Brand Promise vs Tagline

[Differentiate Your Branding Elements]

So, what’s the difference between brand promise vs tagline?

If you were to believe a huge chunk of online articles on the topic, you’d end up believing that it’s the tagline, or the mission or the purpose, or all the above.

The brand promise is the brand promise and the other elements mentioned are individual brand strategy elements, each with their own task.

In this article, we’ll highlight why most confuse or misuse this strategic tool, but more importantly, how you can use it to shape the mind of your audience.

So, what’s the difference between brand promise vs tagline?

If you were to believe a huge chunk of online articles on the topic, you’d end up believing that it’s the tagline, or the mission or the purpose, or all the above.

The brand promise is the brand promise and the other elements mentioned are individual brand strategy elements, each with their own task.

In this article, we’ll highlight why most confuse or misuse this strategic tool, but more importantly, how you can use it to shape the mind of your audience.

Brand Promise vs Tagline
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Definition Of A Brand Promise

Before we dive any deeper, let’s define the brand promise.

“A Brand promise is the promise a brand makes to its audience (literal or assumed), about the overall experience they can expect from the brand”.

There are a couple of key factors in this definition we need to note.

Firstly, the promise being made is that of the brand experience one can expect. It’s not specific to a feature, benefit or even a product or service.

The brand promise goes beyond individual commitments and defines the higher-level holistic promise of the overall brand experience.

Secondly, the promise may be defined by the brand or assumed by the audience.

In other words, the brand may literally state a promise to their audience or the audience may assume a promise through the communication they receive.

Definition Of A Brand Promise

Before we dive any deeper, let’s define the brand promise.

“A Brand promise is the promise a brand makes to its audience (literal or assumed), about the overall experience they can expect from the brand”.

There are a couple of key factors in this definition we need to note.

Firstly, the promise being made is that of the brand experience one can expect. It’s not specific to a feature, benefit or even a product or service.

The brand promise goes beyond individual commitments and defines the higher-level holistic promise of the overall brand experience.

Secondly, the promise may be defined by the brand or assumed by the audience.

In other words, the brand may literally state a promise to their audience or the audience may assume a promise through the communication they receive.

Every Brand Makes A Brand Promise

Very few brands make a literal promise.

Though almost all brands have a tagline, which outlines what they do differently or what idea they want to own, most taglines don’t make a literal promise.

Of course, through the tagline, the brand makes an indirect promise to come good on the difference it claims to make, though the brand promise often goes beyond just that difference.

If a brand makes a direct and literal promise, it communicates its highest commitment to its audience and that promise is often what the brand becomes known for.

But whether or not the brand makes a direct promise, a promise is assumed by the audience through what it communicates across all touch points.

If the brand hasn’t articulated a brand promise, through its experiences, the audience will form their idea of the promise the brand makes.

Each one of these individual assumed promises is a promise the brand must keep.

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Brand Promise VS Tagline