How to Assess Your Brand Promise

Meredith LiepeltMeredith Liepelt

A brand promise is the bold claim that your company makes in its marketing. It is what your clients and customers can rely on time and time again. For example, Volvo promises safety. FedEx promises overnight delivery. Disney promises happiness. Zappos promises customer service. Is your brand promise living up to its claim? To find out, here are four key questions to ask yourself to be sure you are always addressing your brand promise:

  1. Is it unique?
  2. What evidence makes it believable (or not)?
  3. Is it compelling?
  4. Is it critically important to my market?

Let's put these questions into action. Say you own a spa and you are determining your brand promise. You may consider using the brand promise of pampering your clients. Let's run the four-question test on this potential brand promise:

Question #1: Is it unique?

This isn't really unique. All spas claim to pamper their clients.

Question #2: What evidence makes this believable (or not)?

Because all spas claim to pamper their clients, your claim is believable.

Question #3: Is it compelling?

This claim is not compelling. Promising the same thing as everyone else in your market doesn't motivate someone to take action, to drive across town to experience your spa or even remember your name.

Question 4: Is it critically important to my market?

Yes. The reason we go to a spa is to be pampered.

Suggestion: Because it is not unique or compelling, it won't stand out as something your potential clients will flock to like moths to a flame. Find a different brand promise to claim as yours and yours alone.

Let's try another example. Say you own a women's boutique and you want to claim having the largest selection of designer clothing in town.

Question #1: Is it unique?

If no other boutique or store is making this claim, then yes, it's unique.

Question #2: What evidence makes this believable (or not)?

The problem is that there are other boutiques with similar square footage in your city who also sell designer clothing. In addition, four major department stores also carry the same designer clothing.

Question #3: Is it compelling?

If your ideal customers want access to a large selection of designer clothing, it is compelling to them.

Question 4: Is it critically important to my market?

Yes. Your clients like to have a large selection to choose from.

Suggestion: Because this is not believable, your potential customers won't trust you. This is a huge mistake. Abort the mission immediately and try something else.

Let's look at a real-life example: Victoria's Secret. Their promise is to make "sexy, feminine confidence" accessible, affordable, and fun.

Question #1: Is it unique?

Yes. Certainly other brands like La Perla offer sexy and feminine products, but they are not nearly as affordable to most women. Other brands offer products in the same price range as Victoria's Secret, but they don't focus on sexy feminine confidence, they focus on functionality.

Question #2: What evidence makes this believable (or not)?

The materials and design of their products are sexy yet affordable. They use confident sexy models to showcase their products.

Question #3: Is it compelling?

Yes, living and feeling this way is aspirational to the women in their market. These emotions are very appealing to their market.

Question 4: Is it critically important to my market?

Yes. Their market wants to feel confident and sexy without spending a thousand dollars or more on one piece.

Suggestion: It's a keeper! (Obviously.)

The point is this: Once you think you have a brand promise that you want to consider, run it through the four questions above and ask a few key clients to provide their feedback as well. You need to be able to answer "yes" to all of these questions in order to really create your Stand Out Brandâ„¢.

Once you have your brand promise, all of your business decisions should take the promise into consideration. It should be translated into your entire brand identity, including your company name, tagline, logo, colors, fonts, business cards, and even things like speech topics and elevator speech, voice mail, customer service, partnerships and all other key components. Your brand promise is like having a guiding light that makes all of your business decisions much simpler.

This article was written by Meredith Liepelt. To get more great advice from Diva Toolbox Media Diva Meredith Liepelt , visit her website at: www.RichLifeMarketing.com.