“A brand promise is the statement that you make to customers that identifies what they should expect for all interactions with your people, products, services, and company.” ~ Jean Wilcox
Yoo Hoo Entrepreneurs!
Have you patted yourself on the back for being courageous enough to hop on the entrepreneurial ride? Go ahead… you deserve it! Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart or the weak of mind. Kudos to you for building a profitable business that provides unique value to its customers. It gives me the greatest pleasure to hear your stories and to serve remarkable business owners like you!
Today, I want to discuss an under-rated aspect of branding that is, nonetheless, the foundation of every fabulous business: the brand promise.
Before you choose a name for your business, before the logos and graphics, before the website, and even before figuring out your products and services, you need to develop a powerful brand promise.
Brand Promise: A Non-Negotiable Contract with Your Consumer
Apple: “We make it easier to love technology”
Google: “Provide access to the world’s information in one click.”
Zappos: “Deliver WOW through service.”
Despite belonging to different industries, Apple, Google and Zappos have one factor in common: a powerful and passionate description of their core essence. In other words, they each have a striking brand promise.
A brand promise is a concise, credible, convincing and compelling statement that communicates the single most important benefit that a business vows to deliver every time. The strongest brand promises are powerful enough to create passionate brand evangelists who will gleefully promote your business for you!
How Do You Generate a Memorable Brand Promise?
A memorable brand promise (a) clearly describes your unique service proposition, and (b) evokes an emotional response from your customers.
For example, I want to work with visionary entrepreneurs who wish to supercharge their entrepreneurial journey. And I want my clients to feel re-energized, rejuvenated and refreshed after working with me because business should be fun!
With these in mind, my brand promise became “Andelicious Advice – core business strategies delivered with high enthusiasm and inspiration.”
While creating your brand promise, identify the problem you want to solve and get paid for, and then reflect deeply about the kind of emotions you wish to evoke within your customers. Use plain and persuasive language for the maximum impact, and be sure to communicate your deliciously delightful brand promise consistently wherever it glows!
Guard Your Brand Promise
Would you place your baby in the hands of an inexperienced caretaker? NO! Your brand is like your baby: you birthed it, nurtured it, take pride in it. You must, therefore, be careful about where your brand hangs out!
Many entrepreneurs drop the ball at this point. They unknowingly lose market share, customers, and opportunities by diluting their brand. Don’t be one of them. Guard your brand from harmful associations that will hurt your brand promise.
A Valuable Lesson in Safeguarding Your Brand Promise
I was once invited as a guest on a popular radio show. Unfortunately, the hostess – an energetic, enthusiastic, and empowering woman – got tied up in an emergency at the last minute and couldn’t make it. Her absence was perfectly understandable and excusable, given that an entrepreneur is often pulled in a zillion different directions.
But the person she chose as her ‘replacement interviewer’ was not an adequate representation of the woman’s beautiful brand and tainted her image by botching up the interview! It would have been far more prudent to cancel the show than place her reputable brand in the hands of a man who did not exemplify her brand promise. The entire experience was forgettable for me. But I am sure my friend learned a valuable lesson to never let your brand get diminished and devalued by someone who is not in alignment with it.
Conclusion: A simple, sound, straightforward, strong, and sustainable brand promise will act as a powerful guiding post for the rest of your branding and marketing efforts. Once you gain clarity about your brand promise, protect it – rigorously. A promise – even a fascinating one – is good only if it’s kept. If a company falls short of the consumer’s expectations on a regular basis, its reputation and profitability will decline.
Do not let personal preferences cloud your professional judgment. Run far away from anyone or anything that belies your brand and tarnishes your identity. Consistently honoring your promise will position you as a trustworthy, transparent and tenacious business that cares about its consumers.
Tell me, lovely entrepreneurs, are you ready to create, cherish and conserve your brand promise? We all learn from each other’s stories and comments… please share yours below.
Ande Lyons is a startup founder coach, podcast/live stream host and co-host of a popular monthly pitch event in Boston called Founders Live. Using her deep toolkit of hard-earned business skills from her 4 prior businesses, combined with an abundance of enthusiasm, aka Andelicious Advice, Ande helps first-time founders build a sustainable and profitable business without spending a fortune and wasting valuable time.