Note: This is the second article in a series on Branding from Creative Emporium. To read the first article, click here.
We live and breathe branding here at CE, so we’ve put together a four-part monthly blog series dedicated to the subject we love. This month, we’re talking brand promises – how to make them and communicate them. Our Managing Director, Darren, says there’s two ways of communicating them:
One way to communicate your brand promise is to be bold and make loud claims about your brand’s attributes and the benefits these deliver to your customers. This approach tends to rely on advertising and the strength of the brand to deliver the promise.
The alternative is not to shout but whisper and then surprise customers by exceeding their expectations when they experience the brand.
But what is a brand promise anyway?
“There’s quite a lot of definitions”, says Darren. But my favourite is this:
A brand promise is the statement that you make to customers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services and company.”
Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But it’s more than just expectations and statements. For us, it’s about the benefits that brands try to associate with their products and services in their current and prospective customer’s minds. It’s about creating an experience that fulfils the brand promise.
It’s also about assurance, says Darren: “Assurance that as a customer, you will always receive a certain level of service as a result of your relationship with the brand.”
It also needs to be supported from the top down. As with other statements of direction such as Vision or Mission statements, management must create the brand promise, own the brand promise, and relentlessly drive it to completion. The brand promise should drive all of the company’s actions and investments in people, processes, products, technology and delivery channels.
Interestingly, Richard Branson believes the Virgin brand promise is based on five key factors:
- Value for money,
- Innovation and
- an indefinable, but nonetheless palpable sense of fun.
So, how do you make like Virgin and create your brand promise?
To start creating your brand promise, sit with your team and ask yourselves these questions:
- What is your commitment to your customers?
- What value can they consistently rely on your brand to deliver?
- Discuss what first attracts and then causes your most profitable customers to remain loyal to your brand
- If necessary, use a customer satisfaction survey analysis or other research techniques to determine these
- And ask yourself: What barriers stop your target audience responding positively to your brand promise (and buying your product)?
- Which touch points must communicate your brand promise? Think: website, literature, customer service, and so on
Then use this information to define your brand promise.
Your Tagline = Your Brand Promise
A tagline or strapline, can also be the brand promise of a brand – and is commonly referred to as so. Some great examples include:
- Nike – Just Do It
- Apple – Think Different
- BMW – The ultimate driving machine
- HSBC – The world’s local bank
- Tesco – Every little helps
- L’Oreal – Because you’re worth it
The important thing to note is that your tagline shouldn’t be a set of meaningless words that sit alongside your logo – these words should function in service to your brand promise. They make a claim and set customer expectations.
Creative Emporium – Complete Branding Solution (See what we did there?!)
We’re experts in providing the complete branding solution for our clients, so please get in touch today to discuss your branding requirements and how we can help you ensure that your brand promise is reflected at every touch point – from your promotional products through to your corporate clothing and website, we can help you. Call us on 08707 500057 or drop us a line by email.
We’d love to hear your own thoughts and examples of brands who you think have a great brand promise, so why not leave us a comment below?