A brand promise is a short yet inspiring statement that will provide the focus an organization needs to make use of its distinctive resources to make a difference. There are many examples of promises, the most famous probably being Smokey the Bear's "Only you can prevent forest fires" tagline.
It's definitely critical for these statements to be catchy but, according to David McNally and Karl D. Speak in "Be Your Own Brand," the most important thing that they reflect is what an organization is and how it wants to engage with others.
McNally and Speak offered the following tips on making a brand promise effective:
- Make it short -- five to eight words.
- Give it a voice that is direct and action-oriented, even exciting and inspirational.
- Orient people directly or indirectly to how the brand pays off for them.
- Base it on the organization’s brand ethos.
- Reflect how the brand provides value to others.
- Fine-tune it through many iterations. Don’t be reluctant to tinker and revise.
- Eventually, get it to be extremely strong. Don’t settle too soon. Go for a great personal brand promise that will keep everyone motivated and focused on the organization’s brand strengths.
- Test it with close friends or family – if their eyes light up and they immediately sense how the promise can help connect with others, it passes the test.