How To Write A Brand Promise Statement

[To Shape Your Brand Image]

You’d think that all brand builders would be on the same page about how to write a brand promise and why you’d have one in the first place.

But they’re not.

When we apply some logic to the question of what a brand promise is, it’s pretty simple.

The brand promise is “the promise a brand makes to its audience about what they can expect”… right?

Right!… but even in this definition, there’s room for perspective.

First of all, there’s ”how” that promise is delivered.

Secondly, there’s “what” the promise represents.

You see different brands make promises in different ways and about different things.

Some state no promise at all and yet are still accountable to one.

In this article, we’ll clear up the confusion and outline processes to develop an effective brand promise statement.

You’d think that all brand builders would be on the same page about how to write a brand promise and why you’d have one in the first place.

But they’re not.

When we apply some logic to the question of what a brand promise is, it’s pretty simple.

The brand promise is “the promise a brand makes to its audience about what they can expect”… right?

Right!… but even in this definition, there’s room for perspective.

First of all, there’s ”how” that promise is delivered.

Secondly, there’s “what” the promise represents.

You see different brands make promises in different ways and about different things.

Some state no promise at all and yet are still accountable to one.

In this article, we’ll clear up the confusion and outline processes to develop an effective brand promise statement.

How To Write A Brand Promise Statement
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Types Of Brand Promises

Brands make promises in a variety of ways. Some have direct intent behind them while others are a by-product the brand’s communication.

Let’s have a look at the 3 core ways brands make promises.

The Tagline Promise

Some brands use their tagline to double down on a specific promise.

Promises such as these are born from the differentiation strategy and often focus specifically on delivering some kind of result or outcome.

Two great examples of this kind of promise are

FedEx: “When it absolutely positively has to be there overnight.

Geico: “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance”

These taglines tend to be on the long side but what they lack in brevity, they make up for in impact.

Taglines that make a direct promise help brands to solidify the position of the outcome promised in the mind of their audience.

Although there is more to the brand experience than just this outcome (which the audience will build their own expectations around), this direct promise narrows those expectations to focus on the promise outcome.

The Brand Promise Statement

Brand promise statements are used by brands to articulate the overall promise of the brand experience without using the tagline.

Because the tagline has a very specific job of helping the audience remember what the brand does differently, many brands choose brevity, catchiness and memorability over making a direct promise.

The brand promise statement allows the brand to set expectations and reinforce the position it intends to own.

The statement takes a broader approach and is influenced by all aspects of the brand from its purpose, to its mission to its position.

In other words, whatever the brand says it is (both internally and externally), influences the brand promise statement.

The Indirect Brand Promise

Most brands never articulate a promise.

They will have a communication strategy built around its positioning strategy, which communicates what the brand wants the audience understand.

With this communication at every touch point throughout the brand, it shapes the audiences’ perceptions, beliefs, ideas and expectations of the brand.

Of course, at the centre of all of this communication will be the position of the brand and the difference it offers influencing expectations around that difference.

From these expectations assumed promises are born in the mind of the audience.

This is how most brand promises are made.

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