On Further Analysis . . .

10 More Brand Promise Examples

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10 More Brand Promise Examples

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I was watching a Sunday football game and kept seeing more brand promise examples.  Every commercial ended with a simple statement of potential value.  To “sear in” a basic benefit before our minds head back to the game.  I was looking for them, of course, but I wonder if any of these were captured by the average football fan.

 

Call them taglines if you want.  But since they accompany the brand or logo and play the role of “last words”, they are the brand promise to me.

 

What’s your brand promise?

 

Here are 10 more brand promise examples for your review.  Which one is your favorite?  And which one makes your stomach turn?

 

You may get a sense of my reaction below:

 

1.  Coors Light – “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer”

 

This brand promise from Coors is consistent with their “frost brewed” push and it is one of the most benefit-based promises.  An aspect I like.  The problem is one of relevance.  How many people want their beer to be refreshing?  And how many people like a lighter beer (one that would qualify as refreshing).  So it’s a claim (world’s most) and it tells you why.

 

2. Etrade – “Investing Unleashed”

 

This one from Etrade clearly identifies the category in which Etrade competes and brings in an element of emotion and excitement with the “unleashed” word choice.  Combine them together and you get a short, crisp and fairly evocative brand promise.  Unleashed also helps to support the online aspect where Etrade found its roots and speaks to the unlimited potential of online trading.

 

3. Geico – “15 Minutes Or Less Can Save You 15% Or More On Car Insurance”

 

This one from Geico has become somewhat famous.  Partly because of the huge investment Geico made behind the campaign.  But also because the promise is so specific in its offer.  In 15 minutes (easy, convenient) I can save 15% (worthy number).  Why wouldn’t someone investigate this one?

 

4. Accord – “The One”

 

Honda is a big successful company.  And obviously the Accord has been the #1 selling car.  So it’s hard to be critical.  But I will anyway.  This is a great example of a big generic statement that means nothing to me.  Of course, it is taken out of context.  But shouldn’t the #1 car in America have a more compelling value statement?  Don’t they have budgets aplenty to hire smart people who can distill the brand’s value with more energy?  Out of context, this sounds arrogant.  And one-dimensional.

 

5. Volkswagen – “Das Auto”

 

So here’s another short and crisp brand promise.  One that baffles the mind.  Das Auto means nothing to me.  It is the ultimate “only works in context” line.  Not only does it require translation (I think) but it also taps a generic term for one of the two words.  No apparent benefit and no emotional takeaway.  Maybe someone explain why this works for them.

 

6. Google Chrome – “The Web Is What You Make Of It”

 

It’s hard to argue with anything from Google, Apple or any other behemoth of innovation.  They are delivering tools and services in the simplest form.  What I like about this is the spirit of innovation and self-discovery it suggests.  It is entrepreneurial in nature and sounds like something we all can do if we have the passion.

 

7. Civic – “To Each Their Own”

 

I like this one from Civic because it supports the unique aspects of their product line.  If you go to the Civic site, you are supported with: “We’re all different. That’s why there are five different Civics”.  This message is fun, inclusive and has a creative dual meaning.  The Civic family has a car for everyone.  Or so it seems.

 

8. Gillette Fusion ProGlide – “Against The Grain Closeness, Comfortably”

 

I’m a guy.  I use razor blades.  But, honestly, I don’t really understand “against the grain closeness”.  I get that sometimes the razor has to travel in different directions to cut close.  But I can do that with a change in direction.  And I think it is too detailed for a brand promise.  But Gillette is using it that way.  Comfortably is also an interesting word choice.  Avoiding a slice in my skin is not the same as “comfortable”.  And “closeness” is a word that is greatly overused in the razor business.

 

9. Nationwide Insurance – “Nationwide Is On Your Side”

 

This brand promise is highly emotional.  And seems to be in the “like a good neighbor family” of feel good promises.  The problem?  No one really believes that an insurance company is “on your side”.  We are so full of contrary examples.  That’s why Geico has been successful.  We want simple savings. Whether we get it or not.  Airlines or banks are less likely to succeed these days with a purely emotional argument because it will fall flat.  Since the news of rising fees is beginning to hurt the trust.

 

10. Toyota – “Moving Forward”

 

This one’s in direct contrast to the old story about the  product name for the Chevy Nova (in Spanish, “no va” means “won’t go”.  So Toyota is saying “will go” in “moving forward, right?  Well, not exactly.  It’s more of an innovation message.  But it is boring and generic.  Again, all those smart people and all they can come up with is “moving forward”.  Simple is good.  This is not good.

 

11.  Arby’s – “Good Mood Food” (A BONUS)

 

The problem with this one is that it is attached to a smarmy ad campaign.  It’s a late entry to the Glee/freecreditreport.com sing-a-long ad trend.  This one doesn’t work for a number of reasons.  Partly because eating “less than healthy” food generally doesn’t put you in a good mood.  It makes you feel guilty.  Which, as far as I know, is not classified as a good mood.  Note to advertisers:  we’re getting really tired of the overly upbeat, smiling people you are using.  We’d rather have real emotion and tangible benefits.

 

Of course all of these are taken out of context and you might say it is unfair to quote them away from the commercial that launched them.  But I think a brand promise has to work anywhere.  And with little to no explanation.  Agree?

 

Please let me know what you think in the comments. 

 

Which of these was your favorite?  If none, what have you liked from the past few months?

 

Listen to my interview with Tess Vigeland on Marketplace Money Radio for some more explanation or send me a note if you’d like help creating a brand promise of your own.

