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If you are a small business, nonprofit or a person trying to communicate something important, there needs to be a promise in there somewhere
It translates into a reason why someone would bother to engage with you. To listen on. And begin using your product or service. To pay attention to you.
Brand promises are often very obvious. They show up in taglines, headlines and in actions taken by the company. Especially those that are reinforced over time.
Without a strong brand promise, you place a business obstacle in your path. As you try to grow awareness or sales.
A few examples from the world I come from (consumer goods):
Snickers: Snickers Satisfies
So the promise for Snickers is about delivering more than chocolate. It promises a cure for hunger. And a great eating experience. Not what you normally expect with a candy bar.
Avis: We Try Harder
Being #2 has it’s challenges. At the time Avis identified this promise, they were struggling to compete with Hertz. So they began to promise with a message about customer service. About working harder to get and keep your business.
Snapple: Made from the Best Stuff On Earth
Snapple has a great, quirky brand that went from obscure to major mainstream. What’s this say about their brand? It’s made from natural ingredients. And high quality ones. And the use of the word “stuff” only reinforces their very approachable brand.
Apple: Think Different
What can you expect from Apple? Different ideas. Outward thinking. Anything that is not Microsoft. Appeals to those looking to escape the status quo. Now, of course, they are known for tremendous, discontinuous innovation.
BMW: The Ultimate Driving Machine
If you step into a seat on the driver’s side of a BMW, this says you will get an experience. This promise appeals to those looking for more from their transportation. It’s not about getting around town. It’s about a passion for driving (speed, performance, technology, comfort).
So what’s your brand promise?
What are you telling people on your website, in your marketing materials or on your business cards? Go look right now. Read it all and comment below when you find it. Couldn’t find one? Not one you liked?
Then ask yourself and others whether anyone really cares? If your promise doesn’t solve a problem, offer a need service or powerful communicate your cause, then it’s not that valuable.
Can you deliver against it?
Sure, you can promise the world. You can say you’ve got a great return policy like Nordstrom. But do you have the stomach to deliver against it? You can promise the best customer service in your industry. But are you committed to the hiring and training of great new people?
Who are you looking to attract?
Who is your target customer? Have one? Using the BMW example, are you targeting 35-55 year old men with a high household income? If so, how does your brand promise sound to them?
I can help.
Thanks to ditatompel for the great photo via Flickr