Monday, 10 june 2019 | Redacción CEU
When someone makes a promise, they are expressing their willingness to give or do something for someone. Their commitment does not have to be binding, but the given word always generates certain expectations in interlocutors. While it is true that breaking a promise does not mean the same now as in the era of the ancient knights of the Middle Ages, it is also true that not keeping promises often has very negative consequences. In the case of brands, what is at stake is their own survival: How can customers trust brands that have deceived them? A brand promise is something more than a simple declaration of intentions, it is a clear proof of a brand's credibility and also the starting point to establish a lasting relationship with its target customers.
A brand promise is the commitment that a firm takes on with its customers, what the consumer can expect from it and what reflects its value proposal. It is an inspiring idea that does not have to be explicitly addressed, it can be conveyed in a subtle way (in the design of its logos and slogans, in the definition of its mission and values, in its campaigns in digital media, in its corporate social responsibility, etc). However, for it to be really effective it has to be identifiable and understandable. Likewise, it is important to bear in mind that under this concept it is found everything related to the brand, its reputation and management guidelines. In short, all decisions depend on this promise. So much so that it is considered to be the most important part of the process of creation, continuity and consolidation of a brand.
The attributes of a promise
Although a slogan can help to convey a brand promise, the latter cannot be confused with the simple repetition of a motto. A promise is more than an advertising message. Its mission is to respond to a real need of clients, in the form of benefit and also with the purpose of offering something different. This promise should be consistent with the values, mission and vision of the brand. If it is not in harmony with them, the firm will not be able to fulfill what has been promised as time passes.
For a brand to live up to its word, it has to maintain coherence. This means that both the goals that are set and the different actions of the brand should be aligned with the brand identity. For example, a brand which is inspired by the value of tradition and characterized by maintaining a careful and handcrafted process, could hardly meet the expectations of those customers who want the latest in innovation and trends. That is, a firm cannot promise what it cannot honor. Its promise should always be built on the reality of the product and service.
Companies are always better in some aspects than others, and in most cases they can prove it. The problem is usually that firms do not highlight that difference and take advantage of their competitive factors. This difference is what makes brands unique and a great value proposal. In fact, for a brand promise to be effective it should also be different and authentic. Otherwise, it might be limited to repeating what was promised by other brands and, as a consequence, to being punished with indifference.