Tim Tyrell-Smith focuses on marketing, brand development and business strategy for emerging and established organizations. A veteran executive in consumer marketing, Tim started his marketing career with Nestle USA and has since worked in product management on premium brands including Nestle Quik, Tree Top Apple Juice, Mauna Loa Macadamias and Meguiar’s Car Wax. He was most recently Vice President of Marketing for a private equity owned food company in Southern California. He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Tim Tyrell-Smith – who has written posts on Fix, Build And Drive™.


About the Author

Tim Tyrell-Smith focuses on marketing, brand development and business strategy for emerging and established organizations. A veteran executive in consumer marketing, Tim started his marketing career with Nestle USA and has since worked in product management on premium brands including Nestle Quik, Tree Top Apple Juice, Mauna Loa Macadamias and Meguiar’s Car Wax. He was most recently Vice President of Marketing for a private equity owned food company in Southern California. He lives with his wife and three kids in Mission Viejo, California.

Comments (24):

  1. Tim, those are all the reasons that I don’t watch television much. When I do watch, we have Cox and many of the commercials are cut off and some times you don’t see the “Tag Line” anyway.

  2. Thanks Ed. Agree that a lot of those taglines don’t get as many eyes as you might think . . . Makes relevance and a quick read so important.

  3. Go to my site also along with inform me your current view.

  4. [...] Het grote Amerikaanse merk WallMart gebruikt bijvoorbeeld: “Save Money. Live Better”. Dit spreekt de WallMart consument direct aan. Meer voorbeelden van beloftes van bedrijfen vindt je hier. [...]

  5. [...] company, organization or nonprofit needs a clear and compelling brand promise.  Here are a few brand promise examples if you need them. They quickly tell your story and tell people why you are relevant (or not).  [...]

  6. Informative article. However what you are showing as Brand Promises are really just taglines. Taglines express an expectation of a benefit from using the brand.

    A promise is a much broader commitment to deliver a certain way and make the user feel a certain thing. The promise speaks to the employee of the brand as much as it speaks to the customer, and any other stakeholder for that matter. The promise doesn’t focus on a particular product or service, but rather the overall brand’s ‘way of being.’
    :0)

    • Hi Suzanne – Thanks for your comment and for sharing a different view on these. I believe that there is a blur between taglines and brand promises. And that a tagline and a brand promise can be one in the same. I agree that a brand promise plays a dual role as consumer benefit and internal guardrails for staff. For example, Apple’s “Think Different” does that especially well. Thanks again!

      • Hi Sir,
        can you suggest what could be the best brand promise for cooperative.

        thanks,

        • Can you tell me more about what the cooperative is? Who are your target customers? What do they need from you and how can you deliver it to them uniquely?

  7. these are not brand promise’s these are simply taglines.

  8. Taglines deliver on brand promises….

    • Hi Melvin – Thanks for your take on these – yes, these are taglines but they are indicative of the promise and are the public representative of the promise. They are the brand promise…illustrated.

      • You said it – Taglines do deliver on Brand Promises – it’s a synechdoche to say that they are brand promises in themselves. Taglines represent the current positioning of the brand – and change with fashion… true brand values should never change.

        I understand them being really useful in identifying values – and its certainly valuable to look at taglines, but its misleading to call these brand values.

        • Hi Zander – thanks for your comment and I appreciate how everyone is trying to spin their version of these terms into their own personal truth. There is very little science here and we are without a formal definition. I also never called them brand values – although I do agree that we can often learn about the values of a company or brand based on language used in taglines, brand promises and other core copy. Like a tagline, brand promises are not necessarily permanent. All company messaging is time sensitive to some extent. Anyway, appreciate your reaction and feedback.

  9. [...] is it one that your target market finds interesting and compelling? Brands also need to deliver a brand promise. A benefit based and relevant statement that tells people “why you”. [...]

  10. [...] company, organization or nonprofit needs a clear and compelling brand promise.  Here are a few brand promise examples if you need them. They quickly tell your story and tell people why you are relevant (or not).  [...]

  11. Tim thank you for your post here.
    I remember my university years where in marketing class we had to come up with slogans. Today doing web development the viewers attention span is very short and we must be very quick and very clear to deliver our promise, what I call the big fat statement. Funny how so many times we fail to deliver it. What I figure is that we really don’t have a clear vision on the value we offer.

    • Hi James – Yes a slogan is a very common way to deliver your brand promise. Brevity and clarity help to make it obvious. I hope this post and your concept of a “big fat statement” help people to see the need and value…

  12. [...] company, organization or nonprofit needs a clear and compelling brand promise.  Here are a few brand promise examples if you need them. They quickly tell your story and tell people why you are relevant (or not).  [...]

  13. After the brand and logo I think your tag line is the next most important thing. Sum up what a company does makes it really easy for a potential client to understand and value your offering quickly.
    I think we’ve done quite well with ours… Lobster “your marketing department”

    • Hi Russell – Agree about the power to quickly communicate your value. How did you come up with the name “lobster”? #curious

  14. [...] company, organization or nonprofit needs a clear and compelling brand promise.  Here are a few brand promise examples if you need them. They quickly tell your story and tell people why you are relevant (or not).  [...]

  15. Hi there,
    First of all, thanks for your post, really interesting!

    BTW, “Das Auto” mean literally ” The Car” and I think that one is not a promise, it’s a statement, with a hint of vanity! it’s kind of ” we make the real car….implying that others are doing….well, just something else :) and in some way it’s very clever!!

    Again, thank you, and keep up the good work!

  16. I think Geico is probably the best example on your list. It’s simple and to the point and conveys exactly what the consumer needs to know about the company. I’m clearly biased on this one, but “Changing Skin, Changing Lives” by Rodan + Fields is my favorite brand promise. It conveys their mission which is literally “changing skin and changing lives.” Great article! Thank you!

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