A brand exists in the minds of consumers. That’s it. Nowhere else.
No matter how clever your brand messaging is, it can’t alter the brand. It can only raise awareness or reinforce existing perceptions. If consumers know a brand promise is empty, they’ll just scoff at the disconnect between the message and the actual customer experience.
Scary thought, right?
Not if you’re committed to following through on your brand promise, and you move heaven and earth to do it.
Some brands get it. They know success depends on listening to and understanding the customer, empowering employees to achieve excellence, making sure brand standards are met on the front line, and innovating in response to market trends.
Other brands have a more insular view. And we all know what happens when customer-facing businesses lose sight of what’s important.
To us, the brand promises below represent a wholehearted investment in serving the needs of customers—and in going further to earn their confidence, loyalty, and trust.
We’ve collected some of the greatest brand promise examples we’ve ever seen. Some of these brands you’d expect to make the list, and others may come as a surprise, but it just goes to show that a successful brand is a lot more than a logo, icon or memorable slogan.
Geico: “15 minutes or less can save you 15% or more on car insurance.”
This brand promise has become the basis of Geico’s entire marketing strategy, leading them to the top of the auto-insurance industry. Though a time-based promise can be tricky to keep, it’s easy to measure. Geico has done a great job at maintaining their image and keeping their promise.
Coors Light: “The World’s Most Refreshing Beer”
This straight-forward brand promise is both simple and informative, easily capturing the spirit of the company in one sentence. While “refreshing” may mean different things to different people, it’s overall concept for a light beer is generally agreed upon – and an amount of exaggeration is implied (and accepted) with the claim of “world’s most.”
Coca-Cola: “To inspire moments of optimism and uplift.”
Coca-Cola’s brand promise takes a bit of a different route. It does not mention the product or service, but instead aims to convey a mindset held by all of those that are a part of the company. With a brand promise like this, Coca-Cola positions themselves as a lifestyle brand that is about much more than just manufacturing popular drinks.
BMW: “The Ultimate Driving Machine”
This bold statement is the driving force behind BMW’s brand. They aim to produce only the most efficient and elegant vehicles and their brand promise states this with confidence.
Nike: “To bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.”
Similar to Coca-Cola, this brand promise doesn’t even mention Nike products, but instead tells the consumer how they think and what they aim to do on a much larger scale than sports clothing and equipment.
Harley Davidson: “We are Harley Davidson.”
Harley Davidson have had a number of different brand promises through the years, but all of which revolve around the simple fact that there is nothing like a Harley. The cultural icon needs little explanation, and so their most recent brand promise doesn’t attempt to be anything but simple and to-the-point, promising a consistent experience with their company every single time.
Apple: “Think different.”
What started as a shrug to IBM’s “Think,”, Apple’s brand promise is arguably the most famous slogan of all time and the key to Apple’s wild success in the computer industry. Apple’s brand promise is two-sided – their guarantee to create products based on seeing the world a little differently, and their promise to inspire their customers to do the same.
H&M: “More fashion choices that are good for people, the planet and your wallet.”
Karl-Johan Persson, CEO of H&M says, “We have set ourselves the challenge of ultimately making fashion sustainable and sustainability fashionable.” This is a promise the brand achieves with sustainable materials in their product and consistent low prices.
Starbucks: “To inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
With a following as iconic as Apple, it’s no surprise that Starbucks provides a great brand promise example, and one they continue to deliver on. Like many company, Starbucks distinguished themselves as a lifestyle brand looking to bring much more to the world than a great cup of coffee.
Wegmans: “Consistent low prices.”
Wegman’s promises its shoppers something they can rely on – consistent low prices. Committed to customer satisfaction with every store experience, this company believes that families should be able to buy what they want, when they want it, instead of relying on coupons and what’s “on sale” each week.
Marriott: “Quiet luxury. Crafted experiences. Intuitive service.”
This brand promise example is all about a consistent experience. Whether you stay in a Marriott in New York City, California or Utah, you expect the same experience and service. If Marriott did not live up to this promise, they wouldn’t be one of the most successful companies in the hospitality industry today.
Walmart: “Save money. Live better.”
It’s no surprise that Walmart makes the list of great brand promise examples. By combining the obvious promise of low prices with emotional benefits, Walmart offers its shoppers a better quality of life with easy access to the necessities.
How to Create a Brand Promise That Sticks
A great brand promise reflects careful consideration, courage, and creativity. The bolder and clearer the better. The best brand promises go big, challenge the status quo, and connect with consumers on a deep emotional level.
Make it Measurable
With many brand promise examples, the promise becomes too many things in an attempt to be everything to everybody, and ends up being nothing to anyone. For your brand promise to be effective, it must be measurable.
What does friendly mean? How do you measure that? What does safe mean? Does safe only mean that the driver has never been in an accident? We all know people who don’t necessarily drive safely, but have not been in an accident – yet.
If you can’t define what your promise means, you can’t measure it. If you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it.
Take FedEx for example. When FedEx first started out, their brand promise was, “We will get your package to you by 10:30 am the next day.” Time is a measurement we all agree on. If the package arrives prior to 10:30 am, the brand promise is kept. Starting at 10:31 am, the promise is broken. A strong brand promise is easy to measure against.
Make it Meaningful
This is where the old cliche “actions speak louder than words” is particularly true. A brand promise is nothing if it’s not followed through with action. The one thing strong retailers do well is deliver on their brand promises consistently. You make a commitment to your customers, and if you don’t deliver, you’ll lose them. The problem is that many companies have one big barrier to consistently delivering on those promises – their employees.
Your store associates are the faces of your business. They are the ones who interact with your customers daily and they make the strongest and most lasting impression on your customers.
It’s their job to be the point of contact between your brand and your customers. But you know what’s scary? Most employees don’t even know what their company is promising. Instead of helping to improve your brand, they may be harming it.
Educating your employees about your brand message is the key to ensuring that your company keeps its promises to your customers. Training programs should include clear messages about what your brand stands for, what you are committed to delivering to your customers and why it matters.
When you give employees a deeper understanding of what you promise your customers, and how their performance fulfills that commitment, your employees are better able to consistently provide the great brand experience your customers expect.
And that’s how you deliver on a brand promise.
Like any in-store initiatives, ensure you measure them. Use tools such as mystery shopping and customer satisfaction surveys to track performance and the impact on your customers’ perception of the experience.
What’s Your Brand Promise Worth
That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? You can’t hope to stay competitive (much less make meaningful gains) without knowing how well your customer experience aligns with your brand promise. The only way to be certain is to collect the right kinds of data on an ongoing basis. Then you can apply the findings throughout your organization to close the gap.
To learn how leading brands use subjective and objective data to consistently fulfill their brand promises across all channels, download our new eBook, “How to Supercharge Your Customer Service by Combining Objective and Subjective Data.” We’ll explain how you can achieve brand consistency and build customer loyalty on a par with the world’s most beloved, trusted brands.