There’s a lot of talk about the concept of a brand promise. But, what is it? Why does my business need one? How would it make my business stronger? How does it relate to my brand strategy? Here we explore the answers to these pressing questions. And perhaps more important, what kind of a brand promise does your business need in today’s world to have an impact?
A brand is a promised delivered.
A contemporary brand promise articulates an idea that goes beyond the rational benefits that worked in the past, and extols a higher-order emotional reward. A brand promise is not a slogan or advertising headline. It is not, by definition, a public statement (though it can be as long as your brand truly lives up to it). Finally, it is not a “unique selling proposition”. Indeed, its uniqueness and differentiating power comes not from what it says, but how it transforms the way your organization creates strong and meaningful connections with people.
So, while promises of the past often focused on the direct product-related benefits experienced by the customer, the most effective brand promises today also touch on the positive, and emotionally-based, personal, societal and ecological outcomes the brand experience may create.
As such, a purposeful promise goes beyond the profit agenda and strives to forge deep emotional connections based on meaningful outcomes.
A brand promise is a natural extension of the building blocks of your corporate strategy: mission, vision, and values. Your brand promise provides a powerful new and appealing platform for the narrative in which these core elements can be explained, embedded, and actualized. Employees needing to act upon your mission, vision, and values will embrace them through the emotionally charged and purpose-focused lens of your brand promise.
Why do you need a brand promise?
The operating assumption is that people today are attracted to, engaged with, and loyal to brands that are purpose driven. These dynamics improve the profitability of purpose-driven brands by creating stronger appeal, richer and deeper experiences, and an enduring emotional resonance.
This quest for purpose is present across your customers and employees. It’s what will drive more prospects and recruits to your brand. It will make you a more attractive partner for other popular purpose-driven brands. Your purposeful promise will differentiate you against your competition in meaningful ways.
You especially need a brand promise if your organization is lacking focus and direction, if your brand is being marginalized by competition, or if your growth is stymied by an inability to attract top talent.
Bottom line: a purposeful brand promise is a prerequisite for successful brands in “The Purpose Economy”.
How will a brand promise make your business stronger?
Extraordinary things happen when an organization embraces a purposeful promise. Meaningful change happens from the top to the bottom. A spirit full of focus and energy turns your organization into one that is more fluid, innovative, collaborative, and gratifying.
A strong promise drives new attitudes and behaviors across your team. It evolves your marketing and advertising. It inspires new product development. It makes your workplace more humane, more respectful, and more productive.
Operating deep within your company, your promise finds its way into the hearts and minds of your customers and prospects by giving them deeper reasons to love and be attracted to your brand.
Most significant, a purposeful promise has the power to transform your leadership style. It can even advance your career. As a leader in your business, by enbracing the promise yourself, and living it in ways that inspire, motivate, and reward employees, you become a leader people love to follow.
Why? Because through the brand promise, they can see their own quest for purpose realized. They are no longer just doing a job. They are using their work to fulfill their sense of purpose. Their 9-5 has been transformed into meaningful work that is intricately tied to their sense of self. Likewise, people just won’t buy your products or simply pass them by. They will buy into your ideals because they are something in which they can share.
Emotive Brand is a San Francisco branding agency.
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I would love to see some examples of strong brand promises…
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