What is your brand promise and 5 ways to develop a believable brand
If you don’t have a brand promise - now is the time to create one.

Branding is all about reputation.

And a reputation is created by consistently delivering on a brand promise. We all have ‘that friend’ who is constantly late, or always pulls out of things at the last minute. Unreliable and fickle. We still love them, but we don’t trust them to follow through, and we know that we can’t rely on them.

Your brand is similar. It’s built on the reputation of you saying and doing what you promise. So you can quite quickly see that a brand promise is exceptionally important to a business.

If you don’t have a brand promise – now is the time to create one. But that is easier said than done. How do you go about knowing what your promise should be and how many promises should you be making?

5 Ways to develop your brand promise

1. What do you stand for?

Think about what your business stands for. Do you have some earth-shattering world changing stance or is it simply to provide excellence at every turn? It doesn’t really matter whether it’s the former or the latter, the most important thing is that you can deliver. So ask yourself the question… Can we deliver on this promise day in and day out 100% of the time? That’s what you need to strive towards as your reputation is at stake.

ThankYou is an Australia social enterprise brand that has grown exponentially off initially selling bottled water. Up against the big water brands such as Mount Franklin and Evian, they differentiated themselves with their brand promise: “We believe we can end global poverty in this lifetime, together. That’s why we commit 100% of the profit from our products to helping people in need.” Today, they don’t just sell water but a range of products that enable the consumer to assist them in achieving their goal to end global poverty by committing 100% of their profits to the cause.

2. What do you stand against?

Perhaps feel that you rather stand against something rather than stand for it. These could be non-negotiables for your brand – sweatshops in Bangladesh or only supporting local. Once again, it’s all about building your reputation around what that promise is. If you are so strongly against something, then what are you promising to do as part of your business that will help change the situation?

3. What the client thinks

When thinking about your brand promise, keep your client close to mind. What is their pain point? What is it that they most want when engaging your business. I’m currently working with a bus company to define their promise and there are a few things their clients want – clean buses, safe travel, friendly drivers. But at the crux of it, they simply want to get where they are going on time. A transport company that can deliver you on time, every time? Now that’s a big, bold and amazing promise – if it can be delivered on.

4. What do you want to become famous for?

This about what you want to become known for. If there was one thing that you would want people to associate with your brand, what would it be? Once you know that, you need to ensure that you promise is connected to that cause or stand. Don’t do a blunder like the Telstra ‘we want to be famous for it’ campaign where they got celebrities to endorse their services. The irony with that message is that Telstra was already famous for their service – just not in a good way.

5. Don’t promise the world

It’s tempting to try and be all things to all people. You don’t need multiple brand promises – you just need one. One key, focused promise that you strive to deliver each and every day.

Nike’s brand promise is “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.” When they refer to an athlete, in Nike’s eyes anyone who has a body is considered an athlete. So their slogan “Just do it” fits perfectly with their promise.

A brand promise is more than a slogan. It goes to the heart of how you do what you do, who you do it for and why you do it. It’s something to be shared amongst your team, your supporters and your customers. It is something that is always at the core of what you do and remains the primary focal point. You many faulted in other areas of the business or drop the ball every now and then, but if you consistently deliver on your promise you’ll be amazed at how many people will forgive the other oversights.

But be forewarned, if you fail to deliver on your brand promise, expect your reputation to take a hit. So take some time and get this right. Or give us a call on 1300 722 896 and book in for a consultation.


Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Jan 31st, 2018