Your website, marketing materials, logo design, and other branding collateral only have a few seconds to convey an appealing message to your audience’s emotional mind. If they do so successfully, it triggers a chain reaction of neuron stimulation that equates to developing interest and then trust. And trust leads to sales.
An effective sales message is emotionally compelling. Easier said than done, of course, but it’s founded on your brand promise, which is that particular thing (tangible or intangible) certain people want that you deliver better than anyone else.
We’ve done our best to compress countless volumes of marketing and branding books into a single short article to get you started on creating your brand promise.
Refine and Define Your Niche
First, distinctly identify what you’re selling and what core solution or benefit it offers. Are you selling hair brushes or master-crafted boar bristle hair brushes? Be as specific as possible when defining your products or services. The vaguer you are, the more competition you have and the more money you spend on less effective marketing. Lack of specificity also makes it more difficult to create a message that speaks persuasively to your target audience.
- Example: Hummers aren’t cars or trucks; they’re an “all-terrain vehicle.”
Refine and Define Your Target Audience
Next, you need to know who you’ll be telling your brand promise to. Inexperienced business owners rarely narrow down a target market, mostly out of fear of excluding people and losing sales. The Target brand primarily pursues women, but a lot of men seem to shop there. Focus on the group that can clearly become your most loyal fans. The enthusiasm you build in them spreads to others. Try to appeal to everyone and you end up appealing to no one. Read more about defining your target audience.
- Example: Hummer’s target audience is “affluent men seeking unique experiences as a means of self-expression.”
Refine and Define the Value Proposition
This should be a single thought that makes your brand ideal for your target market. It must fulfill your brand promise, be believable and true, and can be tangible or emotional. Your business may offer lots of good things and have plenty of selling points, but marketing is most effective when it trumpets that one most compelling value. Reading more about defining your unique selling proposition.
- Example: Hummer’s value proposition is that it “goes where no other vehicle can go.”
Now You Have a Refined, Defined Brand Promise
Put the above three elements together and you have your brand promise. Spelled out, it shouldn’t be more than a sentence or two. Again, it’s that particular thing certain people want that you deliver better than anyone else.
- Concluding the Hummer example: The brand promise is that “Hummers are all-terrain vehicles perfect for affluent men seeking unique experiences as a means of self-expression because they go where no other vehicle can go.”
Incorporate Your Brand Promise into Everything
This one statement is the core of your entire marketing plan. Everything, including your website design, social media strategy, content marketing strategy, advertising, logo design, 30-second elevator sales pitch, and the rest should be guided by this simple idea.
Your brand promise isn’t necessarily something you explicitly say or share with consumers. It offers focus to your brand message, so it’s most useful as an internal tool for providing direction for your marketing strategies.
Remember, a successful brand isn’t a tagline, it’s a promise.