I Promise. You Need a Brand Promise.

What’s a brand promise?

A brand promise is in fact a promise. It’s the promise that you make to your customers or clients. And it isn’t just some arcane b-school marketing jargon.

Let’s dig a little deeper. Your brand promise is the benefit that people will derive from choosing you -- something that really matters to them.

Who needs a brand promise?

Everyone. This is not something that’s just for mega enterprise corporations. Everyone from solopreneurs to small businesses to growing startups to the biggest and most established brands need to have a brand promise.

Why create a brand promise?

Your brand promise serves as a keystone, locking together every aspect of your branding and business operations. It’s an internal rallying cry (even if you’re a team of one), keeping you grounded in your purpose. It’s an external promise, helping your customers understand what they’ll get out of your business. And it helps you and your customers understand what differentiates you from your competitors.

Everything you do -- your business development, new product or service development, marketing, PR, everything, is guided by and measured against your brand promise. If your promise doesn’t fit what you’re doing, you either need to change what you’re doing or what you’ve promised.

What do you do with a brand promise?

Your brand promise is the lifeblood that flows through every single thing you do as a business. It’s in every interaction every person at your company has with every client. But, what’s more, it’s in every interaction anyone has with your brand. Every little bit of your marketing, product, sales, PR, management, and employment practices, are guided by your brand promise.

Kate Spade CMO Mary Beech explains that her brand promise is “all about empowering women and it's something that comes out in our campaigns.” That last part is important: “it’s something that comes out in our campaigns.”

Your brand promise is not just something you say. It’s something you do. Consistently.

Your brand promise must do these five things.

Your brand promise must:

  • convey a compelling benefit
  • be authentic and credible
  • be kept in every connection customers have with your business
  • be succinct and simple
  • be memorable, meaningful, and measurable