core values and principles that define your brand. Company values should align with the needs and aspirations of your target audience. Your brand promise should be rooted in these values.
- Align all touchpoints: Evaluate every customer touchpoint, from marketing materials to website, social media, and customer service interactions. Ensure each touchpoint consistently delivers on the brand promise.
- Personalization and relevance: Tailor experiences to individual customers, personas, or segments whenever possible. Personalization adds a sense of relevance, making customers feel understood and appreciated.
- Consistency across channels: Whether it's online or offline, maintain consistency in the experiences you provide. Customers should have a similar experience, wherever they interact with the brand.
- Involve employees: Your employees play a crucial role in delivering the brand promise. Ensure that they understand and embody the brand values, as they are the ones who directly interact with customers. Invest in training and support to empower them to deliver exceptional experiences.
- Ask for and act on feedback: Listen to customer feedback from multiple channels, not just customer satisfaction surveys, and use it to improve the brand experience continuously. Address any shortcomings promptly and adapt your approach to meet customer expectations.
- Tell stories: Use storytelling to showcase real-life examples of customers or employees experiencing the brand promise in action. These stories can be shared through various marketing channels to reinforce the brand's authenticity and commitment to the promise.
- Measure and track results: Establish metrics and KPIs to dimensionalize and measure the success of your brand promise activities. Regularly analyze data to gauge the impact of your efforts and identify areas for improvement.
A few examples:
For a large wireless telecommunications provider, we developed the brand promise of Always On. This idea supports the advantages the client’s technology and systems have over the competition and it also highlights company culture in that the company’s people are Always On for their customers and each other.
For an enterprise firewall provider, the brand promise was Fear Less. This idea was completely contrarian to the competitive set who were focused on fear and locking networks down. Cyber threats are no joke but the experience this company delivered in encouraging their customers to move forward and Fear Less knowing their networks were secure from threats provided a significant competitive advantage.
For an oil field services provider, the brand promise developed was Unbridled Performance (the company name is equine related). Once again, this experiential idea promised something desirable and beneficial to customers and energized employees internally.
If you take a few minutes to think about the promises of Always On, Fear Less and Unbridled Performance, it is easy to see how they can be translated into differentiated and authentic customer experiences.
By making a brand promise experiential, you transform it from a mere statement to a lived reality for your customers. When customers consistently encounter meaningful, positive experiences that align with the brand promise, they are more likely to develop trust, loyalty, and advocacy for your brand.