Corporate Eye

Define Your Brand Promise

It’s been a long time since I’ve talked about the basics of branding here on the Corporate Eye blog. As marketers and brand strategists, we often get too busy to do the self-checks on our brands that are necessary to ensure we haven’t veered off track.

In other words, you need to ask yourself if your brand is still living up to its promise?

At its core, every brand is a promise to consumers. That means, a brand promises something to consumers based on consumer expectations that are built through perceptions over time. What do consumers expect from your brand? Do those expectations match your brand promise? Does your brand promise the right things to consumers?

Brands must evolve as consumers evolve. A stagnant brand is unlikely to survive over the long-haul, particularly in today’s fast-paced world where consumer preferences and expectations can change overnight.

If your brand continually meets consumer expectations for it based on their perceptions of the brand promise as it relates to their experiences with your brand, then you’re on the right track for long-term success. However, if your brand does not meet consumer expectations for it based on its promise in every consumer interaction, then consumers will become confused with your brand. They’ll turn away from your brand in search of another brand that does meet their expectations in every customer interaction.

Consumers can’t become emotionally involved in your brand if they don’t feel secure in its ability to meet their expectations. That means they won’t be loyal to your brand and they won’t talk about your brand to other people.

Bottom-line, living your brand promise is critical to your business. Not only does the strength of your brand promise open doors to sales today, but a brand that consistently meets consumer expectations benefits from repeat sales, loyalty, and word-of-mouth marketing that advertising dollars can’t buy.

Don’t discount the value that a powerful brand promise can deliver to your business for years to come. Define your brand promise, live your brand promise, and spot-check your actual performance in terms of living that brand promise periodically. Be ready to adapt and evolve, but always remember that consistently meeting consumer expectations is paramount to your success. You can’t change your brand promise without taking time to change consumer perceptions and expectations at the same time.

What does your brand promise to consumers? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.

Image: stock.xchng

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.