A brand promise is not a tagline or USP. It’s a commitment that, when crafted with intention, has the potential to shape how consumers perceive your brand.
So what is a brand promise exactly?
A brand promise is a commitment made by a company or brand to its customers. It is a short statement that tells customers what they can expect to receive every time they interact with the company. It reveals what consumers can expect from a brand across all touchpoints. It serves as a foundational principle and informs every part of the company from customer service to marketing and messaging. The more a company can deliver on that promise, the stronger the brand value is in the mind of the customers and employees.
Your brand promise is not necessarily explicit in your marketing. It’s often used internally and shared with employees, investors, and other stakeholders. But that doesn’t mean it’s irrelevant to your target audience. In fact, with a strong brand identity and clear messaging, your brand promise will be understood by your target audience, even if you don’t say it explicitly.
Let’s look at some examples:
Volvo: Volvo’s brand promise is centred around safety. They promise drivers that their cars will give them a better chance of surviving an accident than any other brand. They have built a strong reputation for producing cars with advanced safety features and technologies which help to protect drivers and passengers in the car.
FedEx: FedEx’s brand promise is centred around reliability and timeliness. They are dedicated to ensuring every package is delivered on time, every time. This is reinforced by their tagline, ‘The World on Time’. If you use FedEx consistently and one day your delivery doesn’t arrive on time, you may think ‘that’s not like them’ and put it down to a one-off. But if they kept doing it your trust in their promise would diminish.
Amazon: Amazon’s brand promise is centred on delivering happiness. Their customer-centric approach and excellent customer service reflects their commitment to this promise. This includes competitive prices, a convenient and hassle-free shopping experience, and flexible return policies.
Patagonia: Patagonia’s brand promise centres on environmental responsibility and sustainability. Their focus is on producing high-quality outdoor clothing and accessories whilst minimising their impact on the environment. This is reflected in their use of sustainable materials, reducing waste, and advocating for environmental conservation. They produce high-quality and long-lasting products which encourages a more sustainable approach to consumption.
But how do you come up with your brand promise? Look at your customers. Look deep into your business. Consider what is the most important thing that you do in your business that matters to your customers.