4 golden rules of a powerful promise

I am a firm believer of simplicity. This blog follows the same philosophy. It is all about simplifying seemingly complicated matters and giving you correct and actionable answers.

Today, we will talk about the key criteria of a powerful promise. Interbrand, the largest brand consulting firm in the world, uses four key rules. To my knowledge, these are the best and the simplest criteria. Here they are:

  1. Your promise should be aligned with your business strategy. If you have a lean business model, chances are you outsource most of your non-strategic services, which results in lost of control over some customer touch points (e.i. moving your call server to India) In this case, your brand cannot stand for customer advocacy.
  2. It has to be highly relevant to your target market. We are all time-constrained and time is the only commodity we have that can never be replaced. If you don’t promise something relevant, your customer will no longer spend time listening to you.
  3. Distinctiveness is another important criterion. First mass production, then internet made differentiation very difficult for brands. The result is a sea of sameness. Realistically, how different are law firms? What is the perceived difference among internet service providers?
  4. Finally, whatever you promise you’d better be able to deliver. If consumers do not believe that you can deliver on your promise, they will not buy your argument. Would you believe in an American airline company had it promised you that you will get the same service as Singapore Airlines offer?

Today’s actionable tip: The golden rule of branding is to find a promise that does not conflict fundamentally with your business strategy. Make it as relevant and different as possible (Please note, relevancy comes before differentiation). And deliver it consistently.

Can you think of any brand that does this exceptionally well?

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